First Click: The death of garbage in, garbage out

Tweet Share For most of their history, computers have obeyed human commands with an uncritical, unquestioning diligence. It seemed like an enduring truth of computing that if you fed a machine erroneous information, you would get errors in return. We even coined an aphorism for it — garbage in, garbage out — but somewhere over the past few years, that truth has subtly lapsed. Just look at your phone’s autocorrect. You feed that thing garbage every single day and it produces reasonably coherent expressions in response. Predictive texting keeps growing in sophistication, with the latest varieties using neighboring words to more accurately estimate the ham-fisted typist’s intended meaning. It’s no overstatement to say that without autocorrect, touchscreen keyboards would never have stood a chance against physical keys — people are…


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