Upon my return home this evening from the office, I was greeted by a letter—from the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission—accusing me of failing to pay a toll based upon the “testimony” of a computerized system (sound familiar?).
It so happens that I have been an EZ-PASS customer in good standing since the inception of the system, in PA, and so obviously there is a glitch or bug.
And while this inaccurate account of events by a machine should be easily corrected by a mere phone call, I do believe the timing of the delivery of an automated accusation is very fortuitous as it ties directly back to recent concerns I expressed about the rapid expansion growth potential of related automated red light camera systems in this country.
Are machines actually capable of lying?
Or are machines merely capable of error.
In a court of law how will the distinctions be made when someone’s being charged with a “crime”? Would that someone be afforded the right to cross examine the witness? How can one cross examine a machine or computerized system for a truthful and accurate account?
A machine is not cognizant and can not affirm the principles of the Ninth Commandment [and I am afraid a good number of citizens of this country are following suit*] nor is it subject to the same standards of swearing under-oath [to GOD], as men must do prior to giving testimony.
Is this the necessary and unfortunate by-product of a society well on the road to pure secularism? Where is the humanity in that?
Sooner or later our collective societies are going to have to address these questions.
In this instance, I believe, we can not afford to have a machine do the job of man.
For now, I am just going to scratch my head and make a phone call…
*Note: It is my personal belief that the 10 Commandments are not the inspiration of humanity to serve god, but an Inspiration by GOD to serve humanity—as a foundation for creating and maintaining civil societies.