Monday, January 21, 2019
Walk sign robots
My wife and I have spent much of our long weekend walking around the city, so we are particularly well acquainted with the walk sign guy. I don't know if you have him where you live. He says "Wait" when one presses the street crossing button, sometimes obsessively ("Wait wait wait w-w-way-w-wait. Wait."), depending on how many dozens of times I depress the street crossing button.
Street crossing buttons kind of get me worked up.
The walk sign guy also comments on when it's okay to walk. For the first two years this sounded to me like he was saying "Alzeimaslana sauce, Spaglin abnu!" But one day my wife cracked the code and told me he was saying "Walk sign is on to cross, (Franklin) Avenue."
So I'm not saying this robot guy was particularly good at his job, but at least he was fairly neutral about it.
Yesterday we came to an intersection and it had a new walk sign button. It also had a different guy! He said all the same things, but he was an asshole.
"Wait!" He ordered like a fascist cop.
"Walk sign is on to cross." He threatened with a kind of angry contempt.
This is a bad robot.
I am a fan of robots. I think robots tend more towards the good than bad. And though I don't yet know what is up with this horrible new walk sign guy, I will warn you with this:
Whenever you see a bad robot, someone is making money.