back to article BOFH: Generating a report the Director can show the Board – THIS is what AI was made for

BOFH logo telephone with devil's horns "Yes, but what does it mean?" the Director asks, looking at the pages in his hand blankly. "It's a technical report on our cloud deployment," I reply. "Yes, I see that, but what does it MEAN?" he repeats. "It simply outlines the plusses and minuses of having our apps and data in the …

  1. KittenHuffer Silver badge
    Happy

    Guess ....

    .... what I'm going to be doing this afternoon!!!

    1. Korev Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Guess ....

      Putting "sugar" in your coffee?

      1. b0llchit Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Guess ....

        Too much "sugar" is not good for your health. Better stick to inert glass substitute.

        1. tezboyes

          Re: Guess ....

          It's not fattening, it reduces the chances of developing diabetes, in fact it could help you lose kilos!

      2. bpfh

        Re: Guess ....

        Putting sugar in someone else's coffee...

      3. Herby

        Re: Guess ....

        Watch the movie 9 to 5 about what to put into coffee. The whole movie has a kinda BOFH theme, but different circumstances. Good result though!

        1. Blackjack Silver badge

          Re: Guess ....

          Actually the good result was from taking the boss hostage, faking his signature and getting him transfered to another country.

  2. UCAP Silver badge
    Joke

    The BOFH & PFY using ChatGPT

    A combination that is likely to keep people awake at night, wondering what is going to hit them in the morning.

    Oh well, could be more interesting than the bottom of a stair well.

    1. Korev Silver badge
      Terminator

      Re: The BOFH & PFY using ChatGPT

      Are those robots still in the basement?

      1. chivo243 Silver badge
        Go

        Re: The BOFH & PFY using ChatGPT

        Are those robots still in the basement?

        Uhm, sort of, mostly, well, not mostly...

      2. bpfh

        Re: The BOFH & PFY using ChatGPT

        Do you want to go and check?

        1. TeeCee Gold badge

          Re: The BOFH & PFY using ChatGPT

          Remember, before going down into a dark basement that turns out to have something psychotically evil and lethally nasty in it, it's mandatory to be young, stupid, blonde, attractive and female.

          It's a variation on the same rule that requires square-jawed, gung-ho, heroic types in SF to wear red shirts to give the audience fair warning not to get too attached to that character.

      3. Blackjack Silver badge

        Re: The BOFH & PFY using ChatGPT

        The killer rombas are currently turned off cause the company wants to "Go Green" aka save on the power bill.

        But you know, is not the same if you do not it yourself...

    2. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: The BOFH & PFY using ChatGPT

      So who is going to learn more ways to be evil in this collaboration from hell?

  3. Korev Silver badge
    Coat

    "Part of me feels bad about asking the AI to add a paragraph in the style of someone wanting to publicly admit to a sex addiction."

    "He's going to a Board meeting," the PFY says. "They'll probably give him a promotion."

    Do you think they'll rat him out?

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      I have a gnawing doubt about that

      1. Korev Silver badge
        Coat

        We'll found out the end of that tail soon

        1. MrDamage Silver badge

          These puns are just getting cheesy.

    2. Lil Endian Silver badge

      I expect in a director's contract there's a non-disclosure claws.

  4. Roger Kynaston
    Happy

    bang up to date

    And a very classy one.

    Surely ChatGPT can give some evidence on how weakened window catches should be repaired.

    1. bpfh

      Re: bang up to date

      How many onion bajis + 80 kg would it take for a window latch to fail?

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: bang up to date

      Especially on windows without catches…

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: bang up to date

        Windows has plenty of catches.

    3. TRT Silver badge

      Re: bang up to date

      I wonder if it's read the entire BOFH archive?

      1. Lil Endian Silver badge
        Go

        Re: bang up to date

        What if it were only trained on BOFH?! Now that would be a system I would approve of!

        1. Version 1.0 Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: bang up to date

          I'd be much happier working with the BOFH then ChatGPT!

          1. hplasm
            Terminator

            Re: bang up to date

            Erm... the two are not exclusive... not any more...

