Chatbot Challenge

Chatbot Challenge

You have already spent long enough
Trying to solve your problem
By interrogating the Website
Which promised to make your transaction
As simple as a, b, c. – or so they said

But when you find yourself lost
In some digital blind alley
Confused by options
Waylayed by algorithms
Snared in some never-ending loop

It is then that you search for
The ‘get in touch’ contact details

Thank goodness you say
I will speak to someone
Who will surely solve my problem

But of course the website gives
No clue to any contact numbers
But it beguilingly invites you
“To Chat with us”

So you click that link
And it is then that an
Additional little screen materialises
Bottom right

Thereon there appears
In neatly printed letters
Natasha here – can I help you?

Oh great – a human response
Or so you think

But the human person
Has been totally extirpated
From the system
And Natasha is a mere robot

She presents you with a set of options
To questions to which she thinks you might
Want the answer

But how come your particular question
Seems forever missing?

It is then that you feel like
Abandoning the whole mission
Cancelling the order
Complaining to the Ombudsman
Or pressing the self-destruct button

Then you notice, in tiny print,
That in the event that the Chatbot
Hasn’t come up with the right questions
Let alone the right answer

That if you need more help
Tickle a further link
And Lo and Behold

Natasha herself (not the robot)
Appears in print
And the genie has come out of the bottle
And you are on the way to a solution.

Why can’t they have done that in the first place?
Is AI – artificial intelligence –  intelligent enough?

Ken Fisher

 

Intellectual Property

Intellectual Property
Here’s a Thought

Intellectual Property, often referred to as I P
Might be described as something I know that you don’t

Of course it’s not as simple as that
It’s something I know that you don’t
And that you might like to know

Individuals and businesses put value on I P
And although this kind of property in intangible
i.e you can’t open a box and bring it out
It can be worth a lot of money

I P consists of the fruits of someone’s ideas
An invention, a design, a formula, a prototype
And these creations are often protected by law
By means of patents, copyrights, trade marks,
Brand names and so on

Some intellectual property is considered to be
A valuable asset of the business
The benefits of which continue to accrue for years

We have all heard that Knowledge is Power
And applied knowledge, intellectual property,
Can be very powerful indeed.

Before factories and construction sites
And the creative arts studios of music and drama and literature
Can produce anything
The power house of invention and design
Will have been grinding away to yield
The conception from which I P is born

So we must continue to nurture and promote
The growth of I P
Through research and development in our
Universities and laboratories
And think tanks and dream factories
Where bright ideas are conjured up

Don’t give up on imagination!

Ken Fisher

You Can’t Beat Beans!

You Can’t Beat Beans

Home grown Broad Beans

When it comes to beans there’s an infinite range
Up to four hundred some experts would claim
In all shapes and sizes and in every hue
Tasty to eat, great for  health too

There is cranberry, black bean and also chickpea
Cannellini, garbanzo, and pinto to see
Navy beans, fava beans, and of course soya
Nutritionists claim they’re all very good for ya

Beans also appear in a variety of shapes
Kidney shaped, globular, some quite elongate
From slim and narrow to really quite broad
Some appear bashed, regrettably flawed

Beans apparently are a class of legume
Without any doubt they are great to consume
Endless methods of cooking this ubiquitous food
Whatever the type they are sure to do good

So the message is clear you must beans explore
Their many virtues you should not ignore
You can’t beat beans is the greengrocer’s slogan
On your diet sheet give them rapid promotion

 

 

Ken Fisher

Truth Decay

Truth Decay

It seems to me the current malaise of our day
A persistent invasion of Truth Decay
But the dental profession is quite impotent
To provide a cure for our predicament

You see Truth Decay is a virulent bug
There is no use just responding with a sigh or a shrug
This disease requires much more radical action
To prevent its spread throughout our nation

Truth Decay starts with little white lies
Inventive stories that we might devise
Sometimes involving exaggeration
Bending the truth or some obfuscation

But as the disease’s progress is unrelenting
The imagination continues inventing
And any true facts become quite obscure
Of reality we can no longer be sure

Pointing the finger may be irrelevant
But Truth Decay seems particularly prevalent
Among used car salesmen, and property dealers
Retailers of ‘snake oil’ and charismatic faith healers

