Until yesterday, I’d not tried Any Questions Answered (AQA) – the old-school (as in not P2P) SMS-based answer service. For a mere £1, they will answer any question you have. I’d heard good things about them.
Their website allows you to ask one free question, so I did:
“Since 1950, how many people have been shot by the police in mainland Britain (excluding N Ireland) who were not later found to be innocent?”
I was attempting to ask a straight question. Not too broad, minimal ambiguity I hoped, and conducive to a straight answer. It’s a question you would not be able to get an answer from Google at all easily, so I assumed it would be a good test of their mettle. Here’s their reply:
“No one who gets shot by the police is formally not found innocent. You would need a trial, and for obvious reasons a trial can’t happen in that situation.”
Leaving aside my suspicion that they meant to say “No one who gets shot by the police is formally found innocent” I now want to text them back and re-phrase the question. But not for a quid! Is that the sort of answer you would have expected? François pointed out that they are probably popular amongst people who don’t think to use Google.
Crafty lot, AQA…