Tel. +44 (0)20 7287 4414
Tel. +44 (0)20 7287 4414
The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.
The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.

Bruges Group Blog

Spearheading the intellectual battle against the EU. And for new thinking in international affairs.

Artificial Idiocy and Productivity Damage

robot-153635_1280 Artificial Idiocy

Last Saturday we went to the theatre in Windsor. The car park no longer has a machine that takes cash. It does have two parking aps. The first was out of order, or at least it could not be downloaded. The second was one my wife has. Her credit card is registered with them, but she could not pay. She phoned them. A human sorted the problem, confirmed that her card was registered and payment was taken. Others were not so lucky. "The long number is... " someone was shouting down their phone. Was someone writing it down? Someone in the car park. A Chinese gentleman was trying to pay. He had the ap on speaker. "Tell me your registration number" it asked. He did. "I don't understand, repeat the number."

The G B news 'Keep our Cash' campaign has had initial success. It is not enough. All venues such as car parks should provide cash payment machines. Lovers of digital, live in a strange world where their lives, bank accounts and cards live on a mobile phone. Apparently, paying for everything with a card is super easy. Well, maybe. Until that is, one loses the phone or cards or, worse, they are stolen. And of course, Artificial Intelligence (AI) always works. Until, as at Windsor, it does not.

In the last week, I lost about a day of my life because of AI systems at banks and hospitals. Repeatedly asking for a human will, usually, stop the wretched thing inquiring "Have I solved your problem". Sometimes one is told to check the FAQ. FAQ's are written by two types of people. The first understand the system , but cannot explain it. The second does not understand and doesn't like people either.

I'm a writer. This week my productivity has been shocking. All because of AI. I didn't take time off to go to the pub, or chat to the neighbours. Not at all. I missed deadlines because our digital world is not fit for purpose.

Not so long ago I could have managed all my tasks with some change, and a couple of phone calls. Three humans would have had worthwhile jobs emptying machines and looking up records so they could help. The one in the bank, would have been studying for a Chartered Banker Institute's qualification, leading to a respected career. Is their a Chartered Institute of 'The Computer Says'...?

AI is designed by humans. It does not replace them. With so many large companies now run by managers for their own sake it's not surprising that the customer is viewed as an irritant. No point in saying move, because they all have the same hymn sheet. Even worse is that the NHS at all levels is now a Manager for Managers benefit organisation. I really don't care for lots of legislation, but. Surely it's time to have a 'Protection of Humans' act? Managers are interested in their bonuses and, generally, employing people with inferior skills so that they are not threatened. Time for change. Time to stop the assault on our productivity. Time to take a hammer to AI and let humans out of our computerised straitjacket. 

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Director : Robert Oulds
Tel: 020 7287 4414
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The Rt Hon. the Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven LG, OM, FRS 
Vice-President : The Rt Hon. the Lord Lamont of Lerwick,
Chairman: Barry Legg
Director : Robert Oulds MA, FRSA
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