Last week's News

News article for the week of 8/8/07.


Hybrid Geniuses or Consumer Inadequacy
By, Puns McKenna


The latest news from the auto-manufacturing world is both encouraging and disconcerting. Manufacturers have worked most of the bugs out of hybrid fuel cars. Now, they want to install Intellichipís. Intellichipís are roughly the size of a nine-volt battery. They control the automobileís primary functions. The chip monitors the fuel gauge. They also keep check on fluids, battery charge, the air conditioning, the comfort level of the autoís occupants, even the eating preferences of the driver.

Thatís right! You can program in your favorite fast food restaurants, and the Intellichip will remember the name, location, and preferred order from each of the fast food restaurants you program in. A specially designed sensor will indicate when you are hungry. Each time your location, determined by the Chipís integral GPS, is close the chip will announce, ďIsnít it time for a Big Mac?Ē The car will then begin driving you in that direction.

General Motorís employees have been trying out the prototype chips for six months. The results have been mixed. Though many of the issues have been caused by bugs in the system, or by incorrect inputs by the operators. The Intellichip system has been a big hit. One story came out concerning the apparent bugs in the Intellichip system, regarding the Vice President of Marketing.

Mr. Fajitas was said to have programmed his favorite food place into the chip. However, the chip confused his favored eating spot with his name. In order to cater to the specific driverís needs, the Intellichip must be programmed with basic biographical data about the owner. Mr. Fajitas favored an establishment that was not far from his home. The place sells chicken fajitas, a particular favorite of Mr. Fajitasí. The story goes that he was driving home from work one night and the sensors went haywire. The automobile began driving of its own accord and would not stop until it reached the destination.

According to the fast food restaurantís attendant, Mr. Fajitasí was driven through the drive through seventeen times before his fuel gave out. Rescue workers had to come and cut him out of his car because the autoís Intellichip would not relinquish control of the vehicle until Mr. Fajitas purchased a meal from his favored restaurant. Needless to say that bug has been fixed. The biographical information is now stored in a different format from the rest of the programmed information.

Is this one instance in which human intelligence outstrips the intelligence of computers? You decide. More bugs continue to crop up with the Intellichip System, making the designers leery of releasing them to the mass populace. However, at this point the Intellichip System is still slated for release some time in 2009.




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