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Pine Nuts – AI is Not for Me

February 21, 2023 | McAvoy Lane

With the omnipresence of AI, I feel compelled to wrap myself in the 19th century, and make myself at home in the Sandwich Islands of 1866. Presently, I’m on my surfboard, along with a few Hawaiians, awaiting the perfect wave. Every sixth wave is near perfect, and then along comes the Big Kahuna. I’m in the perfect place to catch it and ride it to its tubular end, but so is the Hawaiian surfer at my side, and as there is not room for the both of us, he gives me a gentlemanly nod, and off I go on the ride of my life.

All the information I needed for this ride came with a courteous nod, and I bought that Hawaiian gentleman a Primo at the end of our afternoon together. A Shaka sign is a communication that can never be duplicated by artificial intelligence, “artificial” being the operative word.

AI can be programed to disseminate misinformation, so it remains irrevocable that resulting information is no better than the programmer.

I ask you, what sort of AI program could understand the following scenario from 1866, when Mark Twain offered his sage advice to prospective visitors…

“And just here I would caution those of you who intend to visit this archipelago, against bringing wines and liquors with your baggage, lest you provoke the confiscation of the latter.  I was asked by the customs agent what I had in my small bag; I told him, ‘Pajamas.’  He took the liberty to inspect the bag and discovered therein a small bottle of scotch whiskey, which he held up on high.  ‘Pajamas!?’ he asked.  I stuck to my story: ‘My night cap.’” Let AI try to work that one out.

And, let us return for a moment to 1866, when Mark Twain described a scene that AI could never get its head around…

“The missionaries pointed out to their congregation that it’s hard enough to get into heaven fully clothed, but to attempt it naked might seem like blasphemy.  Then they imported a quantity of hats, bonnets, neckties and other wearing apparel, distributed them, and begged these descendants of Adam & Eve not to come to church naked next Sunday as usual.  And they didn’t. But being a generous people by heart, they divided up with the neighbors. So on the following Sabbath, in the midst of the reading of a hymn, a stately dame would stalk in with nothing in the world on but a stove-pipe hat.  Another would arrive with a flourish, with the sleeves of a bright calico dress tied around her waist -the rest of the garment dragging behind like a peacock’s tail…off duty.” Good luck with that one, AI.

AI has its merits, like fighting diseases, but for me it’s as cold as an untipped blackjack dealer’s stare. No, you can go ahead and access Jasper Chat. Me? I’m going to ask a librarian…  

Listen to the Audio: https://anchor.fm/mcavoy-layne

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