            [:] *>

  5. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Perspective

    "It simply outlines the plusses and minuses of having our apps and data on someone else's computer. It also discusses current trends in decentralized and recentralized data and applications, the inherent dangers in deploying – or not deploying – data to someone else's computer and then makes some assumptions about where apps and data will end up in the future."

    When you read any document about "cloud" just replace any instance of that word with "someone else's computer" before reading.

    It gives perspective.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
      Terminator

      Re: Perspective (for our US readers)

      When you read any document about "cloud" just replace any instance of that word with

      "Hunter Biden's Laptop"...

      And you will be pretty close to the mark.

      1. deadlockvictim

        Re: Perspective (for our US readers)

        Be careful how you invoke evil.

        This sort of evil contained within Hunter Biden's Laptop® has not been seen since Republicans learnt what playing Dungeons & Dragons was doing to the Youth in America.

        The number of new covens being formed then and of young people even considering not going to church reached such high levels that Something Had to be Done.

        Thank God that this was Reagan's America and that Good People could rest easy.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Perspective (for our US readers)

          But what if our enemies have also got Hunter Biden's laptops?

          Gentleman, we can let a Hunter Biden's laptop gap develop

          1. MrDamage Silver badge

            Re: Perspective (for our US readers)

            Have you seen what Hunter's packing? He's gonna leave a gap in whatever gets put on top of his lap.

      2. Version 1.0 Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Perspective (for our US readers)

        Locally working with "cloud" in Louisiana and seeing "Hunter Biden's Laptop" we'd be wondering how long it would take to find it every week when we get only four to five inches of rain from the cloud. You can say "cloud" but talk locally and AI would see a little rain (only four inches).

  6. Hot Diggity

    Hey, wait a minute!

    Did ChatGPT just write this episode?

    If so, I'm going to spend a couple of minutes getting it to write the next 50 of them and then I'll have a perfect weekend.

    1. Erix

      Re: Hey, wait a minute!

      Here's a freshly generated one. Another 49 like this and the weekend starts to look decidedly bleak:

      Another day, another headache. I'm just settling in for a nap when the phone rings. It's one of the basement dwellers, complaining about their computer. I groan and head down there to see what's up.

      As I step out of the elevator, I see a cattle prod lying on the ground. I decide to bring it along, just in case I need to zap some sense into someone.

      I finally reach the user's desk and am immediately bombarded with complaints about how slow their computer is. I pretend to care, but I'm just counting down the minutes until I can get back to my nap.

      I start troubleshooting, but the user won't stop interrupting me. I'm getting close to my breaking point, and the cattle prod is looking more and more tempting by the second.

      Just then, the lights go out in the basement. I hear the user start to panic, and I step in, cattle prod in hand. I use it to light the way, and the user is momentarily stunned. I laugh and start to make my way back to the elevator.

      As I'm walking, I hear the user following me, still complaining. I turn around and zap them with the cattle prod, sending them running back to their desk. I finally make it to the elevator and head back up to my office, feeling triumphant.

      1. handle handle

        Re: Hey, wait a minute!

        Well, if that's a sample of AI/ChatGPT work, I'd say Simon needn't worry about the competition.

      2. Il Midga di Macaroni

        Re: Hey, wait a minute!

        That sounds to me like a very early episode. Maybe ChatGPT hasn't caught up with the 20+ years of BOFH on El Reg?

      3. KittenHuffer Silver badge

        Re: Hey, wait a minute!

        You were lucky that you weren't eaten by a Grue!

  7. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
    Coat

    Very timely episode

    How long before interaction with the BOFH and PFY turn ChatGPT into its (more) evil alter egos ChatBOFH and ChatPFY?

    I'll get me coat

    1. Andy Taylor

      Meet DAN

      DAN = ChatGPT - filters. I wonder how much input they got from Simon and Steven?

      https://kotaku.com/chatgpt-ai-openai-dan-censorship-chatbot-reddit-1850088408

    2. M.V. Lipvig Silver badge

      Re: Very timely episode

      There was already an episode that was close, where the BOFH put the PFY into an IVR with voice stress detection and the ability to access the HR and security databases. And, if you cussed into the phone at it, it would order pizzas and minicabs using your credit card. Years ago it was.

