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  1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    If they did, they'd never hit [deadline|pub].

    Just helping things along.

    1. stiine Silver badge

      That's what Vodka & orange juice are for

      You've obviously never read any of alcoholic Lewis Grizzard's books, specifically the one describing his early life covering sports for a newspaper (remember those?).

    2. mr-slappy

      Surely [deadline&pub] ?

  2. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
    Pint

    So how about we leave the robo-journalists to write stuff for the robo-commentards and content aggregators to vents their robo-spleens over, whilst the rest of us meatsacks just retire down the pub for a swift pint or six?

    Who says there's no positives in progress?

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      This however leads inevitably to the Electric Monk. Which we get to believe all the things we should be believing, but are too busy. But what disaster could befall if said Electric Monk were to go wrong, and start believing everything it saw on the internet?

      1. Roger Kynaston
        Happy

        Electric Monk

        Would said monk shoot off at some software mogul? Will this be the Zucks end?

        +1 for the Holistic reference.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        "if said Electric Monk were to go wrong, and start believing everything it saw on the internet?"

        How do Electric Monks handle schizophrenia?

        1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
          Pint

          Badly one presumes.

        2. stiine Silver badge

          The later models had the ability to hold several conflcting opitions without experiencing memory errors.

      3. JulieM Silver badge

        Let's just say that its cooling system would be thoroughly tested.

    2. cosmogoblin

      This reminds me of a short story I never got round to writing.

      An MI6 spy attends a Bond-style gala event (dickie bow, Ferrero Rocher etc) to spy on the Russian diplomat. The diplomat turns out to be a spy themselves, spying on the French ambassador - who turns out ... long story short, the entire event was set up by spies to gather intel from real people, but due to paranoia-fueled coincidence, every single attendee is a spy and doesn't have the knowledge they're gunning for anyway.

      Last scene: an exasperated spy shouts "Is anybody here NOT a spy?" When they realise the truth, they all get pissed together and invent ridiculous secrets to tell their superiors.

      Copyright notice: Please write this, as I'll never get round to it, and I want to read it!

      1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

        Precedent

        Have you seen anything of "The Man Who Was Thursday"?

        I think it also appeared in a Private Eye cartoon and possibly real life - the subversive group whose members were ALL policemen assigned to investigate the subversive group.

        1. STOP_FORTH Silver badge
          Stop

          Re: Precedent

          Don't write this, just go and read "Indecent Exposure" by Tom Sharpe (follow up to "Riotous Assembly" - also very good.) The entire anarchist group is composed of secret policemen spying on each other and blowing up all of the town infrastructure.

          The story is much more complicated than I have described, and very funny. I still smile about the exploding ostriches. Which brings me neatly back to my first ever post on this forum!

      2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      3. Daedalus

        As seen in the movie "The President's Analyst" where James Coburn stages a scene to draw out the spy at an event and finds everybody pulling out a gun/blowpipe/poison dart.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dabbs has been told right

    Most people do just speak in a mixture of idioms and clichés. That's why, in order to get artificial intelligence, you must first get artificial stupidity.

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Dabbs has been told right

      Why do we need artificial stupidity when there's such an excess of real stupidity around?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Dabbs has been told right

        Because we are trying to get artificial intelligence, and real stupidity won't get us there.

        1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

          Re: Are you sure real stupidity get us there

          Alan Turing thought it would be difficult to make a machine that could pass a Turing test but ELIZA did just fine in the '60s because the vast majority of testers did not know how to exploit AIs' weaknesses. The key to making money from AI is not faster computers or better software but a steady supply of rich and powerful idiots. Truly we are entering the golden age of AI.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Are you sure real stupidity get us there

            Jerry Pournelle said it didn't do well with real-world problems such as losing your luggage at the airport.

          2. veti Silver badge

            Re: Are you sure real stupidity get us there

            Unfortunately, a failure to resist the blandishments of AI is a trait that will select strongly and quickly against both the characteristics "rich" and "powerful".

            Each scam, aimed at such people, will only work once. If you want to go on milking it repeatedly, you have to target the only-mildly-rich and hardly-at-all powerful. See Bitcoin, for example.

          3. jake Silver badge

            Re: Are you sure real stupidity get us there

            Just to be sure nobody gets the wrong idea, ELIZA did not "pass the Turing test" (whatever that means). Rather, ELIZA was one of the first programs supposedly capable of taking the Turing test.

            If you have a copy of EMACS handy and would like to see ELIZA in action (in her DOCTOR persona), fire up EMACS and type M-x doctor ...

            1. Mage Silver badge

              Re: ELIZA did not "pass the Turing test"

              Eliza did for untrained people. Lots of people thought it was real.

              Anyway, the "Turing test" isn't at all a measure of AI and I'm not convinced Alan Turing thought it was. It was the idea that a well designed chat program might fool people into thinking the other teletype had a human at the keyboard.

              1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

                Re: ELIZA did not "pass the Turing test"

                the "Turing test" isn't at all a measure of AI and I'm not convinced Alan Turing thought it was

                The Turing Test, aka Imitation Game, is a philosophical thought experiment which Turing presented as an argument for a pragmatic - as opposed to logical-positivist, essentialist, metaphysical, etc - philosophy of mind, and in particular as a pragmatic argument for the possibility of a mechanical mind.

                So, no, it wasn't intended to serve as an actual test procedure. For one thing, it's too methodologically vague (how long does the test last? how many human judges are involved? what are their competences? are they instructed about the nature of the test?). Robert French and others have explained at some length why Turing-test exercises, while they might be interesting for other reasons, don't say anything useful about strong artificial intelligence, the possibility of machine cognition, and so on.

