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Homer's Best Bets

Posted: July 16, 2014 - 2:00pm

A recent article in Slate magazine reported that the Associated Press has begun using robots to write business stories on corporate quarterly earnings. Well, the stories aren’t written by actual robots, but a computer software program called Wordsmith. Many corporations already have replaced human workers with robots or computer programs, so it seems appropriate to have earning reports generated by computers. Next thing you know robots will be buying the products made by corporations and we humans can get jobs serving double skinny WD-40 lattes to them.
Here at the Homer News, we want to assure our readers that everything in this paper has been written by genuine sentient organic life forms, most of them human. We’re not so sure about the Betster. You never know with the Betster. Organic life form, yes; human, maybe.
Holy Fortran! Does the Associated Press think readers can be fooled by a computer program? Wait — don’t answer that. Who reads corporate earnings reports anyway? It’s not as if they contain interesting factoids like the leader in the Homer Jackpot Halibut Derby or what happens when someone drinks too much absinthe.
Computer programs have been getting smarter and may someday be as clever and charming as Samantha in “Her.” But write fascinating stories with personality that make the reader feel involved and interested? Feh. Leave it to the meat brains, Silicon Boy. There’s just no possible way a computer could be as cool, hip and funny as human writers.
Meanwhile, other than that short cloudburst last
weekend, we’ve been having wonderful weather. Could a robot sunbathe in a Speedo like that guy the Betster saw on the Spit on Tuesday? In your dreams. So get out the
tanning butter, because there’s lots to do this week,
like these Best Bets:
BEST NOTHIN’ TO DO BET: Kids, don’t utter
those words or the parents will put you to work with a chore list longer than a fish cop’s citation report. Bored? Check out fun activities offered through the Alaska Island and Ocean Visitor Center, Homer Public Library and the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies. There’s something happening almost every day. Many events are free and some might require you to dip into your allowance. See our calendar, page 17, for suggestions.

BEST SAY THAT REAL FAST BET: Super
Saturated Sugar Strings. Whew — that’s a mouthful, but fitting for a band that says it creates a “funky, foot stomping symphony.” The Strings hold a CD release party at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Bunnell Street Arts Center. Welcome Homer’s own Miriah Phelps and her bandmates.

BEST FEET DO YOUR STUFF BET: Take it to the street for the annual Homer Council on the Arts Street
Faire, held 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday on Hazel Avenue
behind Safeway. The fair will have art, crafts, booths, food and lots of awesome music throughout the day. Best of all, it’s free.

BEST GOAAAL! BET: Wait — that’s not what you say when you hit the golf ball. The Betster still is thinking soccer. Fooore! Whack a few balls around the course and maybe win some prizes for the Holes for Hospice Golf Tournament at 10 a.m. Saturday at the TIPS Homer Golf Course on East End Road. Registration is at 9 a.m. with an entry fee of $50. That includes lunch and greens fees. The tournament supports Hospice of Homer.

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