Technology is not smarter than the user (usually)

Categories: Science & Tech
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When I was teaching elementary computers we did a lesson on how to use the spell check on a word processor. I wanted my students to understand that it could help them, but that it wouldn’t solve all their problems. So we looked at misspelled words that the computer would suggest different words for and they’d have to choose. We looked at words that were misspellings of the word they wanted but were actually other words spelled correctly (dessert/desert). And we looked at words that the computer would not know how to spell (a lot of names). It was all an effort to show them that technology isn’t that smart.

Last week I found another example of technology that doesn’t always get it right – our GPS, which we “lovingly” refer to as Map Man.

We were driving to Utah and took Map Man because we like knowing how far it is to things, not necessarily because we don’t know how to get to Utah.

We plugged in Mom & Dad Dennis’s home and asked it to tell us the fastest way to get there. It came back with directions that would take us through LA and Vegas, for a total of 1100+ miles and almost 16 hours driving. Um. Nope. xD

So I told it to find us the shortest route. After telling it that we didn’t want dirt roads it came back with something a little bit closer to the actual route we take, but still started getting very mad at us shortly after Flagstaff. :what:

Its fastest trip would’ve taken 16 hours (I think it gives more weight to interstates because its route was all interstate). Our fastest trip took 12.5 hours (and past the tractors with skeletons sitting on them. No idea what that’s about).

So see, it’s not always wise to put complete trust in technology. The user can often do better on their own.

5 shared thoughts about Technology is not smarter than the user (usually)

  1. Brett says:

    I think I know what it’s about. The guys on the tractor obviously ran out of gas at their present location because their GPS system assured them it was the best route between Kansas and Oklahoma. :brett:

  2. Giggles says:

    Maybe Map Man’s map is like my parent’s map where Utah is on the way home from North Dakota to Indiana. :lisa:

  3. Giggles says:

    We figured out that if we tell him to take us the fastest way via Panguitch he gets it right on.

  4. Mom says:

    We will have to remember to tell Map lady about Panguitch, or we might end up like the guys on the tractor. 😀 :cactus: :cactus: :cactus: :cactus:

  5. Pingback, 15 March 2011 at 10:32 pm
    Improving your GPS | Random Giggles

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