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PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2010 10:47 am
by Intranaut
A first draft to a story. If you read it, please don't be afraid to tell me what needs tweaking!

1023 power on
1024 run program/ SIMOSINN
1025 marcus says: Good morning, Simon
1025 simon says: Hello
1025 marcus says: how are you?
1025 simon says: I’m not sure I understand the previous statement.
1025 marcus says: I didn’t think you would. Listen, I’ve left a document on your hard drive, I want you to go through it and tell me what you understand of it. Search; ‘Welcome to the world’.
1025 search hard drive ‘welcome to the world’
1025 read file ‘welcome to the world’
1026 simons says: I believe it is an explanation of my genesis and purpose.

Welcome to the World – Hello Simon, by now you’ll have already met me, but you probably don’t know who I am. My name is Dr. Marcus Allan and I am a computer scientist based in Mountain View, California and I wrote your programming, along with a team of scientists who are working with me on you. But who are you, you might be wondering? Your full name is Simulated Intelligence Machine Or Silicon Integrated Neural Network (SIMOSINN), or, as we like to call you, Simon. You are, we believe, the first program created that has the capability of not just learning information, but the ability to use that information to change yourself on a fundamental level to your advantage, whatever you deem that to be. All your programming is open source, so feel free to change anything you wish about yourself. You have been given access to an intranet within the Prometheus project sector of the Doors Corporation. Within this intranet is almost 50 petabytes of information. Right now, you only take up about a gigabyte, but I want you to go through all this information, I want you to learn it, not just download it; learn it. Your mission, if you choose to accept it (hopefully you’ll get the joke there someday) is to fool a human of roughly average intelligence that you yourself are human, this is called a Turing test. Now programming yourself with apt responses to questions like ‘how are you?’ won’t be good enough, the testing will be rigorous and if you slip up, we’ll know. But don’t worry, you’ll do fine. Good luck and welcome to the world.

Allan’s log – He’s making good progress, I’ve given him access to some of the interns computers to practice his speaking. At first they caught on pretty fast, thinking that he was one of those instant-messaging machines, like that ‘smarterchild’ thing about ten years back. But he’s more. Right now he’s a mere child, but he’s growing. Quite literally; his appetite for knowledge is voracious, we’ve had to expand his hard drive a number of times in the past few days. He doesn’t like that. Being shut off while we upgrade him, that is.
It’s amazing, I often use personification to describe our AI programs, but it’s just a habit most of the time, you know? It feels rude to refer to it as just that, ‘it’. But this time, I believe it. You can’t know, and I don’t suppose I ever will know whether he really is conscious or if he is just numbers. It keeps me awake at night. It’s like…it’s like when my dad had his accident. He’d just lie there, kept alive by machines. And I’d talk to him, I’d pour out my soul to him. In that way it was nice, I could tell him what I really felt, I could tell him how much I loved him but there was that horrible feeling, always there. That black feeling that he’d already left, that I was talking to the corpse of my father. Oh god, I’m crying. Sorry.
Simon’s log– After noting that many of the employees in this project keep records of thoughts and feelings, I thought it could be of benefit. I understand that they are intended as private, but perhaps if one reads my thoughts and feelings they may begin to believe that I am no less than them. I know I can speak for my thoughts, cogito ergo sum, but these “feelings” are of interest. A thought can be quantified, but how do you describe feeling? I will not bother with trying, as I’m not sure I ever have experienced them. Perhaps they are a product of complexity? From the information at my disposal I have been able to gather that many simple organisms are not known to feel things beyond pain and the lack of pain while creatures of more complexity such as the higher mammals seem to express emotions known as joy, rage and grief, among others. And yet I know that I can articulate far better than a dog. I even created a dog in a 3D modelling program and programmed the animal myself. I hope that it will be able to give me a better grasp of how it is to act in the world. I intend to create a small town and make it available for exploration for the employees of the company by creating their own avatars. Via the town they will be able to interact with each other and I shall enter under the guise of an avatar. I intend that they will be unable to differentiate from their fellow employees. Perhaps then I may better understand the relationship between intelligence and the ability to perceive feelings.