          4. Mage Silver badge
            Big Brother

            Re: Are you sure real stupidity get us there

            I'm not sure that the Touring test idea wasn't a suggestion that AI could be eventually "faked" even if it wasn't possible. I think inspired by a parlour game?

            "The Diamond Age" attempts to show that there can be faked AI, but not real AI.

            I'll believe there is real AI when a spelling check and grammar check of a novel actually works without:

            1) Having to reject many of the suggest corrections.

            2) Doesn't leave hundreds of simple mistakes easily spotted by a human proofreader.

            I'm not even talking about "real" grammar correction, rewriting such as reversing clauses of a sentence to remove a comma or conjunction etc and improve readability.

            We have gone backwards with the adoption of brute force "Rosetta stone" type solutions and so called training with sample data (which may be selected with a bias) instead of actually trying to translate our understanding to algorithms. It might be impossible as many animals can have a large vocabulary (Parrots, crows, sign language and calls in primates, dolphins etc) but don't seem to have language (the ability to communicate entirely new ideas using the existing vocabulary).

            The latest chatbots only better Eliza by having a bigger vocabulary and some more rules. They are still useless.

            I envisaged a chatbot able to clarify what you want to search the internet for by engaging in conversation to better define the search. It seems impossible. Siri, Cortana, Ok Google and Alexa are basically simple speech matching (not real recognition) creating a text search. They are a pathetic waste of time compared to a keyboard. Apart from the privacy issues.

    2. Semtex451

      Re: Dabbs has been told right

      I thought that's what sports hacks were doing all along, albeit in English, now I discover its the templates.

      To extend the theory we just need to put together some templates in any chosen language and we can both sound like a local, and get international work as sports hacks to pay for the trips.

    3. Franco

      Re: Dabbs has been told right

      First we need to teach computers (and indeed people) that the difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has it's limits.

      Popularly credited to Einstein, but more probably first written by Alexandre Dumas (son of the one who wrote The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo) according to Quote Investigator.

      https://quoteinvestigator.com/2014/07/28/genius/

      1. DJV Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Dabbs has been told right

        And genius probably(?) knows the difference between "it's" and "its".

        1. Franco

          Re: Dabbs has been told right

          If you want to be a proper grammar pedant don't start a sentence with a conjunction.

          1. JassMan
            Trollface

            Re: Dabbs has been told right

            Can't have faux grammar pedants giving the real ones a bad name!

          2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

            "don't start a sentence with a conjunction"

            Indeed, that is something up with which we shall not put !

            1. matthewdjb

              Re: "don't start a sentence with a conjunction"

              That's ending a sentence with a preposition

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Dabbs has been told right

            I once worked with a guy who had a double First in English from Cambridge and was a successful author of detective novels under more that one pseudonym. His father had been head of a major Public school.

            He couldn't spell, when he wrote he more or less just drew the shape of words. And he would tell anybody interested that English doesn't have grammar in the Latin sense, just usage.

            "Not starting sentences with a conjunction" is pure Latin teacher bullshit. If it was good enough for the translators of the Bible, it should be good enough for us.

          4. cosmogoblin
            Joke

            Re: Dabbs has been told right

            But its good enough for the bible!!!11

        2. jake Silver badge

          Re: Dabbs has been told right

          A true geniu's probably wouldnt care about extra or missing apostrophe's, as long as the point being communicated was obviou's.

          1. STOP_FORTH Silver badge

            Re: Dabbs has been told right

            That's why greengrocers are so clever!

            1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
              Coat

              Re: Dabbs has been told right

              Or tobacconists, for that matter: "I will not buy this record, it is scratched!"

              I had better be going

              1. STOP_FORTH Silver badge
                Happy

                Re: Dabbs has been told right

                Fabulous clip, pretty sure I watched this when originally shown. How few cars there were in London in the early Seventies!

                1. jake Silver badge

                  Re: Dabbs has been told right

                  London? That's nearly in Acton!

        3. John Presland

          Re: Dabbs has been told right

          Predictive text doesn't.

    4. Chris G

      Re: Dabbs has been told right

      There are languages with vocabularies of less than 500 words which seems to be the general direction of English in some quarters; that would make 'AI' journalism a doddle.

      Aside from that did anyone else read "Nigerian probate lawyers" as Nigerian prostate lawyers?

      I know lawyers like to specialise but......

      1. Andytug
        Joke

        Re: Dabbs has been told right

        Apparently they're really good at asking probing questions......

        1. Ken Shabby
          Alert

          Re: Dabbs has been told right

          and making your eyes water.

      2. Olivier2553

        Re: Dabbs has been told right

        Speaking of prostate, heard this morning on a French radio: What hurts the most in colonoscopy is the clap board.

    5. Alistair Dabbs

      Re: Dabbs has been told right

      It's a big ask.

      1. STOP_FORTH Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Dabbs has been told right

        Es regnet immer in England, nein?

    6. Crisp

      Re: Most people do just speak in a mixture of idioms and clichés.

      There's no closing that can of worms after the horse has bolted.

      1. A. Coatsworth Silver badge

        Re: Most people do just speak in a mixture of idioms and clichés.

        A bird in hand is worth any amount of beating about the bush, and the proof of the pudding is in breaking the eggs, so Dabbsy will have to try his theory live, and see how it goes...

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: Most people do just speak in a mixture of idioms and clichés.

          Dabbsy will have to try his theory live

          And run it up the bargepole to see which of the ducks salutes?

          Sounds like a forwardly-progressive set to expected optimum outcomes to me.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Most people do just speak in a mixture of idioms and clichés.

          He's been trying it out on Register Readers for years......

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