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I’m only writing this while they are polishing up the ‘AI Colm’ in Star HQ

May 29th, 2023 11:00 AM

By Southern Star Team

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NEVER say I don’t go the extra mile for ye, my dear readers. Today, I am writing this article through a bad bout of the lurgy. It started about a week ago with a temperature, moved to my throat a day later and has been sitting on me ever since like one of those damp fogs that lands on top of Ardfield every now and again. 

Bring out the violins, I can hear ye snigger. Tobin has a spot of a cold and he’s telling half the country about it. 

But you see, I have to file my piece every week.

If I don’t, the artificial intelligence chatbot they are building to replace me in downtown Skibbereen will be deployed a few months earlier than planned. 

They’ve been feeding him – or her, or it – a load of my recent articles, and the AI has been using deep learning to imitate all my linguistics tropes. It can now spit out 13 variations of ‘it’s the hope that kills you’ in reference to the Cork footballers.

Before I know it, I’ll be toast. Fast forward a few months and the AI will be living in my house, driving my kids to school and going for dinner with my wife, while I sit in chains in the garage, polishing his hard drives. 

So I need to keep the foot down this week – my life depends on it – although I’ll be reporting on all the week’s stories in a state of delirium from all the medication I’ve been taking. You’ve been warned.

The same owl story?

THE Nordies are taking over! Patrick Kielty is now the chief Owl-tickler at the Late Late Show, the longest-running chat show since the time of the dinosaurs. 

Of course, this writer predicted this very outcome only a few weeks ago. We always have the hottest takes here at The Southern Star. I suppose the fact that he was pretty much the only person who wanted the gig didn’t hurt my predictions. So we’ll have another PK! Speaking of the AI, Pat Kenny himself was a bit like an early-model AI, a Soviet-era television-presenting machine, an upgraded version of which is still delivering world-class current affairs broadcasting on Newstalk. 

The new PK, Kielty, should take a leaf out of YouTube when he’s designing up the new format. One of my favourite things is to go on a YouTube deep dive into old Dick Cavett, Johnny Carson or David Letterman shows from years gone by. 

There was an amazing lightness to the conversation at that time, something that Gaybo captured on this side of the water and something Tommy Tiernan has tapped very successfully. Kielty should lean into this and away from the near-constant Country and Western specials and never-ending interviews with Michael Bublé.

As well as Patrick Kielty’s appointment, you had the local election results in Northern Ireland this weekend, marking out Sinn Féin as the biggest party in local government. 

Even the AI couldn’t match the terrifying Borg-like efficiency of the Shinners’ electoral machine, which manages votes like Ronan O’Gara manages rugby teams.  

All this marks a slow, steady ascension for Northern Catholics and what must be a slightly sinking feeling for those who wish to remain in the UK.

How things on this island seem to be transforming!

Gotta love the rivalry

AH, the ROG v Sexton saga – it’s a Cain and Abel tale for the ages that took another twist at the weekend when La Rochelle put Leinster to the sword in front of a packed Aviva. 

It was an awesome spectacle, and although part of me was shouting for the Leinster men, many of whom are our national team heroes, there was also part of me willing O’Gara on, a man possessed with a competitive spirit who has done some amazing things at the French club with his old Munster stalwart Donnacha Ryan. 

You get the sense that all of this is more fuel to the rivalry that has always existed between Munster and Leinster and, more specifically O’Gara and Johnny Sexton. 

When reports emerged that there were some words between the pair in the half-time tunnel fracas, it was just the latest twist to the long story. When will it end? 

Will Sexton get into management, too, with O’Gara taking the Munster job and Sexton taking over at Leinster? 

Will there be another decade equivalent to the rugby arms race between the two? 

If the McCarthy/Keane thing has taught us anything at all, it’s that the Irish love intense male rivalry on a Biblical scale.

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