Smart Technology: There Will Be Glitches

August 2, 2022

Here’s a simple and clear question: What do like best about smart hardware, software, and systems?

[a] Everything

[b] Everything and the dividends paid on my shares in a company

[c] Everything even when there is a trivial glitch which will be fixed promptly?

Pretty nifty too. No wonder I was asked to resign from some group creating tests for fresh, nimble, young minds.

Consider two examples of smartness.

The first has been reported but since the incident took place in Moscow, the story did not have traction. “7-Year-Old’s Finger Broken By Chess-playing Robot” includes a video. The main idea is easy to grasp: The smart chess playing robot experienced a Tesla moment. Instead of running into a barrier on Highway 101, the robot snapped the child’s finger. Why not mount a weapon on a friendly robot dog? Right. No problemo.

The second mini case is described in “Computer Glitches Harmed Nearly 150 Patients after Oracle Cerner System Go-Live.” The main takeaway from this write up is:

Computer errors following the go-live of a new Oracle Cerner electronic health records system harmed nearly 150 patients at a Washington hospital, as revealed during a hearing in the US.

Net net: Technology is wonderful, does no harm, and definitely will benefit mankind. Young children and sick people? Well, maybe, maybe not.

Stephen E Arnold, August 2, 2022


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