Monday, June 5, 2017

Is It Dangerous For Humans To Depend On Computers?

Is it dangerous for humans to depend on computers? Yes. Yes it is. But, guess what? We do it every single day. If you own a newer car, your steering, throttle response, brakes and other mission critical systems are all controlled by computers.

BA's computers were not so smart. The company says its problems began when there was a power surge at a data centre at Heathrow Airport in London. That shouldn't have been more than a temporary hitch - in fact one expert told me it should not have even set the lights blinking at the data centre - but it seems to have triggered a chain reaction which took out the entire system. That meant the sea of complex data about passengers, baggage and aircraft movements was effectively frozen - and it took 48 hours to unfreeze it and get the airline working again.