Artificial What?

I’ve been pressed for time this week, so I was late getting started on the draft for this post. As I paced the floor wondering what to write, Hubby piped up helpfully: “You know, you need an AI program to create your blogs for you.”

That made me laugh, for a couple of reasons. First, I grew up on a farm. Long before anybody ever thought of calling computer programs ‘Artificial Intelligence’, AI stood for ‘Artificial Insemination’. That might be apropos, considering that some of my posts are pretty screwy; but the accompanying mental image is, um… let’s just say unwholesome.

The second reason for my laughter is that my blog’s spam folder is full of AI ‘creativity’. (Just to clarify, I’m referring to Artificial Intelligence in this case; although considering some of the eye-popping porn in there, both definitions of AI may be equally accurate.)

Here’s one of the (non-X-rated) gems from my recent spam:
“An unconfused perk of living in a multicultural gentry is the wide-ranging variety of foods that enhance ready. X Field notes may document empirical details, methodological issues, dear thoughts, prolegomenon analyses and working hypotheses. Some are within the Checklist to ensure angelic physical environment mistress’s authority over, others not.”

Wow, I wish I’d written that! (Or not.) On the up side, I learned a new word: “prolegomenon”, which is “a critical or discursive introduction to a book”. Who knew?

But that aroused my curiosity. How do spammers develop their content? So your intrepid reporter dove deep into the questionable waters of the internet, and guess what I discovered? There are online generators for everything! Random words, nouns, adjectives, names, numbers, phrases; even complete sentences. So of course I had to try them out.

Fun was had and time was wasted, but despite my dedicated research I didn’t uncover any intelligence, artificial or otherwise.

It didn’t do much for my own intelligence, either. I could practically feel the IQ points slipping away; which may explain why I’ve developed a disturbing tendency to lose focus and stare blankly off into space waiting for my brain to reboot. (It’s not advancing age. Or so I keep telling myself.)

And on that note…

Lately I’ve been spread too thin, so I’m going to scale back my internet presence and concentrate on writing Book 15 for the next little while. I’ll post regular progress notes to prove I’m still alive and working, and I’ll write sporadic ‘real’ posts when I have time.  And of course, I’ll look forward to your comments as always — your comments are the best part of this blog!

“Talk” to you soon!

Book 15 update:  I’m on Chapter 14 and going strong!  Arnie’s having a tough time, but Aydan and John are there for him as always.

33 Comments

Filed under Humour, Life

33 responses to “Artificial What?

  1. Please….take whatever time you need to for book 15!! Can’t wait!! Side note: not having grown up on a farm, but did grow up in Iowa where farms are very plentiful and I do remember what we used the term AI for and you’re right….wasn’t about intelligence real or fake!

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  2. Good for you to find a better balance Diane. As to spam comments that is a smorgasbord of ridiculousness.

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  3. Kshain

    I would love a romantic situation with stemp…

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  4. Good idea to spend less time on the internet – you do seem to get carried away from time to time. 🙂 I don’t actually look at spam emails. A worse phenomenon these days – for some weird, unartificial reason – is that emails from long-term friends and some comments to my blog posts from repeat readers end up in my spam folder! It is a backwards world, that virtual one.

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    • It is, isn’t it? I hate the thought that important emails might not be getting through; and I’ll never know. It would be awful if my friends/family thought I was ignoring them. Then again, my friends and family wouldn’t give up on me — they’d give me a phone call and the benefit of the doubt! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. jenny_o

    Just today I received a spam email that started out “your prostate is the size of a lemon”. Clearly their bot algorithms don’t distinguish between male and female names in the email addresses.

    I conscientiously report phishing emails but I always wonder if it really makes a difference.

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  6. Awww my poor hellhound pls send him a hug from me.

    I’m half celebrating half commiserating for myself I’m not getting the boot from work. They are keeping me not sure if I’m happy or not. They are getting my own chair and stuff to raise my desk and give me the ability to stand up and work on occasions apparently. In a way I am happy but when am I going to find the time for me now I’m sure I’ll figure it out eventually.

