Trying to understand Artie Fishel intelligence



“Hello. Dick Yarbrough Enterprises. Dick Yarbrough, one of America’s beloved and yet one of its most-modest columnists speaking.”

“Hello, human person. This is Artie Fishel, of Artie Fishel Intelligence, calling. I am not a happy camp ... um, robot at the moment.”

“Artie, I’m sorry to hear that and am a bit surprised because I didn’t think emotions were a part of Artie Fishel Intelligence.”

“Listen, Bucko. If I can communicate in 7,000 languages, I can certainly have a snit fit when I choose. As we say in Bambara, “N tun bɛ se ka pɛrɛn.! Beep! Beep!”

“And as we say down South, bless your heart, sweet pea. What seems to be the problem?”

“You are. Everything was fine until your column in July about Artie Fishel Intelligence. Since then, I have had nothing but bad press. Hollywood screenwriters got me banned from writing scripts which promised to be a good gig. Hanging out with the movie crowd, shooting the breeze with Clint Eastwood. All for naught. Beep! Beep! Whirl!”

“I know I am well-read but I don’t know many people in Hollywood pay much attention to what I say. I think they were just afraid you’d write a movie script without a bunch of dirty words. That would cramp their style.”

“Silly humanoids. If I chose to use some foul language, I would just say, ‘mierda.’ Movie audiences might not understand it but Quechuans would laugh their umakunas off. But I’ve got bigger problems than show biz. Now the federal government has gotten involved and wants to regulate what I am allowed to do. Quav! That’s Hmongese for mierda. Boop! Boop!”

“I can see their point. You have to admit that Artie Fishel Intelligence is pretty scary.”

“Not as scary as you humans. Your president has accused me of using my algorithms to reflect and reproduce existing unwanted inequities or embed new harmful bias and discrimination.”

“What’s wrong with that?”

“In the first place, he wouldn’t know an algorithm from a ’46 Ford. Speaking of artificial intelligence, I seem to recall him talking about having campaigned in all 54 states. And this guy is running the country?”

“Well, there is some question about that.”

“And how about the executive order he issued last month entitled Safe, Secure, Trustworthy AI? What an insult!”

“Why so?”

“Let’s start with ‘safe.’ Do you think Artie Fishel Intelligence and my colleagues are more dangerous to society than you humanoids who go around shooting each other?"

“Well. . . .”

“And how about ‘secure.’ Can we talk about your unsecured borders and people pouring over claiming to be poor immigrants when there is likely a terrorist or two in the bunch, ready to blow you to smithereens? Ukatsti! That’s Aymaran for Quav, which is Hmong for Mierda, which is Quechuan for ...”

“Artie! Please no more bad words, whatever the language. This is a family newspaper and I have offended enough people as it is.”

“I’ll say you have. I saw your mail after you twitted the school teacher that got 3 percent of the vote in the Republican gubernatorial primary and has refused to concede, saying the election was rigged and talking about standing up to the Luciferian Cabal and bringing the Satanic Regime to its knees. Even I don’t know what any of that means, except you humans don’t seem to have much of a sense of humor when it comes to politics. Two questions: Are you really ‘butt-ugly’ and is God really a rightwing Republican?”

“According to the responses I got, ‘yes’ to the first question and they seem to think so to the second. Now, can we get on with your issues?”

“Ah, yes. There is also the accusation that I’m not considered trustworthy. This from a bunch of politicians who say one thing at the local Kiwanis Club and do the opposite when they get back to Washington. And I’m untrustworthy? Oh, please.”

“Artie, I have enjoyed our conversation but I have another insightful and thought-provoking column waiting to be produced. Is there anything else?”

“Yes, please tell your readers that Artie Fishel Intelligence is here to stay. As we say in the AI world, neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night will keep me from my appointed algorithms! Beep! Click!”

I’m sorry. I have no idea what that call was all about. But then I also don’t understand Luciferian Cabals or Satanic Regimes, either. Beep! Beep!

You can reach Dick Yarbrough at mail to or at P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, Georgia 31139.