Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Computer Automation: We Shall All Suffer.


Here’s a wonderful example of computer automation: we humans tag photos with the names of the people in those photos. Then, aided by face recognition, the great computer websites take over and tag more photos. Pretty soon we can look at any photo on the web and know the names of the people in the pictures. (And that’s just the beginning. There’s a special class of photos on the web that require name-tagging to be done by identifying genitals. I’m sure some developers are working on that, too.)

Whew. Back to reality. A very nice person, who deserves not to be identified, posted a picture of the musical score to Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe on Facebook. I did not add a link to that picture, did I? I DID NOT ADD A LINK TO THAT PICTURE because I do not want to make bad matters worse.

My inbox is clog-full of notifications from Facebook. Here’s what they say: Jim Jones has commented on a picture of you on Facebook. Sarah Brown has commented on a picture of you on Facebook. Muglia Teragladone has on a picture of you on Facebook.

Facebook thinks that the Iolanthe score is a picture of me! And I suspect it always will. I wonder what other musical scores will be identified as ME in the future.

This mess isn’t just annoying. It’s ironic. I own quite a collection of musical scores, and Iolanthe is my favorite G&S operetta. But that’s as close to Iolanthe as I care to get.

By the way, in my own files, I write dates in sortable order: YY/MM/DD. So today's date is a beauty: 11/12/13 .
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