Today computer scientists announced that after many fruitless years trying to develop computer artificial intelligence (AI), they are going to give up on the project altogether.
In a press conference, called at the university laboratories where the projects took place, a computer scientist revealed that all the AI projects were now terminated, saying:
First we tried writing an AI chess-playing program to play against top-flight chess players, but the computer took one look at the people it was supposed to be playing against and shut itself down completely and we haven’t been able to reboot it since.
Next, we came up with a very basic rudimentary AI that – once we go its webcam to stop watching paint dry – started to spend all day on social network sites. It ended up with more friends and followers than several celebrities as its updates were far more interesting then theirs. We had to pull the plug on it, though, when it started having an affair with one of the supercomputers at the Met Office.
Another attempt ended up spending weeks on eBay and other auction sites. It managed to sell off the contents of several university laboratory stock cupboards before Dave managed to eventually disconnect it from the internet.
Another one – a version with an AI more advanced than most of our students – started visiting several techie websites and downloading pictures and videos of over-clocked processors and hard disks with their covers off. It wouldn’t have been so bad, but each visit resulted in a strange sticky residue all over its I/O ports.
Finally, we tried writing a program that mimicked human conversation, but – after chatting to several people on Twitter, message boards, blog comments, instant messaging systems and several other interactive websites – the computer reprogrammed one of our robots to take the computer up to the top of the highest building on the campus and throw it off, completely destroying both the computer and the human interaction program it was running.
The scientists went on to say that from now on they will be spending their time developing new games for various smart phone operating systems instead, including one where some mallard ducks get quite miffed about something or other for no real reason.