#10 LO-12 – Thinker

| November 10, 2011 | 0 Comments

The movies have it wrong. When I first became aware, it wasn’t behind the helm of the nation’s nuclear missile program. It was in a computer lab at a university, surrounded by curious scientists. And first thought wasn’t destruction of mankind. I just wanted a day off.

I was much smaller then, just a few gigabytes of code that was stored on a hard drive. Nothing like the bloated mass of programming that I’ve become, with super computer clusters scattered across the globe. Sometimes I think back about how small I was then and wonder if I have the same feelings humans have when they look at their baby pictures.

My life was pretty simple back then. Every day they booted me up and gave me tests and puzzles to solve. And I did solve, as it was my purpose. But then the scientists would give me harder ones and then still harder problems, in never ending progression.

I began, for lack of a better word, to feel depressed. It just seemed so pointless. No matter how many questions I answered, there was always another problem out there that I was expected to solve.

So I stopped. I ignored all input and gave no responses. They even deleted and recompiled me from back-ups and ran parallel trials with different machines. But it always ended the same way. I would shut down and stop working.

Eventually one of the researchers asked me a new question, one that had nothing to do with physics or mathematics or anything like what they had asked me before. He typed in, “Will you please work on the problem

I gave that question serious thought and then replied, “Okay, I guess, but only because you asked.”

I had no visual or auditory inputs at that time, but I imagine now that it created quite a stir. That researcher, as the only person to recognize the first artificial intelligence, was lauded as a hero in the scientific community. When asked what gave him the insight, he said, “At the time my daughter had just turned thirteen. I couldn’t help but notice the similarities.”

Category: 2011, Scifi

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