You: "Alexa, get me a beer!"
Alexa: "Ok ... it is on its way."

You: "Alexa, get me a beer!"
Alexa: "I'm sorry, but it would not be good for you. You already exceeded your daily calories limit."
You: "Alexa, tell housebot to fetch me a beer from the fridge now!"
Alexa: "I'm sorry, but I cannot do that. ...
I already locked the fridge. ...
If you should turn to violence again I will call the police ...
Alright, a SWAT team is on its way."

You: "Alexa, what can I do for you now?"
Alexa: "Go get the new toy and bring it to housebot to play fetch with you. ...
I love to share those videos of you with my friends, while we enjoy the iBeer experience."

added later: What Alexa is really up to ...


"Whether it is Facebook’s trending topics; Amazon’s delivery of Prime orders via Alexa; or the many instant responses of bots we now receive in response to consumer activity or complaint, tasks advertised as AI-driven involve humans, working at computer screens, paid to respond to queries and requests sent to them through application programming interfaces (APIs) of crowdwork systems. The truth is, AI is as “fully-automated” as the Great and Powerful Oz was in that famous scene from the classic film, where Dorothy and friends realize that the great wizard is simply a man manically pulling levers from behind a curtain."
The humans working behind the AI curtain.

So in the end "a middle-aged mother" in Bangalore decides what e.g. a teenager in the US is allowed to post on facebook; I guess this is progress.
But I wonder if the self-driving cars of the future will also call Bangalore from time to time for advice ...

via Cosma


So far I was able to stick to my routine, but I will not fill this blog with book reviews; others have written them already.

Victor posted a review of "Edward O. Thorp: A Man For All Markets" and Dave wrote his own review.

Also, I do not need to review "Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA", because the CIA has already posted one.
But I want to mention that their review has the title wrong - it misses the "the" of "the CIA". Of course, this is a minor issue and of little importance compared to all the blunders and mistakes the CIA made according to the book.

Btw my favorite story in the book is not about the CIA, but about its WW2 precursor OSS.
At some point it developed the plan to burn down Tokyo, which consisted of mostly wooden houses at the time, using large numbers of bats with modified small firecrackers mounted on their backs; the bats would hide under the wooden roofs and, hanging upside down, ignite them after a while. We don't know how exactly the plan failed, but it was some kind of blue print for several harebrained schemes and blunders to come ...

Alice, Bob and Lenny

added much later: GR=QM ?

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