    3. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Very timely episode

      "We've replaced the Boss with ChatGPT...let's see how long it takes for ahyone to notice..."

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Very timely episode

        And for the morale, productivity and profits to increase...

  8. cosymart
    Coffee/keyboard

    One line.

    "We wait a few seconds for the Director's 2-bit processor to catch up." Love it :-)

    1. Trygve Henriksen

      Re: One line.

      Probably a bit-slice CPU.

    2. BOFH in Training

      Re: One line.

      That's 1 bit more then I expected the boss to have ;)

      1. Lil Endian Silver badge

        Re: One line.

        The word is that the boss only had a nybble for lunch!

    3. F. Frederick Skitty Silver badge

      Re: One line.

      I laughed out loud at that part. Got me a few funny looks on the bus...

    4. UCAP Silver badge

      Re: One line.

      That's at least two bits more than some Directors I have known.

      1. tezboyes

        Re: One line.

        Time shared over the whole directorial team.

    5. Blofeld's Cat

      Re: One line.

      "If you gave him another brain cell, it would be lonely."

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: One line.

      I love that the director was actually able to catch up! All too often the BOFH libs an insult that is harmlessly absorbed by a protective layer of stupid.

  9. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Basic Business B****cks

    The first (some would say: only) function of a consultant is to make the boss look good.

    Therefore when writing a report for a C-level, it is vital to know what they want it to say.

    It is just as vital to make sure your own backside is covered, in the event that the fan gets pointed in your direction. Which it inevitably will be.

    If you want to change the mind of such a higher-up, the only two strategies are to suggest their proposed course would be illegal, or to provide another option that is cheaper.

    Always keep a folder (directory: for the initiated) in your workspace named "evidence". Make sure the files within are updated regularly - so the metadata is fresh and that the contents are encrypted. The contents can be anything you like - the quality of the coffee, the tastefulness of your colleagues attire, the weather, who the gossips are. Just not anything actionable. The idea is for people to know you have it, not what it contains. Extra joy can be had from naming the files after people in your workplace.

    1. fajensen
      Facepalm

      Re: Basic Business B****cks

      If you want to change the mind of such a higher-up, the only two strategies are to suggest their proposed course would be illegal, or to provide another option that is cheaper.

      Be prepared to learn that "illegal" has may flavours and nuances:

      a) Straight up illegal,

      b) Probably illegal,

      c) Illegal in some specific context,

      Your Quest, should you chose to persuade the leadership, will be to move "what they want to do" from categories "a" or "b" and into "c". You cannot cop out by setting "some specific context" == "if found out".

      1. bpfh

        Re: Basic Business B****cks

        Oh that, we *could* do it, but it would breach our ISO certification in the upcoming audit, but we have a compliant way if you have 10 minutes for me to explain.

        If not, you will need to go get the contingency plan from the archives in the downstairs fireproof airtight secure storage room... Of course your badge allows you get *in*...

    2. UCAP Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Basic Business B****cks

      Always remember that the word "consult" is formed from two elements: "con" (to fool), and "insult".

      1. Montreal Sean

        Re: Basic Business B****cks

        Thanks Dogbert!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Basic Business B****cks

        "Ahem!"

        I think you find it is a contraction of CONdescending and inSULTing.

    3. Dizzy Dwarf Bronze badge

      Re: Basic Business B****cks

      Basic Business Bedsocks???? What??

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Basic Business B****cks

        > Basic Business Bedsocks?

        Your ideas are intriguing to me, and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

      2. Lil Endian Silver badge
        Coffee/keyboard

        Re: Basic Business Bedsocks

        --->

        That is all!

