Monday, April 03, 2006

Artificial Intelligence?


This past weekend we joined the rest of the country in springing ahead an hour to Daylight Savings Time. I found it a bit unnerving that apparently at some point in the wee hours of Sunday morning, both our VCRs fixed the time themselves. Does that mean our VCRs have some kind of artificial intelligence?

What about our Saturn Vue? It apparently has some kind of alarm system. Didn't know that for nearly a year. Heck, the car was jostled, bumped--I think we could have tap-danced on the hood without a peep out of him, er, it. So what happened? We left our son in the backseat once while going into a business. He got bored, unlocked the door, let himself out and . . .

"Honk, honk, honk." The car panicked, as if it were warning, "Do not leave the car. Do not leave the car. Danger Will Robinson." But our kid is 20-years-old now and perfectly capable of traversing planet Earth on his own.

More recently, since I lost my key with the remote unlocking device, our Saturn has been out of sorts. I replaced the key, but not yet the $50 remote control. That really bothers our Vue. Sometimes when I get in, there's an internal warning device that sounds, followed by Honk, Honk, Honk--the car going bonkers again.

So I have to put my key into the ignition quickly, turn it, then say soothingly, "It's only me. It's okay. No stranger's going to hurt you." Then all is well.

So is this what the guy had in mind when he coined the term "Artificial Intelligence?" Recently, I noticed that our computer, which had been reporting the wrong time down on the bottom right corner for some time, had corrected itself somehow.

"Maybe he went out on the internet and found the right time," my wife thought.

He? I'm not sure I want our computer personified like that. I don't want another 'man' in the house, even if it's the computer. And just what else is he doing? Creating his own blog? Is he one of my anonymous commenters?

Many years back, I found evidence in our computer's cookie file that someone was accessing naughty sites on the net. For example, searching for females in various states of undress. When confronted, one of our boys suggested that the computer on his, er, its own was surfing the web for its own nefarious purposes.

I just brushed aside the suggestion at the time. Now I have to give it some consideration.

19 Comments:

Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

Yeah, I've got a clock that does that stuff.

(No, it DOES NOT search for nudies, wise guy.)

11:23 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

Artificial Intelligence sounds like a worry Dave, to some of us any sort of intelligence sounds foriegn to our nature.

9:16 PM  
Blogger Lucy Stern said...

We have to change all the clocks in the house with our own hands. The only clock we that changed itself was the computer and the Cable TV.

My husband is a locksmith and the automotibles computer system talks to your remote control. It must feel lost without it. You should be able to reprogram your remote all by yourself. Look in your owners manual and it will tell you how. Good luck

11:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

maybe it's Hal's offspring!!!

6:26 AM  
Blogger bornfool said...

Whenever the wife go away for the weekend, our computer magically visits those same sites. The last time we were gone, the cable box ordered a $12 porn movie on it's own, too. The "artificial intelligence" didn't even have the forethought to record it.

6:47 AM  
Blogger bornfool said...

Correction: should read "wife and I" in the first line.

6:48 AM  
Anonymous Terri said...

LOL....it does make ya stop and wonder, doesn't it?
Hmm....maybe we're not "alone" after all. And this is how we're being invaded....via cyber space.

9:22 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

You're probably safe until your computer tells you "I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that..."

1:50 PM  
Blogger 4evergapeach said...

My VCR's are still blinking (from when we first got them), guess they haven't quite aquired that intelligence.
Since my children learned I'm not such an amateur on the computer, they have been much more careful of the sites they visit, or else they are smarter than me and learned how to erase the history.

7:56 PM  
Blogger Deb said...

LOL. You know my record with cars smarter than I am.

8:59 PM  
Anonymous bonnie/bernadette/whatever said...

So, I can blame my blog abandonment issues on my computer?

10:56 PM  
Blogger Biscuit said...

I was amazed the first time I realized that not only could my cell phone keep up with DLS, it also magically knew when I had switched time zones on my way to visit my parents. Creepy, but handy.

6:30 AM  
Blogger Me said...

My husband plays a Playstation 2 football game that when it is a holiday let's say thanksgiving, the game shows signs being held up in the stands that say "Happy Thanksgiving" or whatever holiday it is. How do they do that?! I think the playstation is linked to "Big Brother" via satellite. :)

9:23 AM  
Anonymous vicki said...

Wait- are you trying to tell me that you have a 20 year old who is perfectly capable, all on his own?
I like that.
Our TIVO periodically takes off down it's own path. It's one of the original models and I believe it's searching for the Jetsons.

1:39 PM  
Blogger Anne said...

That was funny..I was thinking hey thats kind of neat so that your son doesnt wander away..picturing a 5 year old..

1:07 PM  
Anonymous schnoodlepooh said...

Huh.... that's scary! I hope my computer doesn't start doing that kind of stuff. But I did have a couple of clocks and my cell phone that changed the time all on their own. Spoookkkyyyy

5:35 PM  
Blogger Gypsybobocowgirl said...

I agree with jy biscuit...creepy but handy. Now I want the alarm clock, coffee maker, oven and microwave to change themselves...

9:15 PM  
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11:42 PM  
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