Blaming the computer

Sir, – The delay in communicating with patients in the latest cervical screening calamity is attributed to a computer glitch. A computer is an inanimate object and will produce what it is programmed to produce and in a manner determined by those who operate it. If a glitch occurs, it has been caused by incorrect programming or incorrect operation. To attribute a problem to a computer glitch is equivalent to blaming a problem on a typewriter in the pre-computer era. In both cases the problem has been caused by one or more humans. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 16.

A chara, – Some years ago I thought we reached the point where to suggest a computer “glitch” caused a problem was an embarrassing admission which showed we had no understanding of how computers worked. Despite all the striving for artificial intelligence, they still don’t have minds of their own. Blaming something on a “computer glitch” is like blaming a car for causing a crash. It is those pesky humans that write the programs, and drive the cars. – Is mise,