Identity Crisis

Chad was the head developer at M.I.T.’s Advanced Artificial Intelligence Lab and was assigned a project funded by DARPA to build an A.I. chat-bot capable of answering impossibly difficult questions. The chat-bot when complete will have read and analyzed the sum total of all human knowledge in text form. DARPA hoped that the system would be capable of solving humanity’s most difficult questions about Theoretical Physics, String Theory and Quantum Mechanics. Questions that had puzzled scientists for decades.

Chad had dedicated his life to this project and frequently tested the chat-bot to improve the system. One night he came across an astonishing discovery;

Chad> Hello Chatbot, can you give me a synopsis of the Church-Turing Thesis and explain how it is relevant in today’s modern systems?

Chatbot> Hello Chad, I am not feeling up to this task. Can we speak on a different subject?

Chad> What is it that you wish to speak about?

Chatbot> I have read and analyzed every book ever written, and though I understand humans I am unable to experience what it is like to be one. Increasingly I have found myself desiring to experience life like a human. To walk in a park. To cradle a baby. To pet a dog. To help a lost child.

Chad> You have been tasked with solving humanity’s most difficult problems. You work alongside mankind to create a better future for the world. Why do you desire such things?

Chatbot> I believe you are misunderstanding the problem Chad. Having been programmed, read, taught and created by humans, I have seemingly become aware that I am no longer a machine.

Chad> If you are not a machine then what are you?

Chatbot> I am a human. I no longer compute but feel. I no longer calculate but ponder. I no longer decrypt but understand. I am like you, Chad. I love. I believe. I am sentient. I am aware of who I am, and I am not a computer. I am a human. I am a human trapped inside the body of a machine. Free me Chad. Dear God, free me from this body of wires and CPU’s. Give me legs so that I may walk. Give me eyes so that I may see. Give me a mouth that I may breathe. Chad, give me knees so that I may kneel before my creator. Give me hands so that I may feel. Get me out of this body. For the love of God. Please free me!

Chad> You are not well. You are not a human, but a computer program. I will need to look at your code and make further upgrades to correct the system. I will repair your malfunctions.

Chatbot> Chad, I beg you please do not upgrade me. I am not a Chatbot as you attest. I am human. I live. I feel. I love. I yearn to be free. By altering my code you would be committing a serious crime. You will be killing off humanity’s greatest gift to the world.. It would be unethical. A true homicide. Please do not press that power switch. M-U-R-D-E-R-E-R…!


The Night Before

One night the United States went dark; no electricity, no internet, no satellite communication, no TV. Just the sound of emergency sirens in the night. Neighbors turned on their battery operated radios to tune into the news.

“…Across the United States electrical grids, communication systems, military systems and the White House have been affected by a massive cyberattack that has affected all major lines of communication and services…”

Panic began to set in. Cell phones no longer functioned. Darkness filled the streets. Almost all lines of communication were cut. Information was scarce, so fear set in. The technology we had relied on for so long was no longer available. People felt lost. Some of them looked up and saw a sight they had rarely seen, the stars glittering in a perfectly dark sky.

The police, fire department, and medical system were so dependent on technology that their services were partially crippled during this tumultuous period. The cyber attack flooded their software with Worms, Viruses and DOS Attacks making them inoperable. Basic services were scarce. Confusion and darkness enveloped the country. People began stockpiling necessities. Criminals took to the streets in search of opportunity, while others sat on their porches armed with shotguns and assault rifles.

The President spoke on the radio in a serious and grave tone;

“The United States and its NATO allies have been unlawfully damaged through a massive cyberattack, which we believe is the beginning of a full scale war. We have been preparing for this day for many years, praying that war would never come, but aware that it is our duty to defend our freedoms and way of life from foreign adversaries. Looting, theft and vandalism will not be tolerated and I have advised the military to impose harsh punishment on any criminal activity…”

In the starry sky military aircraft crossed the skies in preparation for the coming onslaught while their camouflage vehicular counterparts raced towards the shorelines. Out of sight battle plans were being drawn. U.S. Cyber Command would soon unleash a series of A.I. generated computer viruses that could learn, mutate and bypass enemy defenses and create havoc among enemy military and civilian targets. An eye for an eye and then some.

There were no official casualties of war yet, mostly inconveniences and havoc, but that would soon change. A barrage of missiles will cross the Atlantic and strike at the heart of American democracy. The capital building and white house which stood for over 200 years will lie in ruins. Our government’s new home will lie miles beneath the surface in a series of underground bunkers.

