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Who is Jono Bacon? Fool


#1

Apparently if you ask mycroft who Jono Bacon is it answers ‘Fool’. You can see a recording of this here: https://youtu.be/NJ_h6ynjI-k

This was mentioned on the bad voltage podcast here: https://www.badvoltage.org/2018/04/05/2x29/

What is going on here, seem kind of problematic, fortunately Jono has a sense of humor however this kind of thing could result in some very upset people, maybe even legal action.


#2

It says “full” from “full name” and then stops. It is a bug in the Wolfram Alpha skill, and is not endemic to Jono Bacon. Thanks for bringing it up @trampster.


#3

At first I was going to call shenanigans on this. If I say or type “Who is Jono Bacon” in the CLI, I clearly get:

Jono Bacon is a writer and software engineer, originally from the United Kingdom, but now based in California

So I was going to declare the video total B.S – it is easy to make Mycroft say anything if you want to write your own skill. But then one of our designers played the video loudly in front of his Mark 1 to test it. As a result of that we see:

  • The STT transcription of the British accent comes out as “who is jonah falcon”
  • When that phrase is handled by Mycroft, it hits Wolfram Alpha (our default general information source)
  • Wolfram doesn’t have a ton of info on this individual, so it returns “Full name: Jonah Falcon”
  • A bug in the handling of the Wolfram result made it just say the first word, which is actually “Full”.

So the upshot? This is a quirky result of several weird things. Nothing diabolical, just a series of oddities that results in a giggle-worthy little mis-hearing. Welcome to the world of cascading AI failures that make for good party tricks!

  • Steve

P.S. The fact that it chose Jonah Falcon is worthy of even more teenage giggles. The reality is that the Google STT likely involved in that video is partially driven by popularity of search terms, and that one is heard quite often for other ridiculous reasons.

P.P.S. In case you don’t know, Jono is one of our earliest supporters and advises us on how to build a strong community. (See https://www.jonobacon.com/consulting/experience/). We find him anything but a fool! :slight_smile: