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Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Arius LaVari, Jan 1, 2016.
The dull night sky looms overhead in the residential district of North Japan. A city on the edge, with skyscrapers and assorted buildings dotting the skies, along with multiple helicopters, planes -- their lights replacing stars as the Japanese city of Konnaido almost stood still. The cornucopia of dancing lights and colors, blending in with bleak looking office buildings, middle class convenience stores and train stations, as a lone man, with a deactivated android beside him watched the city from below. On the balcony of his penthouse, he didn't know what to expect. The city still looked the same, and it never changed a single bit. Even with the recent secession of several provinces of Japan, forming North and South Japan after a series of political events and a single civil war causing them to find peace by splitting the island into two, the city seemed unfazed by the war that was happening on their shores, and the name of their new country, North Japan.
It almost reminded him of the recently united North and South Korea. A small engagement with newly mechanically augmented troops caused the South to win almost unanimously as regular human soldiers were beaten in terms of number and in the quality of their equipment. Even if they were shot, they still fought with the ferocity of hardened special forces. In turn, the South worked with an American company, Metacube, in which they provided men and women in the South Korean army mechanical augmentations for free. A single company was sent into North Korea, and within days they took control of 30% of the nation all by themselves.
Innovation. It's something that drives us, as a species. Us humans, we need innovations to drive us forward. To bring us to the future we all desire. But sometimes, we stick to the traditions of the past too often, and even the brightest of minds will withhold the future, to protect the past they've grown so accustomed to. Even today, many of the world's population are now mechanically augmented -- everyone with money, of course. The others steal dead bodies, cut them up, and steal their augs for themselves -- not caring for what they might be getting themselves into, but only to have their precious augs. 'You can't take things to heaven'. That's what they always say to protect themselves. Defiling bodies to steal things they see as a 'need'.
But now, after almost seven years since he graduated his bachelor's degree in Biological Science. His life's work. Back then, she was just a thesis, but now -- he finally did it. His dream, his goal. He has taken fire from the gods and he has breathed new life into the android deactivated inside. He heads back inside, the warm lights of his penthouse suite rather different to the multicolored urban sprawl he was staring at outside his room. Perhaps, his simple, almost flavorless little penthouse was a bit too artistically simple. He couldn't really do anything about it, he just needed a cost efficient room that could accommodate his research power needs, and this one fits the bill quite well. Rent was cheap -- well, cheap in his terms. A couple hundred thousand US dollars and he's set for a year.
But ignoring that, he immediately went to work trying to get everything in order. He had to test the new artificial intelligence and the functionality it has with the 'human brain' computer he had created and installed. This was his life's work. Even with today's tech, it took him nearly a decade to get everything installed, prepared, and worked on. So many times he scrapped a nearly finished brain because a copper neuron wasn't wired properly, or how many times he threw away an android's casing because he fried their bodies shut trying to attach the nerve endings. It was all very stressful, and now he was nearly at the finish line.
Attached to a computer, with wires jutting out from the back of her neck, which was charging up her nuclear battery core -- which was to last several centuries worth before degrading, he typed a few things into his computer. With the cords being removed gently by his hands, he remotely controlled the power from his PC, as he turned her on with a single jab of the Enter key.
This was the first time he transferred the artificial AI, which was still crafted and programmed by himself -- into the modified android. This time, he'll not control her. He'll just be an observer.
Stanton hopes this will work.
The enter button was pushed, something started firing off behind the new android's eyes small near silent noises the only thing that acted as a warning that something was working inside the casing of her body, it takes a few minutes for all of her systems to activate and when they do purple eyes flutter open in a really human like manner of someone just waking up, but for her in actuality she was just being born. Her eyes flick with a few lights as she glances around the empty space, her mind barely managing to focus since there were too many new things so she had to take her time and process it all. Her eyes travel over every inch of the beautiful if simplistic room she was in a word pops up in her head and she works her mouth open and shut as if trying to figure out how it works, after a few moments she speaks out loud, "Nice...It's nice." She still hadn't quite noticed the person sitting next to her until she spoke and actually looked down at herself only to spot someone else sitting near her slowly she glances up and stares at them.
She stared for a long time working her mouth like she was trying to figure out the question she wanted to ask, eventually she spoke, slowly with a robotic tone, "Who are you? Are you the reason I'm in this place?" The new little android didn't really wait around for an answer though, too curious to look around a bit more, though it took her a moment to figure out how her body worked she managed to stand up and slowly walked in a circle, noticing the lights outside the window before turning away from those, she figured out how to move her hands about and lightly touched one of the chairs in the room that she was now walking about. It was interesting to say the least, she absorbed information like a sponge, kept stopping; because she had figured out how to access the internet and was using it to read up on the things that caught her eye, but occasionally she would stumble as she explored, but made it a point to stay within eye sight of the person she woke up near.