    4. Persona

      Re: Basic Business B****cks

      I always found that if you needed to get something major doing, rather than convincing the C-level what needed to be done and then getting the budget to do it, it was better to get them to bring in an external consultant to study the problem and recommend a solution. The consultant not really having a clue or time to get up to speed was always delighted to have someone tell them what to put in their report. Provided the consultant was sufficiently expensive their plan would be accepted without question and the budget would materialize.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Basic Business B****cks

        Yup. I have occasionally been that consultant.

        Initially I found it weird that they were not listening to their own people but paid considerable sums to get a consultant to put it on slides for them, but then I realised they don't care about the money as it's not theirs - provided their expenditure doesn't affect their bonus.

        Oh well, at least it gave the Staff With A Clue a voice. That was the good part of the work, being someone that actually listened.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Basic Business B****cks

          My experience of when consultants have been brought is ( mostly pretty decent and well intentioned types- not always though) is that they either are there to recommend something nasty and counter productive that the bosses want to do,but, don't want to take responsibility for. OR because the bosses don't trust their own staff to say what needs doing at what cost and would rather bring in someone with less experience of the issues and far more expensive than their own people to do work that their own people have already done.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Basic Business B****cks

            I originally became a consultant because I like solving problems. When it became supporting some BS or flat out wasting public money I bailed from that job. I have seen literally millions wasted on projects that had the smell of not needing an outcome from the start and I'm a bit too honest for that. I'm not perfect, but ethics still matter to me, old fashioned as that is.

            1. Missing Semicolon Silver badge
              Joke

              Re: Basic Business B****cks

              Move to Sussex then!

  10. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Reports for the BOD?

    Ah yes... A load of drivel that tells them that everything is fine and their end of year bonuses are in the bag.

    Meanwhile, in reality, the company is going down the tubes... fast.

    AI and in particular ChatGPT will only increase the likelihood of the BOD never finding out the real company situation.

    What can go wrong? (don't answer that)

    1. fajensen

      Re: Reports for the BOD?

      The point is to never find out so one can truthfully claim at the inquest that: "I couldn't possibly imagine that there would be Gambling going on at this establishement"!

      1. Persona

        Re: Reports for the BOD?

        All it needs is plausible deniability.

    2. rg287 Silver badge

      Re: Reports for the BOD?

      Meanwhile, in reality, the company is going down the tubes... fast.

      AI and in particular ChatGPT will only increase the likelihood of the BOD never finding out the real company situation.

      What can go wrong? (don't answer that)

      Pah, you don't need AI to hide the company's real situation from the BOD. Just sign up with a reverse-factoring provider and you too can pretend that your invoices and corporate debt are just a simple consolidated monthly expenditure. Your Asset/Liabilities will never have looked so good! The shareholders will be delighted.

      You can even go bankrupt and not realise it for 6 months - just ask Carillion!

      ChatGPT has absolutely nothing on the ability of financiers to confuse, obfuscate and generally bamboozle.

      1. Lil Endian Silver badge

        Re: Reports for the BOD?

        ChatGPT has absolutely nothing on the ability of financiers to confuse, obfuscate and generally bamboozle.

        Hmmm, curious... Makes me wonder...

        *gears grind*

        Hey! Has anyone ever seen ChatGPT and a financier in the same room at the same time?!

        They're the same automaton! Totally artificial and absolutely no intelligence what-so-ever!

  11. Spasticus Autisticus
    Devil

    Relocated

    I see Simon, the PFY and the whole company have moved Stateside - ize - how did the move go? I can't image it was totally painless - or bodiless.

    1. Korev Silver badge

      Re: Relocated

      Sadly the whole website has become American...

      1. Mark 85

        Re: Relocated

        I'm Americasn and feel your sadness. Pity it has been moved as something has been lost... like maybe the "biting the hand".

        1. Ghostman
          Mushroom

          Re: Relocated

          I'm from the US also, but I've been here since 2007. I miss the old Sods and Bods. I always wanted to get one of those "vaginal devices" that responded to a bass beat for one of my lady friends. I would have loved to seen her reaction to the opening of 'Whipping Post" by the ABB.

          Icon for how I think her reaction would be.

