Parking Stations on the Blink is Saskatoon

In Saskatoon, a Canadian province of Saskatchewan, city officials are addressing an hour-long breakdown of its parking pay stations, according to starphoenix.com. On Wednesday, the city received up to 70 calls that its pay stations were inoperative. So far, the city’s director of community standards has recommended anyone who received a ticket during that time ask for a review.

The parking stations were installed in 2015 and operate in part by scanning license plates to confirm payment. Between 9:58 and 11:11 AM on Wednesday, the stations were completely crashed. This is not the first time the city has had issues with its stations.

The system was beset by technical trouble when first introduced, prompting the city to implement a grace period for violations.

Since the installation, problems have declined dramatically and the city has introduced a parking app to coincide with the system in place. There is no explanation, yet about why the crash occurred. I’m going to take a wild guess it was either hardware or software.

Even if computers don’t make their own mistakes, they are programmed by people who do. The human element behind every type of artificial intelligence guarantees problems. Add to that the laws of nature, and even the most sophisticated computer is going to have troubles.

I recently had to help one of my children understand why computers can’t take over the world. A discussion at school had her worried, but all my philosophical and ethical ramblings were no help. So, I explained that humans have more abilities in the areas of destruction and chaos than computers. Even if the computers get smarter than we are, they will always need us and will always be vulnerable to our flaws.

I’m sure the humans in Saskatoon will quickly figure out what’s going on with their stations and fix the problem. The loss of revenue and labor spent on ticket reviews will be good incentive to make fewer mistakes.

Read the article here.

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