The Future Is Here
How the benefits of Artificial Intelligence are actually all around us right now
Highly paid software engineers at Google, Apple, Facebook, and Microsoft have worked diligently for decades to perfect Artificial Intelligence, known colloquially as AI. With applications ranging from self-flying airplanes to self-regulating utility systems, the promise of AI has been to deliver us from a reliance on fallible human operators and replace ourselves with algorithms that never make mistakes and never sleep.
This long road was initially mapped out by Alan Turing, a solitary genius whose far-sighted notions set guideposts in place for future generations to navigate by and whose famous Turing Test remains the summit of success for AI researchers and engineers. The Turning Test essentially said that a computer intelligence will be judged to be indistinguishable from a human intelligence when a human interlocutor cannot determine whether the responses being given are coming from a machine or a person.
Initially, however, researchers went down the wrong path. Being clever people, they automatically assumed that in order to pass the Turing Test, computers would have to provide rational fact-based responses to human interrogation. Fortunately, events of the last few years have provided a welcome corrective and software engineers have been able to make enormous advances in the field of AI to the point where it is now impossible to distinguish between Al Gore and algorithm.
Thanks to such advances, upgrades to AI systems in applications as far-ranging as autonomous vehicles and animatronic sex dolls have been made over the last couple of years and we’re now able to see the unmistakable benefits.
The latest generation of self-driving cars are equipped with HumanMode. This ensures they drive as erratically and dangerously as the average inept person; there’s even a “I’m texting/updating my InstaSnap account” mode that increases the probability of the vehicle driving onto a crowded sidewalk or accelerating into stationary traffic at a stop light. Several seconds after the impact caused by operating in HumanMode, these vehicles use their external speakers to proclaim, “Why can’t you look where you’re going!”
Google has upgraded its search features using the latest in AI, so that inquiries about best recipe for white icing yield results including articles on racism, white privilege, the KKK, fake allyship, and Youtube videos of incidents with US border patrol officers cavity-searching terrified small children for up to two hours at a time, while laughing that “we’re doing them a favor, they’d get worse back in the shithole countries they came from.”
In Japan, the latest generation of animatronic sex dolls features the Melania, a companion so life-like she swats away any attempt to touch her and insists on living in an entirely separate apartment while demanding lavish gifts and an extremely generous pre-nuptial agreement.
Less elaborate uses of AI include the Republican Politician animatronic, which comprises a flabby giant amoeba-like organism lacking a spinal cord that emits endless infantile lies and then slithers away to hide behind furniture at the first sign of any disturbance. After a sufficient period of time during which no untoward disturbance is detected, it will stick out a tentacle and demand a campaign contribution in return for passing legislation guaranteeing favorable tax breaks for the ultra-wealthy while insisting there’s no money available for education, healthcare, and unemployment benefits.
For those who want a political animatronic companion without having to feel nauseated every minute of every day there’s the Democrat. This amusing animatronic scuttles around ignoring every aspect of reality it bumps into, is totally uncoordinated, and spends most of its time biting itself in a compelling display of total cluelessness. Small children and elderly people suffering from advanced dementia will find these displays engrossing and thoroughly entertaining for up to eight years at a time or a far-right coup, whichever comes sooner.
And for those across the Atlantic who’ve saved up enough turnips to briefly rent an animatronic companion there’s the Brexiteer. This cheeky little chappie hides under the bed with its hands over its ears watching reruns of the old movie The Battle Of Britain while eating soggy chips and muttering about the good old days. The Brexiteer also mutters about “bloody foreigners,” “taking back control,” and “they ought to know their place.” The Brexiteer is programmed to answer economic questions such as “what’s better: four million jobs destroyed and a culture of backward-looking racism or a continuation of peace and prosperity within the European Union?” with the response, “I’m proud to be British,” before slamming its tiny head against the floor for the next thirty years.
The astute reader will already have realized that these few examples, and the countless more available all around us every day, reveal the wonderful truth: we’re already reaping the endless benefits of AI programs that meet the Turing Test criterion.
Thanks to the creativity of engineers working tirelessly on a diet of vodka and various psychoactive narcotics, computers have become completely indistinguishable from humans. They are now as incompetent, self-deluding, ignorant, and stupid as it is possible to design any algorithm to be. Every inquiry elicits mindless babble that has no bearing on the question asked. No task is too small or too simple that it can’t be totally messed up. We even have AI programs that fall asleep at random moments, thus ensuring complete verisimilitude.
We can each and every one of us be proud of these accomplishments. They are, after all, the very essence of humanity.