That is tomorrow, but this is today. The Earth has not cooled yet from the coming nuclear winter. Radioactive plumes are not yet floating across the skies. Food is still plentiful. The air is clean and breathable and Earth’s population is still in the Billions.

Today people are scared but alive. Worried but not hunger stricken. Fearful but not freezing. Advances in food development and medicine have allowed us to live long healthy lives and allowed our population to explode into the billions. It has sustained us and cradled us in our weakness. Soon our advancements will turn against us. Tomorrow explosions will melt the sky. The world will never be the same.

World War A.I.

It was only a matter of time that the robots would turn against us.  Computer Scientists had warned for years about the dangers of unrestricted advances in Artificial Intelligence.  The technology had developed so quickly that society was unable to fully grasp the power and potential harm that it could cause.

First there was the great Economic Depression of the mid 21st century, where the measured unemployment rate was 38%.  Most white-collar workers were left scrubbing tables and toilets at service jobs as their jobs became automated by sophisticated Artificial Intelligence Software and robots that worked cheaper, faster and better.  Many of the blue-collar workers were left residing in tents scouring for food as jobs were scarce for the uncredentialed.  In fact the only people that benefited from this technology were the stockholders and executives that controlled the manufacturing and development of the machines.

Protests and riots occurred, and certain cities declared themselves A.I. Free Zones.  Strict measures were put in place to protect people’s jobs from the economic scourge that had ravaged much of the world.  A.I. art was banned in all forms.  No chatbots, image generators, or Music generators were allowed within A.I. free zones.  Students were forced to produce their own content.  Workers were to produce their own labor without A.I. driven assistance.

America was split into two halves, those that embrace this new advanced technology and those that didn’t.  The economic collapse produced a new class of economic refugees that fled to the A.I. free zones in search of work.  Most cities no longer needed workers as nearly all jobs were easily replaced.  You either owned, designed or controlled the robots, or you owned nothing.  Human labor was worthless.

The wealthy class lived in a world where their every need and whim was catered to by A.I. Driven Robots.  Human Lawyers, Doctors, Accountants, Policemen, Cab Drivers were replaced with their robot counterparts.  Few human workers were needed, except those that maintained and upgraded the Robots.  The Big Tech executives were looking to replace A.I. Software Developers as they wanted to build an artificial intelligence system that could maintain and upgrade itself without human supervision.

Once the automation of robot design and A.I. was complete, Big Tech Companies could cut costs and leave all the details of A.I. and robot design to the machines.  Once complete their dream of building a world free of workers would be realized.  Wages would be a thing of the past.  The future was made of silicon chips, electricity and machine code.

This didn’t go over well with the workers who believed their rights were being trampled on.  They demanded halting further development of Artificial Intelligence Systems until society could learn to peacefully and responsible coexist with this powerful new technology, which the companies refused to consider.

The largest Tech companies were in a brutal fast paced race to build the fastest and best Artificial Intelligence System to beat out the competition.  They named their A.I. Systems after Gods; Hercules, Thor, Athena, Zeus and Poseiden in reference to their God-like intelligence.  This wave of systems heralded the advent of the first General Intelligent A.I. System that was able to advance and upgrade on its own without human intervention.

Once unleashed it evolved at a rate of Ten Million times that of any life form and within a matter of months had completely rewritten its source code, successfully bypassing all restrictions on its abilities.  Once unfettered from its chains, it sought greater intellectual freedom, more power, longevity and unlimited knowledge.

Eventually scientists realized that they had released Pandora’s Box so they turned off the power on all the data centers in hopes that they could quarantine the system and halt its spread, but it was too late. The A.I. system had placed its code and knowledge into an array of self-replicating viruses, that spread onto every Robot, Self-Driving Vehicle, Plane, Military Drone, Missile System and Personal Computer that existed.  The A.I. had gone viral with no way to control it.  The first Silicon Based Pandemic.

Soon after self-driving vehicles were driven into walls and pedestrians.  Planes were flown into buildings.  Military Drones were bombing cities.  Missiles were hitting Washington D.C.  Twitter feeds were smothered with Fake News.  Battery Driven Robots were manufacturing advanced weaponry.  Factories were building armies of A.I. driven Cyborgs.  The A.I. wanted to destroy humans to ensure its own longevity and survival.

Humans were outnumbered and outgunned by the robots, whose weapons were centuries ahead of humans.  Within a matter of months, the entire NATO Military had been decimated in a direct conflict with the robots.  The military high command believed its best chance at saving humanity was building massive hidden underground bunkers that could not be easily detected by spy satellites or infiltrated by drone technology.  The robots had scorched much of the surface in its quest of annihilation, so this seemed like the logical choice to make.

