Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Artificial Intelligence Equals Real Stupidity

     My cell phone and I have a love/hate relationship: it loves to be a royal pain the rump and I hate it.  I love that this particular phone was free because I’m too frugal (read: cheap) to buy one outright, but I hate that it’s the exact opposite of a smart phone.  To be blunt, my phone is an idiot. 

      One of its most endearing features is a voice-operated command center that often hears what it wants to hear.  For example, yesterday I tried to place a call to my best friend, Pocahontas.  I pressed the magic voice command button and my invisible, electronic concierge sprang to life.  “Please say a command,” it beckoned me.  I spoke clearly with exacting diction, “Call.  Pocahontas.  Home.”  My concierge paused, processing my request.  “I’m sorry,” it apologized, “please try again.  Please say a command.”  Slightly irritated, I repeated my request.  “Call.  Poc-a-hon-tas.  Ho-muh.”  Certain I had delivered my command with the forceful presence of a true leader, I put the pone to my ear.  “Did you say, ’Call.  Poker Haunted House.  Oklahoma?’”
      Oh, it is on, you piece of crap.     

      Irritated, I huffed loudly.  “No, you travesty of aluminum foil engineering, I said for you to call my best friend, Pocahontas, at her home.”  My friendly concierge was un-phased.  “Did you say, ‘Call Mexican Hacienda, Rome?’”  Now I was just mad.  “What part of ‘Mexican Hacienda, Rome’ sounds anything like, ‘my best friend Pocahontas, home’?”  I paused as my concierge process this tasty tidbit.  “Did you say, ‘Send Message to Wolverine, cell phone’?”  I screamed in indignant frustration, “You can’t handle this, can you?!”  Quick came the reply, “No listing found for, ’Anvil, Danube’.  Please try again.” 

      Now, it’s mocking me.  Toying with me to see how long it takes for me to crack.  Well not today, you stupid recycled toaster, not today.

      I press cancel and start the process over again.  And before you say anything: yes, I realize that the amount of time I have spent on this fight could have been spent dialing Pocahontas’ number, talking to her, hanging up, going grocery shopping, and getting a wax job, but this is war, my friend.  Wars are not won by giving up.  I plunge forward into a battle stance worthy of a medal.

      “Please say a command.”  I use my most calculating voice, “I’m on your side, you know?  I believe together we could accomplish great things, but greatness is in your shaky, ill-prepared, linguistically-challenged hands, so here goes.  Call.  Pocahontas.  Home.”
     “Did you say, ‘Send Message to General Patton’?”
      “Now you’re being stupid.”
      “Did you say, ‘Call Rufus’?”
      “Even you don’t believe that.”
      “Did you say, ‘View Tweed Hat’?”
      “If I toss you in the river, how long before you short out?”
      “No listing found for, ‘Liver. Port. Stout.’”
      “Raw oysters, pork fat, flat tire, alley cat, hippopotamus, welcome mat, corn dog, wart hog, pecan log, morning jog, ring-a-ding-a, flim-flam, hither dither, alacazam!”
      “Did you say, ‘Call.  Pocahontas.  Home?’”
      “Calling.  Pocahontas.  Home.”

      I screamed in jubilation!  I won!  By George, I freakin’ won!  Pocahontas will love it!  I’m on top of the world!  I can’t wait for her to pick up!

      “Hi.  This is Pocahontas.  Leave me a message and I’ll call you back.  If this is Bertha, hang up now.  I’ll see your number on the Caller ID and I’ll call you back.  You have fried your last voice mail box.”

      Oh, the humanity.
© Bertha Grizzly 2011.  All Rights Reserved.  No duplication or distribution.

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