After she's had her fill of exploring she sits down near him again and her lips sort of quirk into a smile, "I apologize for being so disoriented earlier. I had just been activated and didn't really understand what was going on." She waves almost dismissively and bows her head to him slightly, "I'll assume you created me then? I've been looking up several things to help me figure out what's going on. I actually am curious as to who you are now, I have this odd wish to look up your name but I don't know it." She was already exhibiting the habits of a human, curiosity, wants, and interest in a subject, her robotic tone had faded as well, she now spoke more smoothly, her mechanical tongue working over the words she wanted to say just as well as any human's. This time when she spoke she patiently waited for a reply since her curiosity had been sated for the time being.
Stanton was absolutely enthralled by the way she was acting. Of course, like a newborn -- her mind was slowly adjusting and adapting to the environment. She merely implanted the very basic human memories and logic for a standard twenty-year old, at least, in the best possible way he could given the limitations of programming. But he knew he developed something amazing. Her purple eyes fluttered in confusion, and apparent fear. When she moved her mouth, he stared a bit deeply into her eyes, and as he heard her first words, he smiled and stood up, simply crossing his arms and observing her go through the motions, exploring the room.
With the android suddenly assaulting him with concise questions, he rubbed his arm as he tried to explain as best he could. "Yes. I'm Stanton Reed, and I created you. Your body is..." Before he could even continue, she started to mess around in sheer curiosity as she started poking the chair, touching it, spinning around -- her eyes constantly moving as it looked like an android that was glitched out if seen out of the context of the situation. He smiled, still standing in place, seeing her eyes flickering constantly as he kept going. "...a standard Samsung Aero 12, modified to look as human as possible, and you're... the only android with a human brain."
She was almost adorable, now that he thought about it. Like an adult seeing a child toy around with what he has, but she was civilized at least. She was still maintaining eye contact, which of course -- was fine. "It's good that you're oriented now. I thought I may have to calibrate you, since I've just now turned you on after uploading all the artificial intelligence data. Also, please -- keep up not using your robotic voice." He gave a genuinely warm smile, as if he was talking to his secretary. "You've been undergoing development for seven years. The making of the body was easy, though, there's no way you could have blood and that may never help, and that you don't have lungs -- but your inner workings, your mind. I'm not sure I've put enough space to fill the memories you may have." He says, going closer to her as he suddenly and gently took hold of her left hand. She actually felt a bit warm, like a human. "Your temperature regulators are working... skin is up to specifications... Now, can you feel my hand?" He gives a small squeeze, waiting for her response. It was true, he was quite intrigued about what he created and what she'll become under his guidance. After all, she has to make her own personality, her own feelings, her own thoughts about her creator.
Did these thoughts cross the mind of whoever might have created the first atomic particle? He slowly begun to realize why people would hate the prospect of independent AI androids -- they would see Stanton as some sort of power-hungry scientist who wants to literally be a 'god'. But he ignored that for now -- he went back to observing his first prototype.
"Also, you can choose your name. Think long and hard about it, I don't want to call you something silly like 'android'."
Oh but she was a curious thing, when Stanton took her hand she blinked that little quirk of a smile moving her lips again, she squeezed his hand back and felt the slightly warmer flesh under her hand, she could feel him and nods to give him the answer to his question, after that her eyes light up as she sought out information about him. She found so much! So much that she made a very startled squeak and cut the stream of information. "Oh! Stanton Reed, impressive bio engineer, how human bodies function seems to enchant you. Is that why you made me?" Her head tilts to the side slightly as she stores all the information she found somewhere in the back of her head to go through more slowly later. Since he hadn't asked her to release his hand yet she didn't, acting more like the older fashioned companion robots meant to follow orders, backlash from looking through information or was she not completely aware yet? As he spoke and she silently listened he would notice her eyes light up again and again looking up each new important word he said though she easily absorbed everything he said and made notes.
Her purple eyes, as unnatural looking as they were seemed to appear confused when he told her to pick her own name. "Mr. Reed, androids don't have names unless their owner; or in my case creator gives it to them I thought..." Despite this though she started looking up historical figures and what have you from ages and ages past eventually happening upon some Greek king that caught her attention, since he said she could name herself though...She murmurs slightly still going over information, "There's a strange man I've found, a military; what does military mean...?" She shakes her head to get her thoughts in order again, "a military king but he had several great accomplishments...Hmm...Alexander the Great is the name I found..." She was referring to herself with feminine pronouns though so still mumbling, "I like his name but there's a female version of it, Alexandria? Can...I have that name?" She cuts the information as she asks for his permission. Though since she still hadn't released his hand she lifted it up, letting her curiosity get the better of her again, she spread the fingers apart and used her other hand to trace the shape of his, hands that made her, it's the first full smile she shows as she keeps looking over his hands, almost trying to memorize it's structure.