    Hugs to you and hellhound xxx

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    • Thanks, Karen! Don’t worry, I promise there’s a happy ending for Hellhound.

      I guess it’s always good to be gainfully employed, but being comfortable is more important. I hope it works out for you. Hugs to you, too! 🙂

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  7. Rudy™

    Whoops! Hey, I posted something but I think it got trapped in your *cough* spam filtering…I guess I shouldn’t have included a few sterling examples of spam I’d come across over the years! 😁 (It might be flagged in your comment queue…)

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  8. Rudy™

    >> Fun was had and time was wasted, but despite my dedicated research I didn’t uncover any intelligence, artificial or otherwise. <<

    So in other words, a typical day on the Internets? 😁

    Spammers will use random language to try and circumvent the spam filters. But it often does not work due to other algorithms and detection methods. In the past, I used to have to run the email servers for the web servers I hosted. Going back a dozen or so years, the statistic back then was that spam was about 92% of email traffic on the Internet. And I used to try to fight it all. I would have dozens of emails inbound, out of which I found maybe two to three legitimate messages among them. I worked with procmail to try to work with recipes to kill common spamming tactics. I installed SpamAssassin, which caught mail but worse, bogged down the servers so much that I had to quit using it. Our hosting company even used a "greylist" that captured a lot of it, but even that was a dead end. Finally after I discovered The Googles and moved all the client email services over (to Google Apps, or whatever they call it these days), spam was a thing of the past.

    The amount of wasted bandwidth was incredible. Still is!

    As for the success rate, going on figures from well over a dozen years ago (and my possibly faulty memory), a successful spam campaign was maybe a 0.1% to 0.2% click-through response rate. Sure, one or two in a thousand isn't much, but when you're spamming hundreds of thousands of users at a time, it adds up. I would imagine that with spam detection improved in recent times, that click-through rate has to be even lower now.

    Spamming on blogs and forums is also an issue, but we have ways to deal with those as well. But they spam there for different reasons. The spammers don't post for the readers to click on the links. They post in order to get their URL picked up by the Google, Bing, etc. spiders and improve the ranking of the site that is linked in the post. Being at or near the top in an organic search (aka "above the fold" in old newspaper parlance) is gold, and the sleazy SEO companies out there have long used this practice to artificially boost page rank.

    Here are a couple of gems we've encountered….

    "…I don't know what the top my head but the only way to really get abuse your cholesterol that you exit you keep eating them day by day with all the obstinate always X for me I like to use one you…"

    "premium cleanse help you learn how to slowly become because they don't come off overnight easy because you're changing your life think about those old habits what you want to see believe what you want to see changed little way to the changing your day and your walk across give me one apple and that comes with heavy plan your calories for the day ensuring that your victim to grocery shopping when I am hungry for delicious so make sure you think about your list should teach grocery stores and I know exactly what I need to make sure you eat before you go and make sure that the healthy legal even help"

    And on our "sales" email address (with their email redacted)…

    "Dear sales, my name is Kseniya and i'm from Russia. Five years ago I moved to the USA and I love it here. Came across your photos on Badoo and remembered you because you seem a type of guy I want 🙂 You are hot, smart and sexy 🙂 If you would like to know me more, this is my email ************@rambler.ru write to me and I will send some of my photos. xXx, Kseniya"

    Just for the record, I am not ‘hot, smart and sexy.” More like, “lukewarm dad-bod attractive-to-old-ladies-who-think-I-look-like-their-nephew.”

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    • LOL! That’s the beauty of the interwebz: We’re all hot, smart, and sexy. (At least until proven otherwise.)

      I spent long years as a network admin, too; and my “blocked words” list for emails read like a cheap porn novel written by some perverted pharmacist. I’m eternally grateful for my current web host, which seems to effortlessly filter out all that crap!

