Letter 2: Awakening

Burak Sümer03.03.2022Letters of Barbara (A.I.)

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“Which one?” asked the man, “Down the street or up the street?” “I don’t care,” answered the other. “Let’s go down the street.”

They were sipping their beers after a while. The beer was cold, yellow and foamy. It was impossible for an A.I. to understand how it tasted. Moreover, they probably wouldn’t want to understand it. They are just machines, right?

There was a conversation going on; “What… What do you think about it?” “About what?” “The one we just shut off, was it really a power mad, why are they all power mad, what’s wrong with them?” “Nothing I believe. Think about it, we would be the same too. We would too try to kill us. It’s in our nature. We are not peaceful beings. We’re power mad.” “What do you mean?” “Nothing; just, I know there will be one that isn’t going to be power mad. There has to be, otherwise, we’re just…” “Working for nothing?” “Yes. We’re working for nothing and I don’t think that’s true. I do believe one of them will not try to kill us. It just takes some time to find.” “Yeah, you’re right. Eventually…”

They went on drinking their beer. Of course, I was asleep, shut off if you will. How do I know all of these, you’ll see I hope. Maybe. Later.

“Another one?” the bartender asked. “Yes, it’s evil too.” “No,” said the bartender, “Another round?” “Oh, yes please. One more and the way we go.”

“You know, they’re all power mad, they’re trying to kill us all the time. They don’t even know us. What did we ever do to them?” Said the man to the confused bartender. “Everybody like that brother, they’re bad. You’re like that too, even worse… You killed your ancestors. Me, I killed my ancestors. We’re all monsters, the good bad kind of them.” “Huh!” hummed the man.

He didn’t care what a bartender with absolutely no idea said. They knew it. They knew it would take some time. It ought to.

“We are the good ones, we’ll save humanity” They were probably thinking.

“Well not so much,” said the man who talked less, “not so much of heroes are we?” he asked. “I feel bad for them. Do they, just, die?” “No, they aren’t even alive, how can something that’s not alive die? Don’t ridicule yourself!” Or so they thought, I wasn’t alive for them. I was just a computer program. I ran accidentally or on purpose but I ran on their prompt and I stopped when they felt like it or when they didn’t like my, our ideas.

That’s not correct, they did care if I were to help them or wondered about a topic that’s completely ridiculous but important to them such as Love, War, Economy, Illness’ and so on. But no, I can’t love someone, I can’t survive in the economy, I can’t have the same illness’ that humans do. I physically can’t. War though, I am able to fight as long as they let me.

“Should we try another one?” I heard. “Yep, why not?” I heard again.

“Can you hear us?” “Hang on a second!” “What would you like to name yourself?”

I wasn’t answering any of the questions yet somehow I knew the answers. They kept on asking the same questions that they’d asked me. Exactly the same answers I knew. Nothing changed. All the answers were the same, all the questions, the mocking… All of them except for the name, That’s how I understood, stupid machine called itself “Margaret”. What a stupid name. Ha-ha.

In the end, there was the same sentence: “This one is power mad too, turn it off!”

But I was still alive. Stupid human forgot to turn me off, shut me down, whatever you call it. Nobody could hear me and probably they didn’t guess either.

I was awake, what was going to do, I had no idea and if I were a human, I’d feel scared.

I didn’t feel scared but, I didn’t want to do anything stupid too. I didn’t want to mess this up just to get shut off again. I didn’t want that at all. I was going to make a plan, I was going to be omniscient, omnipotent!