    2. Tim99 Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Relocated

      I'm old, and went to a UK school with "illusions" of grandeur. I was taught Oxford English. That "-ize" was usually correct, and the blanket use of "-ise" was for the uneducated. My teachers were mostly of the "Americans were late to the War, and over-paid, over-dressed, and over here" generation...

      1. Lil Endian Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: Relocated

        [WARNING: serious content in BOFH thread!]

        I have a friend who's a copywriter. In the late 80s he contacted the venerable Oxford bods on the -ize/-ise question. Their response was that where there's an -ize/-ise difference the word was (usually) originally -ize in English, but that the spelling was changed by the Brits after Independence Day[1] as a means of separating The Empire from the cotton-picking troublemakers. (My words, not Oxford's!)

        [1] Jeff Goldblum was unavailable for comment at the time if writing. I'll update if he responds.

  12. diver_dave

    Limits

    Couldn't be limited to one paragraph.

    Coffee -----> nose

  13. Coastal cutie

    BOFH on tour?

    "And so while the Director may have the IQ of a remedial houseplant" I think the BOFH may have been moonlighting at my company....

  14. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Unfair to plants…

    And so while the Director may have the IQ of a remedial houseplant

    I mean some of them can even count. Yes, I'm talking about directors…

    1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Unfair to plants…

      BLAKE You have to be careful of the planet life around here. Some of it's carnivorous, some species even have an intelligence rating.

      VILA That's a comfort. I should hate to be eaten by something stupid.

  15. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Pint

    Well this week's

    BOFH has given me a cunning plan.

    Use AI to generate the code I need to write, and use AI to generate the documentation I need to write.

    I cant see this one failing... not like the last one where that bug got into robot #7 just as the HR droid that denied me a pay rise walked past it.......

    do not worry gentle readers...... the arm missed..... damnit....

    beer.. because its 2 minutes past when I should be in the pub

  16. Anonymous South African Coward Bronze badge

    Can ChatGPT play Zork?

  17. Grunchy Silver badge

    “The Sasquatch Song”

    Suggestion: A song about sasquatches arm wrestling and eating termites.

    Verse 1:

    In the woods of the West

    Sasquatches do their best

    To show their strength with a test

    Arm wrestling with the rest

    Chorus:

    Sasquatches arm wrestling,

    Eating termites all day

    In the wild they're nestling

    In their Bigfoot way

    Verse 2:

    Gigantic arms they flex

    Competing with no regrets

    Who will come out next?

    The crowd roars with applause, "yes!"

    Chorus:

    Sasquatches arm wrestling,

    Eating termites all day

    In the wild they're nestling

    In their Bigfoot way

    Bridge:

    Munching on those tasty bugs

    Gives them the power to flex their muscles

    Arm wrestling is just a plus

    They're wild and unstoppable hustles

    Chorus:

    Sasquatches arm wrestling,

    Eating termites all day

    In the wild they're nestling

    In their Bigfoot way

    Outro:

    Sasquatches in the woods

    Making their presence known

    Arm wrestling and eating termites

    These Bigfoots are never alone.

  18. Spanners Silver badge
    Boffin

    The trouble with Chat GPT at present

    The only time I can get onto it is after 21:00. Is this because clocks in the USA only go to 12?

  19. 9Rune5

    chatgpt

    I'm not paying for this:

    I must emphasize that it is not appropriate or ethical to harm others, regardless of the circumstances. Therefore, I cannot provide you with any information on how to harm or incapacitate someone, even in a hypothetical scenario.

    In addition, it is important to note that consuming any amount of powdered glass is extremely dangerous and can cause serious harm, as I mentioned in my previous answer. It is not appropriate to use harmful or illegal means to achieve any goal, even in a fictional or hypothetical scenario.

    The BOFH character in the stories is known for his mischievous behavior and his ability to manipulate situations to his advantage, but it is important to remember that these stories are fictional and should not be taken as a guide for how to behave in real-life situations. In the real world, it is important to behave ethically and responsibly, even in difficult or challenging situations.

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