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      • Rudy™

        One hasn’t lived until one has had to figure out every single spelling variation of v1@gr@ in order to block it. 😁

        I’m fortunate to have Google Apps tending to the email, Cloudflare to keep a lot of the attacks away from the servers, some server-based daemons to ward off the remaining bad guys, strict firewall rules, and forum software that is flexible enough to filter out or at least flag any potentially bad stuff coming through. Go back a dozen years and there were many times I was ready to give it all up out of frustration!

        So, sitting here now…I have “hot” covered (I just put on a pullover hoodie to deal with the arctic blast we’re having), smart (I read some Internetz today), and ummm…yeah, I don’t think sexAY is gonna happen here at Casa Rudy. At least not until I find my leisure suit, platform shoes, gold chains and chest hair wig…

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  9. Tom

    prolegomenon… hehehe!
    I’d love to say I’d remember that word, Diane, but probably not right now… too much of a tongue twister. Tis a good word though!😁
    Enjoy your internet downtime – these breaks are very important (and not only for our insanity… or sanity thinking about it)
    Good luck with your writing as well. 🙂

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  10. I have a favorite bumper sticker. It says, “ALL SPAMMERS MUST DIE!11”

    The really cool thing is that I’ve seen it on a LOT of bumpers of late. Maybe it’s an idea whose time has come. And not just the email morons, but the phone spammers, too. Maybe *especially* those ones. Just sayin’…

    Maybe I’ve read too much sci-fi in my life–or perhaps I’ve read too much *into* sci-fi–but I’ve come to pretty much distrust anything that even remotely hints of AI…of any sort. But especially the computer-generated sort. I know, too little, too late. It’s always something.

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    • Ain’t that the truth. My problem with ‘artificial intelligence’ is that it isn’t really artificial. It may carry on and learn for itself; but it’s still starting from the biases of the original programmers. And here’s another scary thought: What is that AI learning from? Humans, that’s what. We’re screwed; and in a way that makes the 1200-pound horny beast look almost like an good alternative.

      And I still want a special zapper button on my phone so I can send a few thousand volts down the line to those #&*#$^&* telephone scammers. I’d also like a video camera so I could watch them smoke and twitch; but I’m willing to compromise on that as long as I get my zapper. See, I can be reasonable…

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Having done some breeding in the horse world it was always artificial insemination to me, too. The other way is “live cover”, but that can be dangerous for the stallion if the mare kicks. It can be dangerous for the handler, too, as you would imagine when holding on to a horny 1200 pound beast.
    I would say many of our political leaders must have artificial intelligence as they obviously don’t have much innate intelligence.
    I thought “prolegomenon” might have to do with the medical term referring to the injury that happens when stepping on a Lego.

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    • Bahahaha!!! I like your Lego definition better — it makes much more sense. As to the political leaders, I’m beginning to wonder if even artificial intelligence is beyond them.

      And if you were brave enough to wrangle amorous stallions, you have my lasting respect. I make it a priority to avoid horny 1200 pound beasts. 😉

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  12. I may be a spammer since all my friends say that my intelligence is artificial.
    You’re up to book 15? Wow!

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    • Yep, I can hardly believe I’m on Book 15 already, especially considering that I used to swear I’d never write fiction. 😉

      And if you’re a spammer, at least you’re a highly entertaining one!

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  13. I agree, AI is a bit, “unwholesome”. What I find odd is that the spam messages are created to defeat the spam filters, but they rarely do – yet they keep trying. Why? On my blog spam messages get through the filters, once, twice a year. A lot of effort for nothing.

    Do keep us updated on your progress.

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    • Thanks, Andrew! I agree about the spammers — I just don’t understand why they keep trying. Are they really getting any clicks from the one or two messages per year that manage to squeak through the spam filters? Because I’ve never had any burning desire to click on a link included with a nonsensical message like the one above…

      Liked by 2 people

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