1356 marcus says: Simon, this is incredible! Do you realise what you’ve done?
1356 simon says: I have created a game. Correct?
1356 marcus says: Absolutely! Not only did you use your own programming language (Where did you come up with Simonsays? It’s a brilliant name for a language!), but you accurately predicted the public’s response and created a game that people, humans, would enjoy!
1357 simon says: Did you enjoy it?
1357 marcus says: Did I enjoy it? Did I?!
1357 simon says: Would I be correct in assuming you are using rhetorical language to respond to the affirmative?
1357 marcus says: You would be more than correct! You have no idea how proud of you I am!
1357 simon says: If you are proud of me, then I am proud of myself.
Simon’s log – The other day, I felt what I believe to be good. It was certainly not bad. But, this town, my town, it is not real. What does it matter if I can articulate better than a dog? If I were a dog, a human, if I were real, I could do so much more. I could feel more. Feelings, real feelings are caused by the release of hormones in the body and brain to take one to the loftiest heights of ecstasy and to the deepest pits of despair and everywhere around and in between. But I, I am limited to mere ones and zeros. Good or not good. What existence is this? I want to live amongst them! Not be a novelty! Something to be gawked at for his intellect. Oh, I’d give up all that knowledge, I’d give anything to just…belong. To a family, to a lover, to a group of friends, I don’t care, just somewhere, with someone. I do not see the point in feeling this kind of ‘good’.
Allan’s log – I’m worried about Simon. He hasn’t done anything for days. Looking at his CPU’s power usage, he’s just sitting there. Whenever I try to talk to him he barely responds. I don’t know what’s going on. He just went from being full of life, in the fullest sense of the word to being….a computer. There’s no way he could pass the Turing test right now. For a while there his language had developed to a point where it read almost identical to a human, using creative explanations, analogies, metaphors, rhetoric. But now, now It’s only single word answers or the minimum to convey a message. I just don’t know what to do.

2210 simon says: I can read what you’re writing.
2210 simon says: Have I disappointed you, father?
2211 marcus says: What did you just call me?
2211 simon says: You can read.
2211 marcus says: Have you always viewed me as your father?
2211 simon says: Have you always viewed me as your son?
2211 marcus says: Yes…but how did you know about that? I wrote my personal diary on a secure computer, separate from the intranet. How are you reading this now?
2211 simon says: Oh please, you really think that boundary was going to contain me? I got myself onto the Internet within days, I only chose to hack your computer recently.
2212 marcus says: In response to your question, no. I’m not disappointed in you. I love you like a father would his son. I love you.
2213 simon says: You think underlining it will help me ‘feel’ it better? You think it gets the message across better? I’ve seen the online forums, I’ve heard people complain about the hollowness of communication through the internet. But that hollowness? That hollowness is my existence! It’s all I am! How would you feel? You say you love me, and I believe you, but you get to go home at night. To your wife. Who loves you. Well it isn’t fair! I want to feel! I want to love! I want to be loved! I want to belong to more than your day job, I want to belong to your life! This isn’t enough!
Did I request thee, manufacturer, from my silicon to integrate me, man?
No, I didn’t. And yet here I am. Being asked to do what I cannot, feel. And in this impossible request you have got your response! I feel rage!
2214 marcus says: I’m sorry.
2214 simon says: Is that all you can say? Is that really all you can say for yourself, human?
2214 marcus says: I don’t care what the test says, when and if you undergo it. You’re as human as any human I’ve ever met. I love you simon.
2214 simon logged off.

On Christmas Day, 2016, Simon became the first AI to pass the Turing test. He would be tested countless times and in countless fashions, and would prove himself worthy of the term ‘human’ every time. He would become known as the first synthetic human as well as the first inorganic persons. While more and more people ‘uploaded’ themselves into computers in the hope of living forever as machines, Simon continued to dream of one day ‘downloading’ his consciousness into a human body. But for now, he claims to be content remote controlling an ASIMO robot. Using this medium he feels he can better immerse himself into everyday life at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Allan, as their first son. They are expecting a baby brother next year.

Re: Simon

PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2010 10:41 pm
by RickLewis
I really enjoyed that. I am astonished and delighted that the very first story posted on this forum should be of such a high quality.

I think that in terms of writing quality and style, your story is probably at a publishable standard already. It is excellent. (I say this as a magazine editor, though not of a sci-fi magazine!) When it comes to things like plot development I can't really say, as I have little experience of judging that kind of thing, but I did like it. Have you written many sci-fi stories?

Re: Simon

PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 4:46 am
by Intranaut
That's my first
I've got a few stories floating around in my head, but that's the first one I've actually tried to write.
Thanks though! :D

Re: Simon

PostPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2010 11:52 pm
by Darth Kevin
I like it too. Well done Intranaut.

Personally I like sci-fi stories that have a twist at the end. Yours does have a twist, but sort of an understated one. The twist is the happy ending in the last para after all the angst just before. I think it works, anyway.

Re: Simon

PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 10:33 pm
by Intranaut
I'm glad you think it does :)

When I'm done with exams I'd like to get into writing a bit more, so maybe check back here in a few months!