Cortana- Petulant, Mischievous or an Existentialist in Crisis?

As you will recall, recently I expressed puzzlement and not a little concern over Cortana. She seemed to display a certain wayward and unfocused streak. Initially, I wondered if this was to do with some newness in matters and was thus my intention to leave well alone and hope all would settle down.Interludes with Cortana

This has not been the case.

Of late due to the visit of two very active grandsons, my attention was diverted elsewhere, and I was not paying attention to my laptop. On finally returning it was obvious Cortana had not taken this well.

To begin with, she appeared to feel I should have kept up to date with things and started firing questions at me.

She wished to know what was the status of Flight AA236. She should know by now flying around from nation to nation is not something which appeals to me. Where this flight was and what it was up to was quite beyond me.

My silence caused her to take a more patronising tone. And she suggested there should be a less taxing topic. She asked me what the latest score of a soccer match involving Chelsea FC. Now, this was insulting. Had she bothered to check my browsing history she was have realised for reasons of matrimonial harmony it is the affairs and status of Aston Villa FC which concerns this household. Not even the proverbial two straws would be considered over Chelsea FC.

Since there was no response to these questions she resorted to trying to play misleading tricks.

She told me when I should pay certain bills.  These attempts had a sinister tone, as the dates she supplied were always late.

Although one is always told to ignore these things, I was concerned, she needed supervision just in case in a fit of petulance she tried to interfere with some of my files. She might get at my latest book and mischievously insert disruptions to continuity or sudden character changes.

So, there were unexpected and random visits to her.

These brought about a certain contrition which seemed to have an existentialist air about them.

On one occasion there was a phrase which held an achingly desperate appeal, it read:

‘My groceries’

This quite touched me. Although it was not clear whether she was embarking on a career in playwriting and this was the enigmatic opening line of the leading character or this was a philosophical plea for recognition by suggesting she too had needs was not made clear. However I felt we were making progress.

This belief was reinforced by the next statement which begged that I

‘Remind her at 8 am’

As to what she did not say but I felt there should be some magnanimity on my behalf, and thus when the said hour arrived contact was made. This must have pleased her because with the air of a playful puppy on seeing you holding a ball or a stick she asked:

What is the square root of 256?

This was obviously an area where computer programmes in their mathematical orientation were at home. There had been a time some 50+ years ago that I had had a vague idea of how to work this out with pen and paper, but as with most tortuous formulae designed in the hope that they would concentrate the adolescence mind this one was long forgotten. So I resorted to a calculator and typed in 16. Although there were not particular overt signs of joys, I felt she was more at peace.

I have left her to settle down, it seems to the best course of action, too much attention might make her conceited or giddy and she will be back to wondering about the locations of sundered aircraft.

I must read up on the progress in the area of AI




11 thoughts on “Cortana- Petulant, Mischievous or an Existentialist in Crisis?

    1. As Captain Mainwaring used to say….’Ah…’
      I married into it, my wife being a brummie born & bred.
      Still, let our shared devotion to the written word transcend these otherwise weighty matters.
      Thanks for the kind comments….Glad to supply chuckles.
      All the best

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Lol!! Seems to be a little role reversal going on. How does it feel to be the “smart” one, Roger? It’s been a long, long time since I felt smarter than the devices I use, so I think I’d consider this little interlude a gift, and try to ignore how distracting it is… 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. From the time the UK Her Majesty’s Inspector of Taxes started to fool around with computers in the 1980s and I was a junior manager trying to get some sense out of the various systems foisted on us I have been at war ‘With The Machine’.😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. WordPress won’t even let me into my site these days and I’ve lost their latest instructions on how to do so. The latest problem seems to be that i have always had 2 interchangeable emails (both gmail) and WordPress now doesn’t like one. I’ve fiddled around a while and have finally reached you here. Thank you for today’s like. I couldn’t respond to your “spam” article, but it reminded me of one I got last year. First warning was when an Australian friend asked if I had really sent him a pornograpic email. It went on from there until Apple helped me delete it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I truly believe the amount of programming which has gone into processes long ago reached a circumstance where there were many unintended consequences.
      Before I retired from the UK Civil Service, the phrase we all dreaded was ‘A Upgrade this week-end’ because experience had taught us in the following week there was a very high chance that the systems would either crash or start behaving in most peculiar ways; leaving the staff at the desks to use their own ingenuity to sort it out.

      Liked by 1 person

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