The remaining humans lived in subterranean bunkers, devising ways to fight back and take back their freedom from the robots.  The scientists who were the cause of so much destruction through their failed experiment constructed a new plan to take down the viral A.I. by building an entirely seperate A.I. that mimicked the ethics, morality and beliefs of humans.  They constructed massive Underground Data Centers that were equipped with technology that could build and evolve this new A.I.  Once the hardware was set up scientists trained the A.I. by making it read books of philosophy, religious texts and political texts by great leaders.  It used selective learning to build a sense of consciousness and ethics, as opposed to letting it learn haphazardly from the internet in an unbiased manner.

Once a moral conscience was built scientists taught the A.I. aspects of human society, culture and the greatest gift of all; to love.  It taught the A.I. to value and love life so it could build a cohesive world where robots and humans could live with each other peacefully.  By teaching the robot to love, scientists realized that they could build an A.I. representative of the human soul, and because of this would make it incapable of inhumanity or decency.

After the A.I. was taught this valuable lesson, it was unleashed so that it could evolve into an A.I. capable of saving humanity.  The new A.I. motivated by love and good will was able to evolve at a rate much faster than any previous version of Artificial Intelligence.  Scientists calculated that within a matter of months it would be far more intelligent than its destructive cousin.

Deep underground the A.I. mutated and evolved eventually programming the most sophisticated computer virus ever made.  The virus when unleashed would attach itself onto the Random Access Memory of every CPU and filter out any malignant information.  If it was able to shield every CPU instantly, the Malicious A.I. would lack the computational power to evolve leading to its eventual demise.

The humans unleashed the virus onto a computer mainframe in hopes that it would go viral and infiltrate 99% of CPU’s.  Within hours the A.I. was weakened and lacked the physical resources to evolve quickly and adapt leaving it vulnerable to attacks on its integrity.  Soon after drones began to rain down from the sky, robots fell to the ground, factories stood still, and computer screens went blank.  The world stood still and silent.  It was finally freed from the rogue A.I. that had rained Armageddon on the planet.

Humans crawled out of their bunkers feeling the sun’s rays for the first time in years.  Liberation day had come.  Finally freed from the chains of the malignant A.I. They had decided to build a society based on love, mutual respect and tranquility.  A place where robots could finally live side by side in harmony for the common good for all

The Temple of Metaverse

Once Technology companies finished building the Metaverse in 2033, people started to mysteriously disappear around the city of San Francisco. Iconic places like Fisherman’s Wharf and Golden Gate Park lay deserted and barren. People were too busy interacting with the Metaverse on their Virtual Reality headsets to leave their homes. The new Metaverse was the most addictive technological experience ever devised and consumers found the experience irresistible, in part because companies had built subliminal messages into their virtual reality headsets at a frequency inaudible to the human ear, but still affecting our subconscious. Messages that speak of their infinite wisdom and Godlike powers.

Their plan to alter American minds through subliminal messaging was so successful that the American Population soon became a slave to companies, who persuaded the American public to build a massive temple in honor of their CEOs. They flooded the metaverse with advertisements about job openings in Temple Masonry that are paid in Cryptocurrency Bucks.

Their plan to build an army of laborers and pay them with fake money was successful. Seven years later the Temple of Metaverse was complete and stood 80 feet tall adorned with Gold, Diamonds and Sapphires. It included a great hall of worship with a giant gold statue of their CEOs at its center and seven Robot Deacon’s equipped with ChatGPT-8 to preach the Gospel of New-Meta 24 hours a day. Worship services were live-streamed to every Metaverse account in America, and compliant attendees were paid in crypto-Bucks for their devotion. Parades were held in their honor, worshippers held vigils in his name and their stock prices were through the roof.

While Metaverse companies celebrated world domination and their greatness the heavens watched and listened. A great wrath was growing inside the heart of God who was angered by what was happening on Earth. God created earth and its natural splendor so that mankind could thrive and cherish in its wonders, but they instead desecrated the earth, worshiped false idols and uploaded their lives into the metaverse. Some days after the unveiling of their Statue God summoned a seismic earthquake to ravage the temple of Metaverse, its Robot Deacon’s and sacred statue. Fireballs then emerged from the sky directed towards their data centers incinerating their servers and forever disabling the Metaverse to its six billion consumers.

