“Blame the algorithm”: the new mantra of social irresponsibility

Computer says no! is the mantra that one of Little Britain’s most famous characters, Carol Beer, the artificially-intelligent banker repeats every time a customer asks her an out-of-the-ordinary question.

Those who – like me – are old enough, have lost count of how many times a clerk working for a public or private entity answered alike – in terms and tones – Carol Beer. Computer says no, it is computer’s fault; the computer does not allow this task to be performed… these reactions are but a way to partake the  software designers (and their masters) from the liability of having built a crappy software. A machine that in its stupid rigidity would not allow doing what the user is asking—an extremely convenient way to ensure that nobody pays for the inefficiencies, delays and follies of bureaucracy. Continue reading ““Blame the algorithm”: the new mantra of social irresponsibility”