Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Microstory 272: Perspective Forty-Seven

Perspective Forty-Six

We’re trying to build an artificial neural network. The ultimate goal of our project is to develop artificial lifeforms that resemble humans, but are far superior in practically every way. Our organization is extremely secretive of this department, and goes to great lengths to prevent so much as whispers that we even exist. Everyone has a cover job in some other department, but we are the elite. At least, everyone else in the department is; I’m different. Most of my coworkers are programmers, linguists, geneticists, and other highly educated people. The guy I get along with the most is a neurobiologist. I’m nothing like any of them. I am speculative fiction writer. The company founders decided that, along with people necessary to actually develop a true artificial intelligence, they would need someone who understood the ramifications of such a thing. They were worried about what happens following the singularity; a point in technological progress where machines become so powerful and self-sufficient that predicting later events is nearly impossible. But writers have been doing just that for ages. My contribution comes, not from the stories I’ve written myself, but those that I’ve enjoyed by others. I’ve not read or watched more science fiction than anyone else in the world, but I’m right up there in the high numbers. It’s my job to analyze decisions that the rest of the team is making, and suggest decisions for the future. In that regard, I work closely with our ethicists. We’re there to determine what place in society an AI would hold, and what rights it would have. Most importantly, we work on ways to make sure our creations will have rights in the first place. We’re not trying to create robot slaves. We’re trying to create life. From scratch. The scientists are actually working on the chemicals and materials that might be used to generate an actual brain and body. Very Victor Frankenstein, I know. But they’re amazing, and I can’t wait to see what we come up with.

Perspective Forty-Eight

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