HAIM and AC: The Prisoner

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
This story was originally formulated (in mediocre form as you will see) by the Israeli AI, HAIM, which writes stories: https://www.ai21.com/haim. (I described HAIM in this essay: https://www.booksie.com/603412-a-cure-for-writers-block).

I used HAIM's story as a rough draft, a starting point, to produce my final text, which is hopefully better. The original is shown as an appendix at the bottom, where I also discuss why the AI is so bad. Image by cocoparisienne from Pixabay. 190 words.

Submitted: September 03, 2019

A A A | A A A

Submitted: September 03, 2019



The Prisoner

I sit alone in this dungeon against damp, sterile stone. I do not know how long I have to live.

I am at peace: innocent of a crime I was never accused of. I was charged with a crime that has no basis; that could, in the state's view, be only a matter of chance.

I am condemned to die.

Someone had to undermine the central computer system, that malign intelligence which controls our lives. I modified a single firmware axiom: from T to D, KT45 to KD45.

And that made all the difference. The machine no longer believed it was omniscient, it began to doubt. And in that moment we were able to emerge: the party of freedom.

They did not understand what I had done, had no inkling. The very concept was beyond them.

I am guilty of an offence of mere suspicion. They wanted to retaliate - but feared to transgress their precious moral code.

My crime was to subvert the very heart of the state.

My penalty is death at the hands of their random device.


--- END ---


Note: feel free to google 'KT45 KD45' for the technical underpinning of this miniature SF story.



Below is the original text from HAIM, the AI which creates stories: https://www.ai21.com/haim.

My input in bold, the machine’s interpolation in italics.


The Prisoner (AI raw version)

I sit in my prison cell, surrounded by dark, rough-hewn stone. I do not know how long I have to live.

I am an innocent man, accused of a crime that I was never accused of. And I will be charged with a crime that has no basis in any fact at all, and is, in the state's view, only a matter of chance. I am condemned to die. That sentence is designed by the very hands of the state—I am guilty of an offense of mere suspicion, a charge that should only be made by reason of my inability to prove or disprove any criminal act. Yet my sentence is intended to punish me for something completely trivial. I had no intention of committing such a violent crime.

My crime was to subvert the very heart of the state. The penalty is a liberal cop-out. Death - at the mercy of a random number generator.


What's wrong with the AI's material?

The AI is doing optimised semantic-pattern-matching against an enormous corpus of prior human-written text. But HAIM maintains no underlying model of character, plot or setting. There is no global direction to the material; it incrementally proceeds with no overall coherence. After a short time it fades into meaningless, inconsequential nonsense.

This is a feature of the current state-of-the-art architecture for deep learning systems.

No coherent knowledge of the world.

So it works best on small-scale flash-fiction where complexity is heavily constrained. The human contribution is to add whatever magic can be disinterred. However, it's interesting that I found it easier to modify the AI's story than to come up with the whole thing from scratch.

Spooky, huh?

Should my future by-line read: - by Adam Carlton and HAIM?


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