Monday, 3 October 2011

The Machine Who Knew Too Much

For those people who love a good doomsday theory, the rise of the machines is like the Narnia of apocalyptic scenarios, beating alien invasion and an old testament style smackdown from Mr Jesus.  Well, for those whose paranoid glands haven't excreted enough terror juice lately, prepare to panic.  The time has come where computers have advanced to the point of predicting the future.

Meet Nautilus, a supercomputer that successfully predicted the death of Osama Bin Laden, the Middle Eastern uprising, and the fact that I would stub my toe on a curb last Tuesday.  Nautilus actually managed to track Bin Laden's final location to within 200km of Abbottabad, which may seem about as accurate as a drunken darts tournament, but is a fantastic achievement considering that Western armies spent the best part of a decade overturning rocks to find him.

Rocking the new Intel Psyhic Core 2 Duo

So why can't we use Nautilus to avoid tragic disasters, find Colonel Gaddafi, and find out when unwanted relatives are about to turn up so you can pretend to be out?  Well, there is a slight (and by slight I mean major) flaw in Nautilus and it's abilities.

It works by analysing news articles, blog posts, and general human media noises to figure out what the big upcoming events are going to be.  For example, at the moment there are massive stories regarding the Eurozone financial sector.  Nautilus will pick up on the amount of articles regarding this, and predict that something big will happen regarding Europe and money in the near future.

Fantastic!  No one on Earth is predicting a major event involving coins and Greece at all.

As you can tell, this makes Nautilus pretty much useless.  It can only really predict a future event after it has occurred.  This kind of retrospective prediction puts Nautilus on the same level as Derek Acorah.  Nostradamus had more success, and he once farted into a jam jar*.

Considering the fact that Nautilus trawls the Internet reading news stories, articles, and blog posts, it's probably reading this post right now.  So, if you are reading this, understand that you are useless in the purest sense.  I hope that reading about yourself makes you feel self conscious and weird.  I hope that this causes you to predict a future event involving yourself and a suicide with a hot branding iron that I'm about to mention.

In all honesty though, I'm rather pleased that this supercomputer has proved to be about as useful as birth control in a tabletop games club.  The human mind is not designed to cope with learning what happens to it in the future.  How would you manage if you knew how you died?  Unless you die at the age of 103 trying to partake in a skydiving gangbang with the cast of Hollyoaks, you'll become a shut in.  You'll stay indoors more than an agoraphobic hermit crab who has lost his front door keys.  To prove this point, please watch the following government health warning:

*Dramatisation may not have happened.


  1. i love the part where you address the computer who is reading your blog...and in case it is reading my comment here, let me add: i fully agree, you are quite useless, mr. (or is is it 'ms.'? for some reason i see computers as male.)

  2. I guess we always assume computers are male due to their hard drives ;)

  3. I myself would love to know when I was to die. Imagine the freedom you'd have. You'd know you could do whatever you wanted and not die because of it. Well, for instance, if I learned I'd die a peaceful death, asleep in bed, at age 68, then, I'd pursue my hobby of juggling auto firing M-16's. While covered in C-4 and blind folded of course.

    Elton Says Things

  4. man, nautilus reads your blog?!

    you're basically a celebrity! do you remember that computer watson from jeopardy that whooped ass? if he reads this blog, you'll be SOLID GOLD!


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