I had an interesting conversation with a guy who said he was an “emerging technology specialist.” Or, was it “emerging technology officer?” Anyway, I do remember him specifically telling me that I’d better start getting in line for welfare and food stamps because I’d soon be replaced by a computer.
“Really?” I replied. “You think a computer can write a semi-humorous humor column?”
“Trust me,” he said, “if they can make a computer that will drive a car, steer a rocket into space or vacuum your carpet they can make one to replace the senseless dribble you write. You do know that already there are computer linguistic engineering programs to correct your spelling and grammar and rewrite poorly written sentences?”
“Yeah, I know. I once ran a column I wrote through one of those computer programs and it said I was writing for an audience at the eighth grade level!” With my knees knocking and my heart palpitating I asked the emerging technology specialist, “How long do you think I have?”
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“A year, at most. You’re already on life support,” he said. “I just read a book, for example, that was written entirely by a computer.”
“You’re kidding me? Was it any good?” I asked.