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  • Jack Lau

Artificial Intelligence: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Source of Photo: The

O.K. Let us be the first to admit that plagiarism is really bad. Plagiarism is just not unacceptable. But, let's hope that this audience can forgive us. We got this joke through some Facebook/WhatsApp/don't-know-where-it -comes -from.source. But, this is such a funny and relevant joke, we thought we would just like to share it with you all. And, if anyone knows of the origin, please do let us know. We will act accordingly right away. So, here is this joke:



- 📞Hello! Gordon's pizza?

- No sir it's Google's pizza.

- So it's a wrong number?" Sorry

- No sir, Google bought it.

- OK. Take my order please

- Well sir, you want the usual?"

- The usual? You know me?👤

- According to our caller ID data sheet, in the last 12 times, you ordered pizza🍕with cheeses, sausage, and thick crust.

- OK! This is it...

- May I suggest to you this time ricotta, arugula with dry tomato.🍅?

- What? I hate vegetables.

- Your cholesterol is not good, sir."

- How do you know?

- We crossed the number of your fixed line ☎with your name, through the subscribers guide.

We have the result of your blood tests for the last 7 years.

- Okay, but I do not want this pizza! I already take medicine ...

-"Excuse me, but you have not taken the medicine regularly, from our commercial database, 4 months ago, you only purchased a box with 30 cholesterol tablets at Drugsale Network.

- I bought more from another drugstore.

- It's not showing on your credit card statement 💳

- I paid in cash 💲

- But you did not withdraw that much cash according to your bank statement 📃

- I have other source of cash 💲

- This is not showing as per you last Tax form unless you bought them from undeclared income source.💰💰💰


"I'm sorry, sir, we use such information only with the intention of helping you.❤❤❤

- Enough! I'm sick of google, Facebook, twitter, WhatsApp. I'm going to an Island without internet, cable TV, where there is no cell phone line and no one to watch me or spy on me 👀

"I understand sir but you need to renew your passport first as it has expired 5 weeks ago👅

- 🔫🔫🔫🔫🔫🔫🔫🔫



Well, yes, we want to talk about artificial intelligence (A.I.). Friends will know that we are always skeptical about "hot" buzz world. And, in the past few years, we have heard just enough of buzz words. Yes, you have heard of smart city, wearable, big data, fintech…. And, they were all supposed to instantly transform our lives. Some may have an impact of us, but I suspect these fantastic terms are no different from RISC architecture, silicon on insulator, for most of us… (Yeah, exactly.)

But, for artificial intelligence, this time, maybe we should be think about this a bit more this time. (Rare for us to make this suggestion on buzz words). Reason?

Well, with 4G and above wireless internet, a number of things will likely happen.

Picture this, as an example.

You go to a foreign country, without speaking a single local word, and cannot understand the writing. Yet, when the locals talk to you or when you read a sign in that local language, you can completely understand it. In fact, you can speak your own language, the locals will also understand. Sounds like Sci-fi? It is not. In fact, for those of you more in tune with technologies, you probably know what we are talking about. Not only can you converse, you even sound like a local.

Still don't believe? Try one of these sites:

Microsoft Translator

You can download an app to use it as well on your smart phone.

Google has a similar product as well.

Yes, you may have heard of the Amazon product which takes your command via voice as well.

The breakthrough is fascinating. Now a simple machine (with internet connection) can (1) understand what you say; (2) read a text; (3) translate into any other language; and (4) speak in any language like a native. Will this be the end of the curse on the Tower of Babel? And, yes, this is part of the advent of Artificial Intelligence!

Microsoft, and a number of tech firms, are now releasing these technologies as API (plug-in) for developers to develop their own products using these A.I. technologies.

We expect to see a new array of hardware and software that can understand voice command well enough to be reliable. Breaking that barrier will be essential for robots; driverless car; ….. And it will have a huge impact on the service industry in general; will unfortunately affect the service industry labor market.

And, even if you do a fraction of these kind of level of A.I. --- say, just focus on ensuring one writes with perfect grammar (Oh, yes, this author should use one), the impact is huge. A company called Grammarly ( is used as a plug-in to your word processor to help your grammar. Grammarly recently closed a US $110M round financing in May, only a few weeks ago. Now, who says the English Literature guys cannot ride on the tech wave….


But, we do want to offer a word of caution as we gleefully use A.I.

Yes, A.I. is going to make us lazy and dumb. We just said it. This is a rather strong statement. And, it is intended to make us think of the impact.

We are not saying we should not embrace the technologies. But, please think about the implications.

When we sit in a car, following the GPS to a destination, are we (humans) the master or the slave of the car? See, when the car asks you to turn left, you turn left. The car ask you to turn right, you turn right. As many stories reported on the internet have revealed, a number of times, because of various reasons, the driver blindly following the direction ends up in a lake or a ditch or into trouble. But, at least for most of us, we THINK when we hear a voice prompt in the car, we still decide whether to turn or not. And, yes, you did input the destination at the beginning. So, you can say that you are controlling the car. However, as technologies evolve, you may even let go of that control. Say, the car will demand to be filled up?

Another example…., a computer game. Now, the game is based on A.I., it understands you, knows what makes you tick, what prompts you do what, and leads you to spend hours and hours in the game. Yes, sinister as it may sound, the A.I. Game is designed to make you become additcted to the game!

Wait……Isn't this what the folks in the lab do to with mice? We, human, know how the mice likely will behave and just lead it to repeatedly run for absolutely no end on a wheel? So, is the A.I. game playing us, or we are playing the game?

A.I. --- the good, the bad, and the ugly. Just don't give up this for ourselves. Please THINK and DECIDE.

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