Saturday, June 22, 2019

We Can't Trust Robots

Image result for atm

In this edition of I can't write a review for this place on Yelp:

As a child of the 21st century, I have a blind trust in computers, so I never understood why my mom would calculate her bank deposits with blank ink on her hand before turning her checks in with the teller. Machines are supposed to be smarter than us, more precise and error-free. That is until one betrays you.

Last weekend, I had $300 cash to deposit, and the ATM repeatedly counted it as $280. This was not the first time this particular ATM had counted my money wrong. On one occasion, it counted my total wrong the first time but corrected itself the second time around. I believe it counted it wrong on one other occasion, but I was not aware of it because of my blind trust: I had not counted the money myself to cross-reference with the machine, so I believed what the machine said even though the total did not make sense with the amount I was paid for my job. With the knowledge I've since learned, I realized I was gypped $20 by this ATM. However, at the time I blamed it on human error: my boss had counted wrong and not given me the correct amount of money. I couldn't believe a machine designed to make our lives easier had actually made it harder, as I repeatedly entered my money trusting the machine would fix its mistake.

After the machine counted my money wrong three times, I switched to another one. It counted my money correctly on the first try. There's hope for the robot race after all. I on the other hand will not let a machine have the upper hand again. I can't become a mindless human who allows technology to make my decisions for me. Otherwise, the robots will take over or those controlling the robots will.

Editor's note: I truly did not know it was possible for an ATM to miscount cash and that it was common for them to do so, hence my shock.