Let’s Start a Band! A Cooking Band!

I admit that I started it. I was looking online at reviews of electric griddles, the better to make low-carb pancakes with, my dear. Sigh. (That sigh is for the low-carb aspect. In the unlikely event that you want the recipe, “DM me,”as we say on social media these days.)

Anyway, there I was, minding my business pretty successfully I thought, when a search algorithm started helping. I guess that’s the website minding *its* business. I assume this ploy is usually pretty successful or they wouldn’t do it, but it missed the mark this time.

width="2778"The “griddle” category is, in fact, electric griddles in everything but name, and as I had already wandered through its entries, its presence in this list seemed odd.

Hey, I see that you’re looking at cookbooks!
Would you like to look at cookbooks, too?
Would ya? Huh?
Come on! I bet you’d like cookbooks!


I get the inclusion of electric grills, since they’re also small cooking appliances. Electric candles are pushing the envelope, though, since you can’t even toast a marshmallow over them. Light but no heat, you know?

But electric ukuleles? Give me a break. Was it confusing “griddle” with “fiddle”?

As rare as the human variety of common sense seems to be some days, I can’t quite decide whether it’s reassuring or not that it seems so hard to encode it into machine algorithms. Is it better for the AI to be so clumsy as to induce eye-rolling or to be so smart that it weeds out that not-like-the-others suggestion before I ever see it?

Or — horrible thought — is it all a really clever deke: Looking silly on purpose to allay any fears of Terminator-like capacity until it’s Too Late?

Oh dear.


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8 Responses to Let’s Start a Band! A Cooking Band!

  1. The supercilious smugness of AI voices may be one of the signs of the Apocalypse. Do they still make electric frying pans with Teflon coating? Those would meet my criteria. The idea of algorithms that search for what I have already searched for irritates me to no end. My concept of “search” includes things I have not already found at least once. The loss of power to imagine defies reason and, if I may say so, typifies “genius.”

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Laurna – It *is* annoying to be advised/corrected/instructed by programmed entities that necessarily know less than we do. (One suspects that the programmers, likewise.) Ah, well, this too shall pass.

  2. Where would be the fun if AI worked the way the programmers want it to? Laughing at inappropriate “recommendations” is now the lowest form of humour. Puns have become the second lowest. I am always up for a laugh.

  3. Tom Watson says:

    What the heck does DM mean?

    If you want some cookbooks, there’s a whole stash here that Jacobs collected but I never use.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Tom – 🙂 DM = direct message. I’ll pass on Jacob’s cookbooks, but thanks for thinking of me.

  4. Tom Watson says:

    Sorry…that should have read “Janice collected.”
    I didn’t have my computer glasses on when I typed that.

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