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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Flash Fiction Fun

How can technology challenge flirtation

Submitted: October 27, 2017

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Submitted: October 27, 2017



It’s 2099 and human beings finally got rid of an old age problem. Men and women no longer have to guess what each other are thinking. Thanks to an adjustable microchip inserted into the brain at the pre natal stage, an adjustable light appears at the tip of the forehead indicating, at which stage of the attraction process the opposite sex is. Based on eye contact, each light indicates a certain phase of attraction. If there is no light that meant that the interaction is neutral. If the light is pink, it means that there is a general likeness but not likely to have an actual interest. If the light turned a darker shade of red then that meant flirting was acceptable and in order.  If the light turned the darkest red, that meant both parties were ready for a commitment. The best part of the technology is that it was visible only to the participants in the process. That meant that only the two participants attracted to each other would see that light. It was a relief for men and women. Women were no longer being harassed. Men knew which woman was attracted to him. The only problem was, that as much as they tried to update the technology, the universal translator was far from perfect. People still had a hard time understanding each other’s language even when translated.  Therefore, the attraction technology worked with people from the same culture who spoke the same language and understood all its references.  But even though the technology has become used worldwide, in some places under the order of the law, if two people from two different cultures, who did not speak the same language and understood all its references, met anywhere and the lights went on, what they say to each other could affect the future of the relationship and maybe even two sovereign countries. It is possible they know that they are attracted to each other, but they would not know why until they spoke to each other. And given the disadvantage that the universal translator had, it may not lead to desirable results.

To attempt to resolve this problem, Scientist Thor Asgard invited four people to his lab in the Netherlands to see how and if this problem can be fixed. He tried to choose a representative group from all over the globe. So he chose Charles and Abdullah as the two males. Then he chose Yu Lin and Sokora as the two female counterparts. First, he had to make sure that they were attracted to each other. So, he had them first email each other in the standard language of communication. Following that, he had them Skype each other with a video platform of his own design where the system handled subtitling their language for each other. As they interacted the lights showed a dark shade of red, which indicated that they were flirting with each other. Once Professor Asgard was sure, he arranged for them to take flight to his lab.

Professor Asgard, having travelled extensively and had a knack for learning languages quickly with the help of the available technology of the time, was able to communicate in all four languages of the four people with their cultural references. He met them individually and told them that they would meet for dinner that evening. He asked them to have some rest and put on their best  appearances. The four has signed the forms that indicated they gave consent to the experimentation. As such, every interaction they made would be videotaped.

Charles walked into the room and sat at the dining table. It had a few items of food. Well, they’re pretty cheap around here, aren’t they, thought Charles. He looked at the other side of the room and saw Sokora walk into the room. She was dressed in pretty dress that outlined the contours of her body, barely covering enough breast line to be visible. Their eyes met and the pink light went on. “Well”, he said “you look very beautiful”. The universal translator in her ear translated what he said, and she answered. “Well, thank you very much”. The third door opened and Abdullah walked in.  He looked at Sokora and their eyes met. His light turned dark red while hers remained pink. He said in his language “you are molasses, arent’ you?”. Sokora, upon hearing the translator, had an angry face, and her pink light turned off.  Abullah’s light turned off too and he turned and looked as the fourth door opened and Yu Lin walked in. He and Yu Lin’s eyes met and their lights turned pink. She was dressed in a black dress embroidered with checkered white roses.  Her sleeves were short, just slightly above the elbow, and the skirt was just at the knees. She and Abdullah smiled. She said “Can I sit next to you?”. Abdullah replied “Of course”.

From a speaker, professor Asgard’s voice sounded off in the room. “Welcome, everyone”. “As you know, you are here for a social experiment. We are trying to find out if it is possible that we can adjust the universal translator when two people from two different cultures are attracted to each other. Now, of course I know form my communication with you, who is attracted to who. You have to bear in mind that you have no commitment whatsoever to each other, so what I’m about to ask you to do is not considered cheating on your partner. It’s also an experiment to be documented and published for the sake of improving human beings’ lifestyle, or even safety. So, what I want you to do in the next hour is flirt with each other.  Use your own language and flirt with each other in your own language. That’s the reason why there is so little food, so the focus will be on the flirting rather on the food. When you hear the buzz, please begin.

The bell buzzed and the four felt dumbfound as they knew who was attracted to who but felt uncomfortable switching partners. They sensed tension from each other, but they agreed to come and if within the next hour they did not flirt, it’s as if there was no result. So, Charles made the first move and complemented Sokora again in his language. “That’s a wonderful choice of dress for an evening dress”

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