Welcome aboard. This is your Captain speaking


Are people so keen to replace commercial airline pilots with computers?

If I remember correctly the ‘unfailable’ systems of SouthWest airlines failed in June 2021. It was Southwests turn again in December 2022. British Airways and numerous others have also had to severely restrict or halt services due to computer ‘glitches’. Even the rock solid computer system of the Federal Aviation Administration went tits up in January 2023. 

So far I don’t recall a single pilot or co-pilot flopping over in the cockpit needing a reboot.

Now that isn’t to say I go all misty eyed about losing usherettes at the Cinema or bus conductors on the Number 72, but frankly I prefer a human being in charge of an aluminium bullet travelling at near 600 mph

...and another thing

My life is cursed enough by machines pretending to be capable of thought rather than following a program. God help you if you fall foul of the language and thought police online with any of the social media giants. 

A robot is often unable to understand the meaning of the words, for example  niggardly on a voice message, or well hung when referring to the physical attributes of someone who may be unpopular rather than you using a racial epithet or you are expressing a desire for someone’s fate. 

I remember famously getting a telling off by some electric Mary Poppins at Sky TV using the word tit in the context of a bird on an email to an Executive there.  

...and another thing

Nearly as bad of course are call centres continents away from where you are actually calling from. Not robots but they might as well be.

 I understand some foreign call centres are briefed on that day’s weather or latest sports news from where you are calling to lull into a sense of security that you are dealing with someone living in your country. 

To unsettle these people I suggest you check on the latest weather around Manila or the performance of the Indian cricket team. My favourite one is to ask if they can see the current eclipse of the sun I am witnessing.

...and another thing

You are also never going to convince me that any journey, whether nipping out to my local mini mart for a packet of digestives and a pint of milk or driving across Europe from Paris to Athens, is better undertaken by some electronic Mr. Magoo than me driving. Taken to its extreme, the self drive cars are meant to be able to whizz around at eye watering speeds only being a few inches behind each other as none will need to have an emergency stop or have to allow for human error.

Perhaps then someone can explain to Tiddles why skipping across a road to chase a mouse will be a death sentence or when a flash flood makes a road impassable we will all drown or die by electric shock.

...and another thing

When my time comes to shuffle off this mortal coil and I get my harp and  halo, I bloody well hope it’s me driving the cloud.

Stay safe 

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