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ahhh, one of those stories that about once a year the reporter / magazine:
1. replaces the "offender" [Amazon] with lets see, the tax office, insurance company, Shell Oil, health service, 7-11, the EU, US Govt, any Asian country or African dictatorship,
2 google up a couple of anecdotal stories,
3. change a few sentences around, replace "computer" with "system" (pretty much covers anything)
The problem is that it's probably not artificial, and it's by no stretch of the imagination intelligent.
I know that this is kind of a tongue in cheek phrase and I do agree with you. This isn't a full Artificial. The problem is that "AI" triggers the initial thing. Then the un-Intelligence (real person) gets involved who believes the trigger is the Ultimate Truth. So, at this point you have the failure of two systems - the Automation one and the human one. It's quite terrible.
It even goes further as the human feeds back to the Artificial in such a way that furthers the Artificial's code to take other actions which simply convinces the human counterpart that s/he is even more correct. Ugh!!
Sounds more like artificial bureaucracy than artificial intelligence.
Yes! I think we've found our new buzz-phrase: Artificial Bureaucracy.
The problem is that I don't believe human intelligence is capable of making Artificial Intelligence, only Artificial Bureaucracy. I mean, I guess it's kind of evident since we have so many Natural Bureaucracies. And maybe it's not about capability, maybe it's about desire. When you're not the person stuck in the bureaucracy you don't really care about creating non-bureaucratic systems.
Many years ago, famed scientist and science-fiction author, Issac Asimov, wrote a short story describing a very similar situation that you describe here.
However, in this story, the main subject was given a minor parking ticket for a street infraction and through a series of computer mistakes landed up being executed for the murder of a person he never met...
Welcome to your future...
Sr. Software Engineer
Black Falcon Software, Inc.
Many years ago I was was writing/experimenting with Inference Engines. Any expert system and pretty much any AI is only as effective as the input and people training it.
I've been a Marvel comics reader since I could read the word 'soapbox', so several of my many test cases used Marvel comics canon to determine logical and likely outcomes. As a test, I had a friend of mine (a DC fan) run the system to build a knowledge base and rules based on popular DC comic book characters. When he sent me the knowledge base on CD based on specific assumptions that were present due to specific DC lore, we ended up writing a "doors" that allowed our two BBS's to link the inference engines together. The doors on the BBS's we hosted were some of the most popular for our users, who would submit questions to the system and in turn be presented with questions in return to further build out the knowledge base. The conclusions were hilarious.
The IA Network we created was call "Multi-dimensional Omniscient Reactionary Objective Network"
AI, like any other code, follows that age-old adage... "Garbage in, garbage out!"
We were told that we would have to be afraid of computers in the future but computers controlled by people is a new fear. Unfortunately, Amazon is not as smart as we would expect if they could be so easily duped. The one we elected king has surrounded himself with a good defense to make his life easy.
Spaghetti is pasta but pasta is not necessarily spaghetti.
Pasta disguises its horrible self as all sorts of things - sea-shells, tongues, butterflies, deconstructed string-vests, worms, upper-case text, discoloured bed-sheets, testes, bow-ties and indeed, DNA molecules in a desperate attempt to make itself seem more interesting than it actually is.
Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect. - Mark Twain