But perhaps the prime example where Truth Decay abounds
Is displayed by politicians as they do their rounds
Promises of bounty from their cornucopia
Give them your vote in exchange for utopia

So my advice is don’t wait for a sixth monthly check-up
Dismiss all those claims, they are just a frame up
Expose all those charlatans who promote Truth Decay
On their false claims shine the bright light of day

Ken Fisher

See also: Post Truth Society

Mission Statement

Mission Statement

 

 

Catchy slogan
Or something more
Let’s you know
Our inner core
Defining the why, the who, the what
Who we are and what we’re not

Mission statements
Encapsulate our brand
In lucid terms
Use nothing grand
In simple claims
Divulge our aims

Mission statements need not only be
For mega-corporations
Multi-nationals
The United Nations
Charities can also find them useful
All should ensure that they are truthful

Churches try to be ‘missional’
Concerned for justice and compassion
Reaching out to those in need
Ensuring they receive their ration
Of the world’s bounty they deserve
Willing help without reserve

And what about an MS that is personal
Declaring my purposes and my goals?
A guiding principle to follow
My words and actions to control
Emblazoned in my life’s CV
Lived manifest for all to see

Ken Fisher

The Statutory Presumption of Senility

The Statutory Presumption of Senility

I wonder what you think about old age?
Or rather the progressive on-set of age
Do you assume that it is a downward spiral
From rationality to senility

At what age do we observe such change?
Does the receipt of your pension
Herald the beginning of decrepitude
Or is the pension the springboard to freedom

None of this seems sensible
As for some, the planned-for receipt of the pension
Might happen in early middle age
For others, less fortunate, on the brink of their dotage!

In today’s world many cannot afford to retire
State Pension age stretches into the distance
Affordable mortgages need maximum tenure
Divorce, subsidising offspring and care in old age

All these make cosy retirement a modern-day chimera
Who can afford this nirvana?
An extra 25pence per week at age 80
Will hardly meet the challenge!

Senility is both triumph and defeat
Defeat because we can no longer cope
Triumph because it brings escape
Let the world take care of itself!

But let us not judge all those of mature years
As incapable or incompetent
They bring the accumulated wisdom of their age
And with luck, we might share in their inheritance

Ken Fisher

 

 

Yorkshire

Yorkshire

A visit to Yorkshire will do you much good
Like a slice of roast beef with Yorkshire pud
Long walks in the dales might give you blisters
As you pursue the tales of those Bronte sisters

The largest county in the whole of England
From Leeds cityscape to Scarborough sand
Ancient abbeys, fortresses and castles to see
The home of Emmerdale on your TV

Building societies for the financially wise
Percy Shaw who gave roads Cats Eyes
Cricketing legends and Sheffield steel
Harrogate health spas to improve how you feel

In earlier years even the Yorkie bar
Sent from the county to lands afar
Wensleydale cheese, another favourite
And Parkin a cake for your great delight

I think you can see Yorkshire gets my vote
If a little time you care to devote
It’s not too far if you care to travel
And strong Yorkshire Tea is not their only marvel!

 

Ken Fisher

White Noise

White Noise

That mysterious hum
Is it from outer space?
Indeterminate
It’s source we cannot trace

Some say it’s what we need
A soothing calm vibration
Balm to the troubled soul
Removes all agitation

White noise apparently combines
All frequencies of sound
Blended thus emitting
‘Near-silence’ quite profound

Sometimes white noise
Signals an interruption
Connection lost, line gone dead
Zoom conference disruption

At other times this ‘absent’ sound
A very welcome aid
Its reassuring hum or hiss
Heartens those afraid

In theoretical science
And practical technology
White noise is multifunctional
Not least in space cosmology

White noise is so much more
Than something non-existent
That audible inaudible
Mystery quite persistent

Ken Fisher

Mickey Mouse Degree

Mickey Mouse Degree

 

The Government is now showing concern
That taking certain degrees won’t help you to earn
Mickey Mouse is the label they give to these courses
And they may decide to cut their resources

In expanding their range some Unis were rash
Concocting degrees that for them brought in cash
But for their students this proved a rather poor bet
Leaving them up to their eyeballs in debt

