Computers | Confidence | Failure | Futility | Humor | Mistakes | Risk | Technology | Travel | Trust

The passengers on the commercial flight were settling in for a comfortable flight when a voice came over the loudspeaker welcoming them and announcing that the aircraft had finally reached its cruising altitude. The passengers could now unfasten their seat belts. The voice continued by announcing that this was a state-of-the art fully automated aircraft. The passengers listened carefully as the voice explained, “This aircraft is the pride of our fleet; we no longer require pilots, co-pilots, or navigators. We have eliminated the possibility of human error and we no longer have them on board. So please, sit back and relax; everything is under control–the cabin pressure, the altitude, the speed, the direction–everything is now…

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