Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Myths & Big Data

The car's horn wouldn't stop blaring. I was dazed. What happened?!

I couldn't be sure. I was I hurt all over. I was not in good shape. But I was just a moment ago. What happened?!

My chest. It hurt. It hurt really bad.

A voice. It was talking.

"Mr. Martez. This is Watson. Our sensors show you were in a car accident. Are you okay?"

I mumbled something. I was not terribly coherent. Whatever had caused the accident had beaten the hell out of me.

"Mr. Martez. The emergency vehicles will be there momentarily. There will be both bots and people. Are you able to move? "

I mumbled I was hurt, but could feel everything. Everything really well. And it didn't feel good whatsoever.

I could hear the first responders. They were buzzing over my car and dropping to the ground. Bots carried by drones.

They marched over, assessed the damage and cut away the door to my car.

"Mr Martez. We are asking permission to examine you. You must give assent if we are going to be able to help you now instead of waiting for the human responders."

I, of course, assented. Sometimes minutes can make a huge difference in someone staying alive or coming away with minimal long term injuries and the bots were good enough to know when they were not equipped to deal with an injury. And then they would not: no ego there. Then again, they were just really advanced expert systems, not true artificial intelligence. Ask them to do something outside their expertise and they might as well have been a rock.

Turned out I was fine, just some cuts and bruises: no breaks, concussion or worse. They quickly treated minor butdontfeelminor injuries and gave me ClearMeUps(tm) for the dazing. They worked quick.

While we waited for the human responders, I called the insurance. The car was totaled. There was no recovering it, even with modern robo tech. I'd need a new one. My insurance premiums were going to go up: I'd been out of auto drive and been going manually.

While I was on the phone, I walked around the front and looked at what I'd hit. I swore. The representative was looking at the same time. The law allowed the insurance companies to assess the damage through the cameras of the first responder bots.

"Mr Maretz. I am going to have to place you on hold and get my supervisor. You seem to have struck and killed a unicorn and under MEESA - Mystical Endangered and Engineered Species Act - you have killed a critical cornerstone species. Given your affiliation with the Natural Ecology Party, we are going to have to sort out whether or not this was an intentional act and whether your policy will cover this accident. Please hold."

I sighed loudly. Just because I expressed an opinion, an unpopular opinion, that Real Nature ought to be protected and not these fantastic, fictional ones...well, now I would have this headache.

Damn big data, anyways!

And screw the damned unicorn!

And screw the world right now!

I just expressed an opinion!  It didn't mean I was going to go out and hunt down unicorns!  

Did this mean what I said would have real consequences now?!

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