Robots Finally Turn on Their Human “Masters”

Look at me! I'm cute. Don't worry, I will never screw up your election returns.SIPA Asia via ZUMA

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As near as I can tell, the Iowa caucus meltdown has finally gotten the media mad. For starters, it made them stay up really late when they weren’t expecting to—and with literally nothing to talk about. Second, the Iowa election poobahs refused to talk to them about what went wrong. Quelle horreur! And then, to finish things off, it’s Iowa. They really just wanted to announce the results from this pissy little flyover state and then move on to the East Coast.

Unlike everyone else, I guess, I sort of feel sorry for the Iowa folks. I mean, it’s one thing to screw up the rollout of Obamacare, which was genuinely a massive and intricate computer system. But to screw up the reporting of about a dozen numbers for fewer than 2,000 caucus sites? That’s epic. I know that many of you will think I’m exaggerating here, but this is literally the kind of thing a high school kid could do as a class project these days. The front end is embarrasingly simple, and the back-end database is literally less sophisticated than your average contact manager. Finally, there are the summations and calculations, and that’s sixth-grade arithmetic.

Aside from all that, I suppose I find this more humorous than outrageous. They should have stuck with telephone banks and—maybe—an Excel spreadsheet. I suppose they’re tired of hearing that by now, but it’s true. Not everything has to be computerized, after all.

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Fact:

In-depth journalism that investigates the powerful takes real money and is so damn important right now.But it doesn’t take a Mother Jones investigation to know that billionaires and corporations will never fund the type of reporting (like they do politicians) we do that exists to help bring about change. Instead, our mission-driven journalism is made possible by people power, and has been for 46 years now since our founding as a non-profit.

In “TITLE TK” Monica Bauerlein writes about the perilous moment we’re in, and why it’s so important that we raise $325,000 by the time November’s midterms are decided so we can be ready to throw everything we have at the big issues facing the nation no matter what happens. Please help MoJo’s people-powered journalism with a donation today.

$400,000 to go!

payment methods

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