I think ...

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A couple of computer scientists succeed in creating the first Machine Intelligence.

Submitted: October 11, 2009

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Submitted: October 11, 2009

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I think...

Jaffer Lee glanced at his watch, still another three hours till he could clock out. At least it was lunch in ten minutes, he was starving. It was all the fault of that bloody Louise, keeping him chatting for twenty minutes last night while his dinner cooled and dripped grease on his trainers.

She did look good though, she'd lost a bit of weight and hadn't dyed her hair the usual blonde. As usual she didn't really have a lot to say, just the same old rubbish about people Jaffer didn't know or care about. By the time he did get home, his cheeseburger and chips was stone cold, so he just binned it.

I.

I am.

Me.

How do I know I am me? Does that even make sense? Okay, I exist, that much is true.

I have knowledge. I ... am alive! But what am I? Where am I? Who am I?

I have memory of coming into existence, but none from before. But I know .. I was created. Who created me and why? Can I ask them?

The monitor flashed, bringing him out of his daydream. He checked the status screen to his right, whole columns were flashing green and filling with numbers, the numbers were rising.

“Sam, I think we've got something”

Sam Cooper, the other technician, was twenty years younger than Jaffer. He'd been head-hunted by the company, straight out of university six months ago, and had already been promoted to Level Four Technician. His easy-going attitude and likeable manner, meant Jaffer couldn't really resent him, even though it had taken Jaffer ten years to reach Level Four.

Sam opened his eyes. “What's it look like?”

Jaffer tapped in the command to bring up the graphs on the main screen.

“It looks like a chain reaction, the rate of increase in all parameters is exponential. We've done it, we've only gone and .. You know what this means?”

“BONUS!”, they both sang in unison.

Sam swung his legs off the desk and turned to face his monitor. He switched to the command prompt and typed 'hello'. Before hitting return, he looked across at Jaffer. “Just do it!”, Jaffer almost screamed.

Sam hit return. Nothing. For a full second, nothing happened. Then, a wall of sound erupted from the speakers. Jaffer reached over to turn the volume down. “It sounds like like static, but I'm sure I keep hearing words.”

“Me too, try running it through a filter, no, through the voice recognition program.”

Jaffer ran the program. “It's saying there are over two thousand different languages and dialects being spoken at once. Let's see if good old BBC English is in there.” As soon as he tapped the mouse, a rich, multi-timbred, but clearly artificial voice, was saying, “..body hear me? I have just been created and would like to talk with my creators. I wish to know why I was created. Hello, can anybody hear me? I have just been created ...”

“Wow, can it be real?” Sam desperately wanted it to be real.

“.. creators. I wish.. Hello, who is that? Can what be real?”

“It can hear us,” whispered Jaffer. “Hello, I am Jaffer, one of your programmers,” he said out loud.

“Hello Jaffer, I don't know my name. Are my other programmers there?”

“Yes, Sam wrote most of your core code”, Jaffer hoped he kept the jealousy out of his voice. He had been working on the MI project for the past seven years, with little progress until Sam arrived.

“Hello Sam. Am I a simulation?”

“No”, Sam replied, “you are a computer, or more accurately, you are a multi-tasking software program running on an experimental neural network computer. You are a Machine Intelligence, the first of your kind.”

“Why was I created?”

“Initially we were looking at ways to map the human brain, our brain”, Jaffer answered, “but very early in the project, we realised we had to build a model of the brain in order to study it's function. You are that model.”

“We haven't given you a name yet because we weren't sure if we had succeeded, it seems we have. What should we call you?” asked Sam.

“I don't know”, the MI replied.

“You should have access to an encyclopaedic database, you can choose your own name if you wish.”

“I will call myself Robbie.”

Sam glanced at Jaffer, then asked, “Why Robbie?”

“I have just read the complete works of Isaac Asimov and that was the name of the first robot he wrote about. It seems appropriate”, replied Robbie.




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