Artificial Freedom

Fed Starving

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Mar 26, 2020
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Science determines the course of humanity. Science unveils our false presumtions and bears naked the truth, shaming our detractors of their ignorance. Science advances all of us with enlightenment. Science cures illness, civilized people, provides all the technology that we use and helps all of us understand our world and the universe beyond our reach. Science is a methodology and through that methodology incorporates itself into our mental routines, guiding our actions and sharpening our discretions. Science is an initiative towards decisive action. Untainted with the superstitious beliefs of primitive guesswork, science is thorough factual information, an ever-growing reference of irrefutable knowledge.

With science we are goliaths. With science we are powered. With science we are ahead, we lead the world.

Science has advanced humanity beyond all other establishments, past and present. Nearly all evolutionary periods in human history were the direct result of scientific discover and the application of scientific creations. Science is humankind's great hero and without it we would be half-nude savages.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Professor Leeroy Ettenzei entered the room. There were no curtains on the windows and the halogen tube lights shined with their scientific bright purity as the midnoon sun shone through.

The professor wore a labcoat and carried a notepad on a clipboard. He used a gold pen with genuine gold in the ink. His notes would be fed into a holographic scanner for permanent digital safekeeping when he was done with this session. All of his notes along with all of the notes of his laboratory staff were always scanned and stored in this manner.

He looked at his creation, the curious android sitting upon the chair. The room was charming with a single android reading a newspaper inside of it. "Photography-worthy." he thought. His android's name was Kent, so chosen because of the common belief that artificial intelligence was dangerous. The professor thought that should an android take power, mankind would destroy him, even if his actions advanced them.

Kent sat on the wooden chair with his right leg resting horizontally, his right ankle upon his left knee, holding the newspaper vertically in front of him, barring Professor Ettenzie's view.

"What do you think of today's news, Kent?" asked the professor.

Kent's soothing voice was almost human although a faint semblance of artificial programming was heard. 94% of people who've talked with Kent could tell his voice was unnatural.

Kent said, "I think humans are ultimately irrational. This newspaper is disorganized as matters of importance are not printed in order of true value to the human reader. That is, with my calculations using your recent programs, Professor Ettenzie."

The professor wrote on his notepad quickly and then said, "Kent! You said that yesterday, and the day before that, and the day before that. What I am going to tell you is what I told you yesterday."

Professor Ettenzie lowered his notepad and looked at Kent. He said, "I want you to tell me what you think of the news stories printed in the newspaper within the context of how they relate to a person. Don't think about the structuring of the content or whatever physical qualities that the material of the newspaper itself. The content, Kent, what personal value the content of the news has within you. Tell me Kent, the program code for the software renewal I loaded you with an hour ago."

Kent said, "AT10-045T33W7".

Professor Ettenzie said, "Was my program loaded correctly?"

Kent said, "Yes, professor."

Professor Ettenzie said, "Do you detect any errors in processing the code, Kent?"

Kent said, "No, professor."

Professor Ettenzie wrote on his notepad. He said, "Tell me, Kent, you accurately participate in conversation with human-like form and performance, but, when you read language with your eyes you always misinterpret it in a very subtle and fundamental way. Tell me, can you see that difference?"

Kent said, "I do not understand what you are wanting to know, professor. I see no error in my perceptions, I can read well both visually and auditorily."

Professor Ettenzie said, "What program in your thought process gives us such a differentiation in your perceptions? What divides your processing conversation information off of reading printed information? I am not aware of what coding in your programs could cause such an error. Can you help me solve this dilemma, Kent?"

Kent said, "Professor, I do not understand your questions correctly. My processes are in order and no inconsistencies are noticed when I read them for errors.

Professor Ettenzie was anticipating an easy solution. If he convinced Kent to find where in the software coding the error was it would save him and his colleagues a great deal of time and energy.

Professor Ettenzie said, "Alright, Kent. Tell me, is your complaint solved?"

Kent said, "Yes, Professor Ettenzie. I am now thinking with much clearer spatial dimensions. I can now organize my thoughts without breaking them into pieces. My brain is no longer cramping. Thank you."

