Category Archives: Science fiction

the next wave of AI: fast food managers?

Sure, we always hear about our robot overlords, but who would have thought that the next wave would be… dun dun DUNnnnnnn… a chicken restaurant manager?

Hyperactive Bob, the kitchen production management computer system from Hyperactive Technologies, is now being licensed to Zaxby’s, a fast-food restaurant chain with locations in the Southern states. … This artificially intelligent computer system not only takes orders, it gives them as well.

Hyperactive Bob is frighteningly close to Manna, a science-fictional system proposed by Marshall Brain in his novella-length story of the same name. In the story, Manna is a PC-based system that makes use of sensors around the restaurant to gain information; it then instructs employees. … Hopefully, no one will tell the makers of Hyperactive Bob about the Manna story; it has too many practical suggestions for the enslavement of humans.

This isn’t really a surprise to anyone that’s seen how much fast food restaurants have come to resemble factories. However, it’s good to note how interested corporate chains are in reducing the role of pesky, unpredictable humans.

[Thanks for the links, Adam!]

BSG webisode factorial

So, you may or may not know that is hosting a set of ten Battlestar Galactica “webisodes” to lead up to the Season 3 premiere.  They’re being released every Tuesday and Thursday, and at 3-4 minutes apiece they’ll add up to (approximately) a full episode worth by the time they’re all released.  From the quality of the first one, I can guess that they’ll be just as compelling to watch as any episode might be.

So here’s the thing.  I just had a thought about how to watch them in true rabid-fan form: watch all of the released webisodes each time one is released.  That would mean watching the first two tonight, then the first three next Tuesday, and the first four on Thursday… and then watching the whole shebang on Thursday night before the premiere.  Is that insane?

I’ve already thought about re-watching the last few four or five episodes of Season 2 again, and that’s a lot longer than all of those webisodes put together.  Actually, with the factorial counted in, it’s about the same length.  Still, though…  what do you think?