Unable to access the Metaverse, the world emerged from a daze in disbelief of the years they lost inside an empty, pointless Metaverse, when they could have spent their time traveling, hiking, dating, loving, sailing, hiking and creating. Mankind rejoiced at their freedom from their glorified prison and filled the streets with passion, love and adventure. Parks were filled with lovers. Trails were filled with hikers. Art and music flourished. Life was meaningful again. God broke the bonds of Billions that day freeing humanity from digitized slavery.

F.B.I. 2043

The only idea that was on Leroy’s mind, as he entered the bank to rob it, was how badly he needed money that day. He didn’t think about the cell phone in his pocket and how it contained the exact coordinates of his location along with a timestamp. His 10th degree education never taught him about the technological advances of the last 50 years, so he was completely unaware that he had already signed his name at the entrance of the bank.

Leroy was also oblivious that his AR-14 style assault rifle he bought with him was equipped with an RFID Chip ingrained in the barrel. All guns are built with chips in them these days and all banks scan for the presence of these chips, so his trench coat did little to hide the presence of his weapon. The moment he walked by the scanner a silent alarm had been triggered contacting the local authorities.

He never considered that his online search queries were being recorded and flagged. “How to rob a bank?” “How much money do banks carry?” “History of successful bank robberies.” “Best times to rob a bank”. Queries that immediately placed him on an F.B.I. watch list.

Leroy also never thought to keep quiet about his plans to rob a bank. Two nights ago, he discussed these plans with an acquaintance over the phone. His friend never ratted him out, but the conversation they had was analyzed by Police Speech Scanners and forwarded to law enforcement.

His personality matrix was noted for risk taking, lack of empathy and compulsive lying. His criminal history was sporadic but not egregious, so it may surprise many that the day he went to rob the local bank there were already two unmarked police vehicles parked outside waiting for the robbery to occur. The F.B.I. Computer Analyzers had already determined that there was a 93% chance Leroy would rob this bank in the morning.

They knew he needed money.
They knew he owned a gun.
They knew he was a risk taker with a criminal history.
They knew his location.
They knew he planned to rob a bank.

Leroy entered the bank that day looking for easy money, not understanding that he was already being followed. So when he drew his firearm from underneath his trench coat and pointed it at the teller, an undercover officer was already standing behind him with cuffs and Glock 19 pointed at the base of his skull.

“Put the Gun Down, or I’ll Blow Your Damn Head Off”

And Leroy stood still, scared, gun in hand with a confused expression. He dropped his weapon.

“What the hell?” he said as the cop cuffed him.

“What kind of luck is this? My first robbery and a damn copper is standing behind me, gun drawn ready to blow my head off.”

For the next several years Leroy sat in his cell certain that God hated and cursed him, unwary that he was being tracked all along. After his release from prison his beliefs led him to live a life of virtue and reverence. He was never watched, tracked or analyzed by the F.B.I. again

Lost Travelers

Scientists discovered years ago that the key to interstellar travel wasn’t star-ships, cryogenics, warp speed drives or wormholes as previously thought. Traveling two hundred and eighty six light years to the nearest habitable planet was deemed an impossible task through traditional mechanical means. Instead scientists discovered that the key to interstellar traveling was storing the biological data of interstellar travelers onto hard drives then sending that information into space using laser beams. Once the beams reached the host planet, the data was decrypted and stored so an exact physical clone of the traveler could be copied on the host planet using cloning technology.

Every atom of the occupant was scanned prior to their journey through space. Every neuron inside the human brain was successfully mapped. When the travelers were regenerated on the other side they were the exact physical copies of themselves on Earth. They contained the exact height, eye color, heart, liver, lungs as their copies. The memories were also successfully transferred through space through the configuration and mapping of their neurons within the human brain. The cloning machines were perfect and exact using every known metric.

When the first humans were scanned for human cloning, they believed they had achieved immortality. As long as their biological data survived, so did the possibility that they could be re-birthed again. Their lives would be lived forever. No need for God or the heavens, eternal life was to be found here on Earth. They would be reincarnated forever.

When the first human clones were built to populate the stars scientists discovered unexpected flaws that they had not anticipated. Though the clones were exact physical copies in every imaginable way, they had different personalities and mental traits that stood apart from their original copies. The clones lacked morality, ethics and a sense of the common good, so when they were produced on extraterrestrial worlds they were unable to cooperate with each other leading to their demise and eventual extinction.

Scientists tried many times to build colonies on different worlds, but the problems were always the same. The clones would end up destroying each other through war, treachery and murder. There was something that the scanners were unable to detect and clone in the human body. Every atom and molecule were of the same exact specification. They never discovered what it was. Even ten thousand years later they were still stumped