Digital Minefield

Why The Machines Are Winning

We’ll Take Their Word For It


Since the earliest days of the computer—in order to make them do our bidding—people have expended great effort in learning their languages. From the intrinsic machine language to slightly easier symbolic machine language, humans moved on to so-called higher languages like Fortran and Cobol, and upwards to even higher languages like C++, Ada, and others literally too numerous to mention. A lot of programmers have worked very long hours over many decades trying to get computers to do our bidding. Compare all these hours to the miniscule few hours of machines responding to human voice commands. (Responses and commands that were programmed by humans.) Instead of insisting they learn—with our help—our languages, we have conformed to theirs. And we think we’re in control?

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