Whose Afraid of Artificial Intelligence?

Whose Afraid of Artificial Intelligence?

Well, there is certainly a lot of flap about artificial intelligence these days. The fear-ray has been activated as the prospect of robots taking every job in every sector of the economy becomes pretty much a sure thing. At first I thought, “what about pizza?”, but no, I suppose a robot could punch dough, flip it in the air, and shove it in the oven. Actually, you know, I can’t flip a pizza worth a darn, so is that danger or progress? Hard to say.

But what really got my tail feathers in a knot was this idea that humans have a monopoly on intelligence. I’m not going down the rabbit hole in suggesting that animals, I guess like rabbits, have intelligence, because, of course, they must, or they’d be sitting on the lawn somewhere saying “Dum De Dum” while coyotes tossed them in the air like, well, pizzas. No, I’m talking about the tools that have always been around, and by always around, I mean, who knows where they came from? 

Especially the Magic Eight Ball.

Look, magic is tricky. That’s why I never let my kids play with a Ouija Board. Scares the nostrils off me. They aren’t hard to find. I think Hasbro makes one, which isn’t all that surprising since they also make the GI Joe guys like Cobra Commander and Snake Eyes. They make Twister too, so I guess they know something about the human need to twist on top of people, which isn’t exactly what a Ouija Board does, but which is semi-creepy.

Anyway, the magic eight ball hasn’t grabbed anybody’s soul as far as I know – not like Captain Howdy and the Ouija Board took Linda Blair in The Exorcist. 

As far as I know  

… but, really … How WOULD I know? 

There could be kids upchucking sulfur clouds all over the world, and I wouldn’t know. Stop to think about it, kids are looking pretty strange these days… you know, kind of grubby and spaced out. 

Vaping? Tik Tok? Probably not the eight ball.

The thing is, I have figured out that the ball can only answer yes or no questions, which simplifies the process and explains why when I asked, “Where is Love Island?”, the answer was “Reply hazy, try again”. But chuck it any number of questions it can answer, and the future arrives the slosh of a twist.

Will I live to be 90?

“Don’t count on it.”

OK, will I live to be 80?

“Outlook not so good.”

Fine, 70?

“My sources say no.”


“Better not tell you now.”

My hands are sweating, and I put down the buttered Twinkie I usually have for breakfast and consider my options. Either the ball is full of crap, and it won’t matter what I do, OR … the ball is right, and it won’t matter what I do.

I’m writing with my mouth full and ordering my Ouija board from Amazon.

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