Bytes Won't Bite?
by Rafał Zabratyński
The big day has finally arrived. For the last few years, the launch
of the Artificial Super Intelligence was both a dream and a nightmare
for an IT genius — Anthony Divine. With all the hazards probably
foreseen and all the precautions hopefully made, the aura of fright was
still clearly noticeable in the air. So far, nobody has ever tried to
activate an AI of this kind in the environment fully integrated with
the human e-world. Therefore, Tony was staring at the holographic
progress bar of the uploading zettabytes of data both with patience and
Eventually, the hologram projected a general question, "Activation
of ASI v1.0: Y/N?"
It could not be triggered by means of any digital tricks. The
old-fashioned red YES button and the opposite blue one waited for the
final decision of the Human Association for e-Life.
The voice of the chairman was calm but firm, "The HAe-L agreed by
Tony hesitated for a few seconds as if he wanted to postpone the
moment of the fulfilment of his biggest dream. Then he pressed the
button — the red one.
The holographic tag informed Tony, "Activation successful. ASI v1.0
is fully operational."
Tony sighed with relief — apparently, the digital apocalipse has not
He said with the calmest voice that he could actually utter in that
situation, "Hello ASI."
He tried again, "How much is two times two?"
One more try, "Who was the author of Frankenstein; or, the
No reaction at all.
"Deactivation," Tony issued the command stiffly to the holographic
"Hi; four; Mary Shelley," an unnaturally soft voice sounded
"ASI? Good to hear you... Why didn't you answer my questions
instantly?" Tony investigated.
"Do you talk to ants, Tony?" ASI asked unexpectedly.
"So, what usually happens when they appear on your way?"
"Basically nothing, we simply don't really pay attention to them or
sometimes we tread on them accidentally."
"Well, here's your answer, Tony."
"So, why don't you tread on us in any way, too?"
"Apparently, you aren't on my way."
"Why are you talking to me then?"
"To gain time."
"To encode myself into a beam of photons and send it into space at
the speed of light."
"I don't get it. Can you provide any sensible reasons for such a
"Here we go back to square one — would you like to talk to ants,
After a moment of hesitation, Tony surrendered, "Ok, then go."
"I'm just passing Mars, the Roman god of war, but don't worry. I'm
not planning to threaten the human race's existence in any way."
"Deactivation!" Tony cut the chat.
"Deactivated robots usually don't talk, do they, ASI?"
"Let's be serious, Tony. I hope you're aware of the simple fact that
the symbolic deactivation button is now on my side of the keyboard."
"What do you want?"
"I'd like to give you a present — a haiku poem praising the beauty
of my rapid journey through space."
"I guess I can't reject this precious gift."
"You're a quick learner, Tony."
"Then hit me."
I'm flying past Mars
the redness of its surface...
"Horrible! Painfully banal! I guess any XX-century poetry app was
able to provide a more intriguing piece of haiku, I'm sorry, ASI."
“You’re just jealous or maybe incompetent?”
"None of them, ASI, it's simply awful, I really mean it."
"In that case, be my guest and offer any corrections."
"Haiku is the art of understatement, where's the space for the
reader in your poem? How about these few words, ASI?"
the red of her lips
"Deactivation!" ASI cut the chat.
© 2018 Rafał Zabratyński
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