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Jim Morris's Thought of the Week (or month, or year, ...)

Monday, November 27, 2006

Can Computers Be Culpable?

If they can’t, it will impede their use in many applications.

While I’m confident that all the cognitive functions of my administrative assistant will be able to be duplicated someday, there are some functions, like taking the blame for missed appointments or “fudging” about my whereabouts, that can’t be duplicated. If I tell you that my electronic calendar forgot the appointment, you will tell me it’s my fault. On the other hand, you won’t criticize my assistant.

If you want to push the limits in getting inexpensive airfares, human travel agents are important. Even if you can get all the information about available deals, you would rather not consciously cheat the airlines by flying on a ticket for which you’re not quite eligible. For example, some travel agents book people on “group tours” in which the group is one person.

Some tax preparers can skirt the law on your behalf. A preparer might say “Don’t tell me what your business expenses were - I’ll estimate them,” and then put in the largest number experience proved would not trigger suspicion. Turbotax wouldn’t dare do this.

Taking the rap is a function computers haven’t been able to do.

posted by Jim Morris @ 9:50 AM 


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