Researchers working at the forefront of digital technology believe they may have finally made the long-awaited breakthrough in the search for so-called ‘Artificial Stupidity’.
For years the project’s development was overshadowed by the more ambitious quest for Artificial Intelligence, but scientists working in Seattle accepted that A.S. was a more realisable ambition within their own lifetime. Yesterday they finally unveiled the domestic computerised robot ‘Kevin’ who is so stupid that every day its owner will experience a wonderful life-affirming sense of their own human superiority. ‘You tell it to open the door and it pulls the door into its own face.’ explained proud project leader Carl Kinear. ‘You ask it the capital of Argentina and it shrugs and says ‘Madrid?’ Ask him what ‘Kevin’ actually stands for and he will explain ‘Er, Computer enhanced something, hang on, is computer with a c or a k?.’ This is one seriously dumb machine.’
For decades psychologists have reported computer-users feeling a sense of worthlessness and inadequacy as their machines asked them technical questions they didn’t quite understand. To ensure that digital technology actually improves the quality of life, scientists finally realised that the key was to make robots even dumber than humans are.
Artificially stupid Kevin is supposed to help around the house, but actually spends most of his time sitting in the kitchen watching daytime TV. He flicks through gossipy magazines like Bella and Take-A-Break! and then puts them in the wrong bin. Artificial Stupidity has previously only been available as a by-product of the computer industry, in certain printers that churned out fifty pages of blank paper or spell-checkers that rejected perfectly acceptable words.
But now the ultimate in A.S. will soon be on sale at Dixon and PC World making Artificial Stupidity available to all. And if asked whether you should take out the extended warranty, Kevin will say ‘Very much so, it’s such good value!’