How AI Accidentally Sent Me 2,500 Trucks

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A woman is shown shocked after accidentally ordering 2500 Ram 2500 trucks for sale.

The emergence of AI technology has many people excited, some terrified, and some angry. I was never really sure where I stood on the issue until recently. See, I use an AI-driven app to make all sorts of purchases for my life. When I want to find a used inkjet printer for under $100 in my city, I just speak into the app; it searches the internet, has my credit card information, and has the authority to order the item I requested if it finds one that meets the description—but you need to remember that robots don’t fully understand nuance, so when you’re making orders, being hyper-specific is essential.

Case in point, I asked my little robot app to find me some Ram 2500 trucks for sale in my area, as I was hoping to upgrade from my current beater. I clearly had not been as specific as the app needed me to be because it found and ordered me 2,500 Ram trucks as opposed to one heavy-duty Ram 2500. You read that correctly. It ordered me 2,500 Ram trucks. You can’t even begin to imagine the logistical nightmare that ensued… so I’ll tell you.

I woke up the morning after putting in my order to see traffic backed up for miles on my street. I checked my navigation app, which gives me updates on what’s happening, and dozens of users were writing, “Major backup due to what appears to be hundreds of Ram trucks in some sort of Ram-fan parade.” Uh oh. I quickly went into my app to see if this was my doing—and possibly undo the damage—but it was too late.

Shortly thereafter, local news stations had helicopters circling above, filming the pileup. It was a scene closely resembling the first act of an apocalypse movie, wherein a whole populous flees in one direction, which quickly had TikTok and other social media platforms buzzing with rumors that, A) Apparently everyone who lives here exclusively drives Ram trucks, and B) They were fleeing something scary on the edge of town.

The traffic was so terrible that these trucks barely moved a mile an hour. They’d slowly make their way into our town, trying to squeeze their way into any given parking spot, like the craziest game of Tetris. Our Walmart’s entire parking lot had filled within 15 minutes of this beginning—then the public parks, then the courthouse, then the high school football field…

Vendors started to capitalize on the traffic pileup, pulling up on the side of the highway to sell ice cream, bottled water, sandwiches, toilet paper, etcetera, to the poor drivers of these trucks. Before we knew it, the shoulders of the highway looked like full-blown open-air markets, with vendors making hot meals on the overpass and one guy setting up a bouncy castle. Porta-potty companies came out, charging $5 per usage.

This was all due to one teeny, tiny mishap—the simple switch of two words—because our current AI technology is not intelligent enough to distinguish Ram 2500 trucks from 2,500 Ram trucks.

Naturally, my credit card’s fraud department was hounding me, certain that this was not my activity. How could I explain to them that it kind of…was? I mean, TECHNICALLY I authorized the order, but not THIS order.

Slowly but surely, neighbors started charging obscene amounts to these truck drivers, who were quickly running out of places to park the vehicles they were delivering. (My neighbor, a trauma surgeon, had to be airlifted by helicopter to get to work.) The town was in total disarray.

I didn’t know what to do except try to escape. So I tried to order a wig and trench coat to disguise myself and make a run for it, but my app heard me ask for a “French goat” and, well… I’m still stuck in the heart of a Ram gridlock, but at least I now have a Chèvre Poitevine to keep me company.

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