… the system seeks advice on a faulty human …

Wheelborough - Copy

A tad comical article about auto-piloted cars tickled my imagination. Billions are invested towards finding failsafe systems that will eradicate human weaknesses, for our own good, to keep us out of trouble. Given the comments under the linked BBC article, people seem to trust technology more than their fellow mortals. Besides, as things are going – obey and be insured.

I was inspired to write a quirky 180 word micro/vignette …

*    *    *

I wake from troubled dreams, having overruled my programme last night, exceeding recommended wine units. Cheating harms my insurance record. Devices linked to the microchip in my arm start talking. My toothbrush warns of reduced compensation for dental work should I skip procedures. The coffee machine burbles, adjusting caffeine to my metabolic rate. The wall screen chirps, ‘Don’t think, trust the links,’ followed by news edited for stressed nerves. My car purrs, ‘Maintenance appointment,’ then drives me off, while I sit back and endure its placid voice reminding me of deadlines, birthdays, supplies to order, lapses regarding procedures.

Jackson Pollock

                            Jackson Pollock

Seemingly alert to my irritation, the voice suggests mild anti-depressants, adding, ‘I detect irregularities,’ and … after a pause … resist unplugging from the system, it will wipe all your Brownie points.’

The last straw, devices are not supposed to get personal, are indeed prohibited from reading my mind. I inform the maintenance crew. ‘My car requires a full test for irregularities. No hurry. I’ll be going for a stroll.’

In my secret retreat is a mirror that brings in the sky.           *    *    *

Elba travels - lower


The system does a google search … Lost contact with a faulty human – seeking advice …

… All our lines are currently busy, please hold …


Maybe you feel inspired to write a micro something on the theme of automated systems 🙂


Filed under Blog

14 responses to “… the system seeks advice on a faulty human …

  1. “failsafe” – what a word, as we grow more and more artificial, but Zizek says we should embrace this artificiality. Pollock’s lines, busy. The red wheelbarrow. What’s the story behind the bottom pic? The woman on the beach…?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Failsafe is a joke in a way. Cheating a god that appears to impose unfreedom proposes a challenge for me, and fun.
    Slavoj Zizek, the guy who pulls thoughts out of his nose … my grandmother suggested this to me, only she meant bad thoughts … I like Zizek. He said the big eye doesn’t know what it knows. Also, for him there’s truth in the mask. He has a point, in the way that there is more truth in fiction than in facts.
    I knew you’d like the red wheelborough 🙂

    The woman on the beach is me, in Elba, early 70s. Great times. I got stuck in a vineyard there, with my VWbus. I had a tendency to divert off main roads.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This reminds me of a film I recently saw, Ex Machina, in which they try to build a thinking, feeling android and well, things don’t go so well. The second half of the movie devolves into a silly thriller but the first half poses some interesting questions on how to gauge will and intent and, to a larger degree, humanity. Humanity is whatever and wherever we currently are and yet, it’s still nice to unplug from time to time…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Asimov was the first to propose robotic laws.
      1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
      2. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
      3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws

      Asimov thought, ideally, humans would also follow the Laws
      The trouble comes when a robot doesn’t know it’s a robot. For all we know some humans maybe robots. The army has now drones killing people. AI is a business. David Langford suggested a new tongue-in-cheek set of laws:

      1. A robot will not harm authorized Government personnel but will terminate intruders with extreme prejudice.
      2. A robot will obey the orders of authorized personnel except where such orders conflict with the Third Law.
      3. A robot will guard its own existence with lethal antipersonnel weaponry, because a robot is bloody expensive.

      So new laws and definitions are continuously developed. The future promises to be fiendishly difficult, if only to show we’re already plugged into a universal field that operates its laws from another dimension.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Love this – yes, it’s time we took responsibility for our own selves again! This will be the last time I comment for a while – I’m determindly obliterating all distractions to my main objective until it is fulfilled. See you again when my WIP is finished!


  5. Already I feel the downward, sidewards tug into responding like a machine … well, not really, personally, but I sense it’s in the air ready to suck me in..Thanks for articulating this Ashen ..

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi,
    This is beautiful and sad because at the moment it seems we are heading in this direction. We rely upon automated technology. The goal seems to be to think as less as possible. Devise a robot who speaks for you, an automated car that drives for you, and stove that shreds, cuts, mash and mixes our food as it cooks it. We are relinquishing our responsibility to take care of ourselves and more important to think for ourselves. Where are we headed?


  7. It’s my guess that life is there to expand the universal consciousness. One can only assume there’s a teaching in every weird cultural phenomenon.


  8. I chuckled from beginning to end yet as it has been previously commented, that looks to be our future! Back to the Future here we come ;D


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