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Kicking It with A.I.

Elizabeth Youngman-Westphal

Special to The Village News

I’d like to grab the guy around the neck that thought up Artificial Intelligence (A.I.).

Thinking it was a good idea, no less, that person is wonkers. Keep in mind, it is no doubt “they” who are responsible for it. “Not we the people.”

You know who they are. The ones that are so self-assured, and frequently without concrete proof, asserting their absurd ideas upon the rest of us. (Like the buffoons in D.C.).

It is these “they” I am after. You know the very people who rely on the formidable “they say” as their crutch. By doing so, they are not required to present real facts, instead they rely on the tired-over-used-unsubstantiated, “they say.”

And all, too often, we the masses are powerless to object. Which leads me back to my opinion. A.I. is in reality as dumb as a rock.

Call it what it is, A.I. is a blinking nightmare. I’d like to square off with the twit that came up with the concept of removing real people for an interactive recording.

The fact is it’s so annoying we need another word for annoying like maddening, irritating, aggravating, bothersome, and a lot more. Which is why “artificial intelligence” doesn’t exist. Well, maybe in Hollywood. I’m convinced Artificial Intelligence is truly the oxymoron of our time.

You and I are old enough to remember when an actual person would answer a business telephone. Back then, it was known as “Customer Service.”

But now, thanks to A.I., you can just scrap that concept. As “customer service” has dwindled into A. I., finding a live person requires stamina.

For instance, a few weeks ago, it took me three hours to activate my new credit card because I could not escape the recording!

It kinda went like this:

I called the number on the sticker on the face of my (not overnighted as promised) new airline supported credit card. Following the prompts, the recorded voice announced that I could now use my new credit card.

That is when I asked my travel agent who was waiting online to use this new number. But. The card was denied, even though, along with me, I had her on speaker phone, when I called the airline’s customer service.

The A.I. recording (after much button pushing) finally found “the only human” they employ, who told me it was a bank hiccup not an airline issue and would I please call them?

Back to the bank that is named for this country where I landed on a voice announcing, “You can speak to me like a person.”

You just know what I wanted to say, don’t you? Believe me after the fourth time of reentering the credit card’s 16 digits, the security code on the back, the last four digits of my social security, and “The reason for my call?”, my answer is not suitable for print.

In desperation, I started randomly punching numbers on my phone’s keypad which finally got me to a real person. After introducing himself, he transferred me over to a credit-card-service person, who no doubt is the second person in this bank’s employ.

Although she could not explain why there was a block on my first attempt to charge a cruise, she could, and did resolve the issue and I was able to complete the bookings for the family cruises. All that remains is to get the 70,000 air miles.

Even though it took hours and hours to complete what should have been a simple task, there is a moral to this story: “Do not let anything turn you from your purpose.” Aesop said it 3,000 years ago, how did he know about A.I.?

Elizabeth can be reached at [email protected].


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