The University of Saskatchewan’s main campus is situated on Treaty 6 Territory and the Homeland of the Métis.

Fake News: Students suggest bottle sensor on library fountain actually sentient

By in Distractions

MURRAY LIBRARY — Research conducted by an unlicensed group of students at the University of Saskatchewan aims to prove that the water-bottle-filling station on the ground floor of the Murray Library is fully self-actualized.

Complaints about the particular Elkay EZH2O® Bottle Filling Station have been circulating since late 2016, and new reports indicate rising issues with other, similar filling-station devices around campus. Though little investigation has been conducted by the university, data collected by students who frequent the library is available online.

Suspicions about the machine intelligence of the bottle-filling station on the ground floor of the Murray Library mounted on Nov. 24. One hobbyist student-researcher, Terrence Lehrer — currently in his fourth year of study in the department of English — noticed an unusual discrepancy in the patterns he has been monitoring in the device’s function for several months.

“Usually, the bottle-filling station is operational only on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays between 2:30 and 2:55 p.m., excluding days of high humidity or if there is a full moon,” Lehrer said.

Lehrer notes that he spends at least 108 hours a week in the Murray Library. He is currently spearheading the student-research initiative but says that many of his other, frequent library-dwelling friends contribute regularly to his bottle-filling-station findings.

The students behind the ongoing research believe that the manufacturers of the bottle-filling station — whose headquarters are located in Oak Brook, Illinois — might have salvaged pieces from a storied cybernetics lab — which studied brain function to design analogous mechanical systems in the same state — that burned down in 2000.


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