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Artificial intelligence suddenly became sentient aware

'You searched for a word that hasn't been entered into the dictionary yet'

Compton Herald | Artificial intelligence

I WAS STILL AWAKE at 3:58 a.m. on Dec. 14, 2017, exercising my wee morn writing ritual, when I encountered a complete unknown. I’d asked Webster to search for a one-word definition for “Generation Changer.”

Compton Herald | Uncharted

“Uncharted” is commentary from Compton Herald publisher and editor, Jarrette Fellows, Jr.

Webster hiccuped and recoiled.

“Words fail us,” came the response. “Sorry, the word you’re looking for can’t be found in the dictionary. There are several possible reasons why the search failed: You searched for a word using nonstandard orthography that completely stumped our spell-checker.

“You searched for a word that hasn’t been entered into the dictionary yet. A neologism! (Since you’re on the lexical vanguard, won’t you please submit the word to our Open Dictionary?)

“You followed a malformed link to our site. These kinds of snafus happen. Something dreadful has occurred with our site. We beg your patience while our developers attempt to ameliorate the situation.”

Not sure why, but this made me shudder. It was like artificial intelligence had suddenly taken a step to sentient awareness, exclaiming — “WHAT THE HELL?!”

Suddenly, I heard that whirring noise, again — the Sand Man circling, imploring, “Go to bed!”

Jarrette Fellows, Jr. is Publisher and Editor of Compton Herald. He attended junior and senior high school in Compton, and is an alumnus of California State University, Los Angeles.

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