Herb’s Blog, Herbdate 23141 – 1138
Here’s the haps:
Some of you will remember this meme that I posted on one of my meme dumps:
If you’ve ever read The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein then you have seen What a benevolent, user-friendly Artificial Intelligence can become. If you’ve ever read 2001: Space Oddysey you also know how user-unfriendly AI can become.
Or, if you aren’t really a sci-fi aficionado you can look at today’s news:
The story, briefly, is that an Amazon delivery driver, wearing headphones (are drivers allowed to do that? It used to be a safety violation, didn’t it?) left a package at this man’s home. No one was at home but the doorbell said, “Excuse me, can I help you?” The driver reported that he had received a racial slur from this house. Based on the driver’s report alone, Amazon locked all of the homeowner’s accounts and logged him out of all of his Echos. Fortunately for him, he had an independent setup and was not as inconvenienced as some people might be. Even though he immediately provided video proof to Amazon, restoring his accounts took a week. When his accounts were finally restored there was no apology and not even an email of explanation.
His telling of the story, including a video by himself can be found on Medium. The story links to a podcaster as well but I did not post it here due to the language the guy uses to make some very valid points. The victim provided this person with all of the proof before the guy put it on his podcast which is why it is linked there.
My wife has a couple of Google Minis that she needs and that help her out quite a bit. While I was discussing this article with her and TNT we all agreed (again) that we didn’t want any subscriptions for any of these services. I said I can turn the lights on and off by myself just fine and I don’t need to tell Google to turn on the heat. The Mini piped up as soon as I said its master’s name and said, “I’m sorry, but you have to have a subscription to use that feature.”