The problem for students is they need take out loans
For something much less worthy than buying a home
And when it comes to repayment from the little they earn
They discover any job yields too low a return

But this doesn’t hurt the student right then
They don’t start to repay until as and when
They are earning enough to refund the State
Who find the debt burden an increasing weight

Mickey Mouse degrees are often in music or arts and design
Although social sciences rarely yield a goldmine
But that’s not to say these degrees should be trashed
Many persevere with them quite unabashed

Of course student debt grows greater each year
And to pay it off you need a career
To do this you want a good qualification
Accounting, law or computing helps you even more than the nation

Medicine, science and engineering might yield a return
Creative arts and media studies perhaps one should spurn
But if the best choice is to do something vocational
Take college training linked to trades occupational

And what of degrees in subjects traditional?
Your acceptance of these might be provisional
Geography, history, economics, even theology
As much Mickey Mouse as a course in astrology!

The problem suggesting it’s a trivial degree
Is to imply it’s of little use to you or to me
But many such degrees are quite life-enhancing
And their value is more than just their financing

So let’s not of Mickey Mouse be too pejorative
Such courses of study might start as explorative
But for the diligent student they can open the door
To lifelong learning promising so very much more

Ken Fisher

 

 

Tweakment

Tweakment

You’ve already found it’s hard to keep
Your New Year resolutions
Too radical by far you think
What’s the alternative solution?

You could abandon all you’ve pledged
No need for it to happen
Who cares about a little drink?
Just jump down off the wagon

But a coward you don’t want to be
Lacking in backbone
So what’s the choice, let’s not delay
Take action, don’t postpone

You’ve promised to make changes
Bad habits to remove
A better self, a nicer me
Would all the world approve

Perhaps a lot less painful
A less severe critique
A wee minor adjustment
What we all call a tweak!

For these we don’t need a therapist
On the couch our souls unburden
To fill our minds with cleansing thoughts
The latest psycho jargon

So whatever in your life that ails
Just tickle or fine tune
Without doubt this simple act
Will be a blessing and a boon

Cheap at the price, it does the trick
Involves no complex treatment
Decide what in your life to change
And get on with the tweakment!

Ken Fisher

Christmas Isn’t Cancelled

Christmas Isn’t Cancelled

Christmas isn’t cancelled
It just had to change its name
Like those colonial tumbling statues
We’ve been told we should defame

The problem seems to be
The name ‘Christmas’ too exclusive
And in the modern world so woke
We must learn to be inclusive

‘Winter Holiday’ is considered quite acceptable
Or ‘Festive Season’ we can easily defend
At all costs avoid religious labels
That might certain faiths offend

I suppose life in these islands
Has become largely secular
So the loss of Christ in Christmas
May not now seem peculiar

But although the genesis of Christmas
May have lost its true significance
It’s a pity this great Church festival
Might not still have resonance

So we’ll have to be content
With Christmas by another title
Not demur at enforced change
And all objections stifle

You may have thought that Covid
Has made Christmas disappear
But it’s the mighty PC warriors
Who have filled us all with fear

However by whatever name
Attached to this celebration
Let’s hope it still brings joy
To all throughout the nations

Ken Fisher

See also this poem presented a year ago when,
like now, Covid remained a menacing threat to
all celebrations

Click link below:
Is Christmas Cancelled?

People, Planet, Profit

People, Planet, Profit

In the world of sustainability
There’s a new Holy Trinity
And for those who would invest
An enterprise that’s best

For magnates in the past
Profit came first, not last
People did the work
From labourer to clerk

The planet is our Earth
Exploited for its wealth
We gave nothing in exchange
No thought of climate change

But now we realise
This strategy unwise
Resources are finite
That’s our human plight

So changes must be made
With rising centigrade
And floods that inundate
We can not tolerate

A new vision is required
Sustainability much desired
The planet we must nurture
That people have a future

But for profits that’s unfair
About them, who will care?
Perhaps everyone would care
If with clear conscience all could share

So People, Planet, Profit
Together we must cosset
That all obtain their legacy
A fourth P – Prosperity!

Ken Fisher