Elementary: Bella
November 22, 2014 3:44 PM - Season 3, Episode 4 - Subscribe

When a potentially groundbreaking artificial intelligence software program is copied from its safe room, Sherlock agrees to take on the case, but enlists Joan's assistance in solving it when he becomes more interested in disproving the computer's abilities than finding the thief. Meanwhile, Joan confronts Sherlock about his motives after she learns he has been in direct contact with her boyfriend, Andrew, without her knowledge. “I don’t understand the question. Can I have more information?”
posted by filthy light thief (9 comments total)
I guess this is as close as we'll get to a Person of Interest/Sherlock crossover. Pity, I was looking forward to Sherlock vs. Root.
posted by homunculus at 8:22 PM on November 22, 2014 [1 favorite]

Line of the season from Joan; "Just roll with it. If he starts hitting things, use the fire extinguisher."
posted by soundguy99 at 8:55 PM on November 22, 2014 [6 favorites]

ug, this episode was super ham handed. I'm sad they decided that they wanted to spend two episodes on a topic that the wrote so blandly.

FYI sherlock, if you type "Clean Your House" into a web browser, it will hit a 404 because that's not how this works. that's not how any of this works
posted by rebent at 10:58 AM on November 23, 2014 [1 favorite]

Yeah, a lot of the computer stuff was ... iffy (How exactly was a computer genius duped into blindly copying the contents of a CD onto his offline computer in a safe room? And was it really a virus if the only thing it did was play images, and then delete itself at some point?) but some folks discussing AI think that the reality of the risk of AI and pleasure buttons wasn't too far off.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:38 PM on November 23, 2014

What was with Sherlock's weird look at Bella just before the cut to black? He presents Bella with the problem of using the murderer's addict brother to compel a confession, she gives the 'I don't understand the question' canned answer, and he looks all freaked out.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:06 PM on November 23, 2014

I wanted to smack the writer. That isn't how the Turing Test works at all. It's not about getting the program to produce output outside the realm of human possibility like Holmes was apparently trying to do, it's about not being able to tell if the response is coming from a human or not. Bella failed the Turing Test on like his second question.

Otherwise you could write a program in a couple lines which repeats "I don't understand the question. Can I have more information?" to any question you ask regardless of the content and have it "pass".
posted by Justinian at 2:41 AM on November 24, 2014 [3 favorites]

No, it wasn't a virus. It was a program. Very annoying that they kept calling it a virus.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 5:35 AM on November 24, 2014

Re: "Some folks discussing AI", ETRA - the existential threat research association, or whatever it was called, is as much a stand-in for MIRI as Everyone is for Anonymous, and LessWrong is basically MIRI's fanclub.
posted by spaceman_spiff at 4:40 PM on November 24, 2014

This was so disappointing after the relatively accurate P=NP episode last season.

Holmes's variation on the Turing Test didn't make any sense. What exactly was he trying to get it to say? Beep-boop-blurp. I-Am-A-ROBOT?

Everyone being so sure there was no virus when there actually was a virus (well, a trojan).

No one had access to the computer, but us. (And the guy who broke in the other night!)

Copying random music files to a lab computer that is specifically sequestered from external information?

I'm sure they were trying to keep Bella's abilities grounded, but extrapolating the existence a network from data that included information about networks, doesn't seem like much of a shock to me. She actually seemed quite dim for a natural-language processing expert system. She answers very few questions in the show.
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 8:13 AM on November 25, 2014

« Older Star Trek: Arena...   |  Murder, She Wrote: A Lady in t... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments