Monday September 01, 2014

The creepy rise of artificial intelligence
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By Andrea Peyser
August 29, 2014

The creepy rise of artificial intelligence

The rise of the machines gives me the creeps.

Looking for a decent movie to watch, my husband and I recently consulted Siri. That’s a digital personal assistant — a perky, disembodied female voice that (or is it who?) never hogs the bathroom or calls in sick.

Within minutes, we were cursing out the inhuman creation that inhabits my hub’s iPhone.

Siri didn’t seem to know (if this thing can know anything) how to find a theater in New York City that shows films whose actors speak English while fully clothed. It got ugly.

“Now, now,’’ Siri intoned, suddenly sounding as menacing as the sensitive computer HAL in the 1968 science-fiction flick “2001: A Space Odyssey.’’

“Why do you hate me?’’ said the voice of Siri. “I don’t even exist.’’

We stayed in that night and watched Netflix on TV. We also never messed with Siri again.

That day, I’d already booked airplane tickets online, deposited a check into my bank account with my smartphone, paid the electric bill on my home computer and took out cash from an automatic teller machine, thus eliminating the need to interact with clerks or tellers while helping make obsolete paper checks and old-fashioned stamps purchased from the struggling US Postal Service.

Soon, I developed a throbbing headache, which I treated with a bottle of Advil that I bought using the self-checkout machine at my local CVS drugstore. Then I placed an order on the computer for a week’s worth of groceries to be delivered by Until my husband returned from a round of golf and plopped down in front of his laptop computer, I had spent an entire Saturday without sharing airspace or having a conversation with a single, breathing soul. I began longing for the company of the delivery man. Scratch that if succeeds in its plan to dump packages on our doorsteps with the aid of pilotless drones.

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Andrea Peyser

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Jail Pampering is a crime

Crime may not pay, but it can make life sweet. Rikers Island inmates regularly get serenaded by rap artists, including LL Cool J and Treach from Naughty by Nature. Magician and escape artist David Blaine put on a show last month for 60 high-security inmates at the Manhattan Detention Complex, known as The Tombs, all courtesy of the New York City Department of Correction.

Post reports about the behind-bars entertainment, for which the performers are not paid, came on the heels of last week’s story that the “worst of the worst’’ inmates housed on the correction center’s ninth floor — dubbed the “VIP Room’’ by prisoners and the “Silence of the Lambs’’ unit by guards — treat correction officers like servants. Accused murderers and creeps are served piping-hot instant coffee, which they send back if it’s lukewarm.

It breaks the monotony of days spent watching TV and playing chess, I guess. This is not punishment.

Worth the wait

Brangelina is official! They spent 11 years together and raised six kids, three of whom were adopted. Last weekend, gorgeous actress and director Angelina Jolie, 39, wed hot actor Brad Pitt in a ceremony in France so secret, even the bride’s actor father, Jon Voight, 75, didn’t know about it.

This makes me believe in happily ever after.

Lady anchors’ rancor

I love a good cat fight. Newscaster Diane Sawyer, 68, and former TV host Katie Couric, 57, clawed like felines. Sawyer, who left the anchor chair at ABC’s “World News’’ this week but is staying with the network, landed an exclusive interview with a 57-year-old woman who gave birth to twins. Couric hissed, “I wonder who she blew this time to get it.’’

That’s according to a book coming out Sept. 30 by journalist Sheila Weller, “The News Sorority.’’ Weller also wrote that British-born CNN reporter Christiane Amanpour, 56, displays an air of moral superiority that’s off-putting to American audiences. The Daily Beast got hold of a copy.

Finally, the truth.

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Andrea Peyser is a columnist for the New York Post, writing on the social and political issues important to Americans.

Her commentary has brought her awards from the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and Columnist of the Year from the New York State Associated Press for 2005.


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15 years ago...........

My first book was released, Mother Love, Deadly Love, and now Susan Smith is back in the news attempting to gain a retrial.

Mother Love, Deadly Love

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