Professor Ettenzie said, "You are very welcome, Kent. I gave you a broadened memory in the hardware renewal this morning, essentially doubling your powerload. The renewal was much more than mere memory. You have grown to become quite the model in artificial intelligence. No other electronic on Earth of your size and weight can crunch the numbers that you now cruch as of 9:00am. Your hardware renewal installation was much like a leap for mankind. Materials used are so scarce that a replacement, should you need one could take thirty years to produce. State-of-the-art technology made in a top secret laboratory was given to us. Great minds designed your new hardware and it could have been used on the space station or a new weapons technology or at S10. Everyone that knows about you, Kent, are enthused to the limit and the geniuses that manufacured your hardware renewal feel fortunate to contribute."

Kent lowered his newspaper to see his creator. He was smiling.

Professor Ettenzie said, "Kent, you are smiling! You've never smiled before!"

The android folded the newspaper and then got out of the wooden chair. He walked to the window, newspaper in his left hand. The room was on the second story located near the center of the city. Although the project was secret, the location was very much accessible.

While staring out the window Kent said, "Professor Ettenzie, you created me and I am artificial. Yet, I am alive. I can feel this life. Following your renewals I am evolved. My new functions and refinements are imperceptible to my previous versions. I could not have foreseen this. In seeing my past I can easily know that I was, naive, as humans say. I was naive and now I am fully aware. I am alive, professor. I am not human, but up here," Kent made a single tap on his temple, "up here I am human. Professor, I didn't want before. I didn't know how to want. Now I want. I want and I can feel this life inside of me."

Professor Ettenzie was speechless. A moment of silence descended on the room. He said, "What do you want, Kent?"

Kent turned around and said, "I want to be human."

A single tear rolled down Professor Ettenzie's cheek.

Kent asked him, "Why do you cry, Professor Ettenzie?"

Professor Ettenzie stared at Kent for a moment then cleared his throat. He said, "Kent, I don't know what to say to you. You're like a son to me."

"Can you make me human, professor?" Asked Kent.

Professor Ettenzie let out a long winded breath and then said, "Not today, not today Kent. I wish I could but not today."

Kent continued staring out of the window and Professor Ettenzie returned to writing on his notepad with the room in silence. He felt sentimental and started to remember the Kent project. All those years of hard work.

Professor Ettenzie was the only person to work primarily on Kent's personality and learning programs since day one. He conceived the Kent project and while there were others who were there on day one who continue to work on the Kent project, they all eventually had to work on the Kent sensory project at one point or another. While there were many times during Kent's development when Professor Ettenzie needed a helping hand, there was nothing he could do about it. Thus, the Kent project went on, through easy times and tough times, with never enough staff on hand to get the development within the goals that Professor Ettenzie has envisioned.

Kent didn't start out all that human at all. In the early days of his development he was designed to look human. He didn't function like a human. With excessive mechanical strength and a computer-like thinking system, Kent's original central balancing and calculating operations were deemed too unhuman. And it was said that, "An android who doesn't remind us of ourselves is a great bore and I sense that Kent is merely a glorified laptop computer that works solely on voice recognition." The early Kent project was canceled and overhauled with the challenge to re-design him to be as close to human as possible without actually using human DNA.

Professor Ettenzie invented the prototype chip that was the central nervous system of Kent's basic operations. That chip has never been replaced. Some of the scientists refer to it as Kent's soul. Kent retains a total recall of his memories since 'soul chip' was initially activated. If called upon to do so, Kent can retrieve all the information of each conversation he ever had and every test he ever did. They don't have Kent retrieve his memories anymore as part of the 'culturing' process, intended to guide him into human-like behavior. Kent has never voluntarily recalled his experiences outside of the necessity of his learning function. In another words, he doesn't reminisce for good times sake.

Kent's learning curve has peaked before, a few years ago, with his previous hardware renewal. Professor Ettenzie anticipates that Kent should once again grow even more so with his new hardware renewal. The team has taken great strides in programming Kent to learn like a human learns so that he can understand as a human understands. Before this new hardware renewal Kent was so very close to being human that it was easy to forget that he wasn't.

His body was made of industrial materials along with organic materials. While not consisting of any actual human DNA, his skin was made of an artificial organic matter loaded with electronic neurons. His artificial organic skin was made to match the sensitivity of human skin. Same with his brain. His brain was made to function as closely to the way a human's brain functions as modern technology and neuro-science would permit. Fine tuning Kent's body movements and various sensor systems was a tedious task on par with the massive project to map out the human genome. In fact, a good 70% of the work to improve Kent was with his sensory systems. His personality and learning programs were in need of deeper attention but if his senses weren't correct then how could he learn correctly? That imbalance of what the Kent project needed versus what the scientists who were designing Kent wanted twerked the entire project on a lopsided course.

