14

I overheard a water cooler anecdote between developers.

“You know, programmers put too much of their own idiosyncrasies in their software. Remember that car from Knight Rider? The poor A.I. was afraid of flying.”

It seems the car was indeed afraid of flying, but I didn't get the joke.

Why was it afraid of flying?

4
  • Was KITT afraid of flying? Commented Jul 3, 2018 at 18:10
  • @Wikis - He was indeed. Jumping is fine though
    – Valorum
    Commented Jul 3, 2018 at 18:22
  • @Valorum: I'm learning so much on this site... Commented Jul 3, 2018 at 18:24
  • 13
    K.I.T.T.: Michael, I do not intend to set one wheel inside an airplane. MICHAEL: Kitt, I'm going to need you to translate for me. Why don't you want to go? K.I.T.T. [reluctantly] Because...I don't like flying. (Season 2: Diamonds Aren't a Girl's Best Friend)
    – Valorum
    Commented Jul 3, 2018 at 18:26

1 Answer 1

25

In Episode #403 (Sky Knight) we learn that Bonnie programmed KITT to be afraid of flying in order to mirror her own fear of flying.

MICHAEL: This [referring to flying] is the only way you'll ever make it to your sister's wedding in time.

BONNIE: I think I'd rather be late than terrified.

...

BONNIE: It's not Kitt's fault, Michael. He was programmed to be afraid of flying.

MICHAEL: But you were the programmer.

BONNIE: I know.

5
  • I'd rather have phobias than genocyde in my AI any day. Commented Jul 3, 2018 at 18:39
  • 4
    @Mindwin - Either way, designing a sentient AI and then giving it a motor so that it can move around on its own definitely fails the "Skynet Test".
    – Valorum
    Commented Jul 3, 2018 at 19:11
  • 4
    @Valorum Putting it in an near-indestructible shell would multiply that failure by a bit. Commented Jul 3, 2018 at 21:58
  • @valorum tell that to Elon Musk. Commented Jul 4, 2018 at 12:19
  • 1
    @Mindwin - I'm reasonably sure Musk is a super-villain. Secret island lair, check. Rocket program, check, Underground drilling program, check.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jul 4, 2018 at 12:55

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