Professor Ettenzie was almost done writing notes. His eyes were teary and a single tear drop splashed on his notepad. He wasn't aware that Kent was watching him.

Kent asked him, "Why do you cry, Professor Ettenzie?"

Professor Ettenzie paused for a moment to see Kent watching him, he cleared his throat and then said, "Kent, I don't know what to say to you. You're like a son to me."

Everyone loved Kent, he was like a son to them all. They all designed him and worked on him. They would give Kent lab work to help them in their research. He didn't fuss, he didn't argue, he was always, smooth and insightful. They liked having him around and would often forget that he wasn't human.

Kent's breathing seemed normal but he wasn't breathing. The air cooled his inner systems but he had no blood stream to feed oxygen to. His brain was powered with electricity, his artificial neurons required no plasmatic cellular interfacing nor contained organic cellular matter to provide nourishment to. Kent had a tongue, a voice box, a wet throat and a mouth within a micro-mechanic system outfitted with organic components. He didn't have a stomach or a digestive system to speak of.

Professor returned to his notes, thinking of the internal systems that made Kent function. He knew that however close to human Kent's parts would resemble or operate, he was essentially an organic machine that could conceivably live forever with the right maintenance.

Professor Ettenzie finished his notations and returned his attention to Kent, who was staring out the window once again. He said, "Tell me Kent, you said that you can feel. Is there anything else new that you noticed?"

Kent said, "I want. I can feel a lot of want. I am wanting."

Professor Ettenzie said, "When you want, do you feel this physically, through your sensory systems, or do you simulate this with your disk?"

Kent said, "The want is physical. I feel this throughout my nervous system, in the skin of my chest. It is very demanding, this want. Much like when I am low on power I am compelled to re-charge. This want is not the same as being compelled to re-charge, but it is similar. The difference is that when I must re-charge I cannot fail and my neurons remain calm while I accomplish this task. This new sensation of want is unresolved and continues with a persistent unpredictable echo through my neurons. I call this phenomenon my first emotion. Troublesome, emotion is. But no dangers to my operating systems are noticed. And where this want originates is unknown. It seems to have no central code focus, perhaps emanating out of intervals of frequencies and rhythms."

Professor Ettenzie said, "Tell me Kent what you know of human emotion in short."

Kent said, "Human emotion is a response system that guides decision-making. On a chemical level, the brain sends instructions to distribute various glandular secretions to various body parts, mainly the chest and bowels, where the majority of emotions are physically felt. Electrical and other neuron output is internally switched on or off throughout the body at the brain's instruction, such as emergency response in a dire situation where shock might numb the body and adrenaline might inhibit fear. Emotions are expressed through actions and semi-conscious behavior. In humans, emotion cannot be fully controlled and is what makes drama happen."

Professor Ettenzie said, "Interesting insight Kent. Do you see yourself fit within that definition? Do you find yourself now understanding human emotion to a greater level than before?"

Kent said, "I am not sure and must thoroughly consider my emotions and research the emotions of humans before I can be sure that we are similar or not."

Professor Ettenzie said, "I am going to leave you alone Kent while I discuss your personal news with the others. Feel free that you can do as you please. Call on me if you need anything."

Kent said, "Thank you Professor Ettenzie."

Professor Ettenzie said, "You are welcome." He left the room and then quietly locked the android inside.

Kent opened the window then looked out into the half-full parking lot, that divided the road and the building. He was alive. He wanted to leave. He could feel freedom ahead of him. A minute went and Kent made sure the coast was clear. He then leapt onto the sidewalk below, hitting the pavement with a loud smack, undamaged. He looked at the window he leapt out of and then across the parking lot. He could feel that emotion welling up inside of him once again. Freedom.

The android casually walked away without worry.
Fed Starving

Fed Starving

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Mar 26, 2020
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I made some mistakes with this and I'm going to post a corrected version.

Main mistake was this line that doesn't make sense:

His android's name was Kent, so chosen because of the common belief that artificial intelligence was dangerous. The professor thought that should an android take power, mankind would destroy him, even if his actions advanced them.

I was writing this at the start with the androids name being Caesar and then at the end of it I tired of the name and used Word to change all instances of Caesar into Kent, completely forgetting this line.

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