She's touchy, far more so than one would expect of her, but she was technically a newborn, at least she wasn't trying to put her mouth on things to find out how they worked or felt. Lightly she runs fingertips along the back of his hand and wrist up his arm, where she stands and then traces the shoulder, frowning slightly not quite understanding the difference between her and him. "You're...bigger than I am. You have larger shoulders..." She frowns a little and taps her foot frowning and thinking, "Why are you shaped differently than I am? You made me in the image of a human correct?" Her brow creased a bit as she thought about it more, she didn't know the name of what she was trying to say though. "Um...I'm...it's like I don't know something and can't figure out what it is? What's that, a feeling?" The still new android starts looking through information on how humans function and keeps find that word, 'feelings' what were those? She was listening to Stanton but also going through information on 'feelings' which she didn't quite comprehend any of it, she just wanted to know.
His mechanically augmented eyes scanned the information that she sent from his personal information-link, and processed it through his glasses. Though, he was more concerned about the way she gleefully squeezed his palm, seemingly embarrassed as his face glowed a bright red, as he tried to calm down. She felt human. Too human. In his previous stints in college and highschool, he was nothing more than the nerd, always buried in a book and reading about things that should be way too much for average kids of his age to handle. By the time he reached college, he was at the top of his class, and then the fifth. Then, presenting his theoretical thesis in the middle of the semester, he breezed through college. To the people in college it was more of a matter of 'knowledge', but he refused to make friends even with his peers. By that stage, he grew distant to people, almost cold and only used others to his own ends.
But something struck him as his own creation touched his hands. Indeed, it was 'odd' to find a man so engrossed in his creation as he himself was, but Stanton trusted the creator to make 'the most lifelike human possible'. After a grand total of two years, and five months of his corporate paycheck down the drain, he finally managed to get what he wanted. A perfect machine. But was it a machine, still? "Yes... That's why I made you." He wasn't intentionally answering her question, but he was only answering himself. Surely, he didn't mean to make a 'companion', but he did want to make his vision for her a reality. To create a living android, that can serve general purposes. But, his prototype. Is this what people want? They've grown so accustomed to making their decisions for them -- to the last inch of their master's will is the will that they will carry out. But, an android that can talk back? That can fight back? Sending these to people and selling them... that's equivalent to slavery, isn't it?
While the morality of this clearly dawned on him by simply observing her, he decided to chase off those thoughts. He already made her. It's a staggering discovery. Being able to make such a thing, it's an innovation beyond anyone's wildest imaginations. This is pure AI, artificial, yet truly intelligent by human standards. While thinking, he was still listening to 'his creation' become confused as to what her name should be. She still acts like a bewildered child. "A military... is the armed forces of a country." He simply stated this off the simplest definition he could give, but he can't afford to be complacent with just merely giving her basic logic. "Do you want me to upload the knowledge of a current standardized English dictionary? I could include all the other major languages if you want -- since we are in Northern Japan. Or, you could manually look it all up, your choice."
He still exercises her free will, but her free will is making him feel a bit embarrassed. Quite so, in fact, after she starts running her fingertips over his hand, up his arm, then his shoulder, as his face burns a deep red as he stood in place, almost shocked at how human she is. She's almost indistinguishable from the real thing, and so much in fact that her question knocks him square off his focus. "U-Uh... w-well..." Stuttering, he clears his throat almost forcefully and continues. "...You're modeled after a human of the female gender. Males have generally broader shoulders, larger hands and arms, since their genetics made them this way -- and human females mostly have smaller features, but larger hips and such to accommodate... offspring." Such a scientific explanation. Probably explains why he's still single after all this time.
But as another wave of questions come from her, he was still a bit 'shy' from that encounter. Still, he heard her, and wanted to explain. "You don't know something and can't figure out what it is... it's confusion. Yeah, I really think you should get that dictionary. It'll come in handy..." He stops, as he hears her mention 'feelings'. "Feelings... are more similar to emotions. That's a basic human aspect. That's... what I've been trying to simulate with you all along."
As soon as he'd said 'dictionary' she looked up what it was and found a place to download a dictionary for herself which is what she was already doing while still focusing on her creator, his face had turned red while she'd been examining him, she gets hit with that 'confusion' again but decides to ignore it though she does answer Stanton when he asks if she wants the dictionary uploaded to her, "No, it is not necessary Mr. Reed. I am downloading it now. I will be much more helpful to you with this." She had slipped into that robotic tone again, the parts of her 'brain' that said she wasn't human conflicted with the fact that she was curious, which she had gotten to as she scanned the dictionary, and found that was a purely human emotion, but she's not a human and she knows it. She becomes a little less excited and quietly folds her hands in front of her while listening to his explanation of why he was bigger than she was. "Ah I see sir, I'll be sure to look into more information should I need a question answered. Oh..." Androids do that sort of thing right? She gives a small bow, having not gotten an answer on the name she'd chosen but that was fine. "Mr. Reed are you thirsty or hungry? I've added several informative books to my memory so I can make whatever you'd like."
She had begun walking around, going out a little further as if looking for where she could make something if he wanted it, also trying to figure out the lay out of the condo, she sought out her goal, the kitchen, while going over some of the information she had on Stanton Reed, the company he worked for, the things he brought to science; which oddly to her did not include anything at all similar to her. Was she the first one? A strange idea came to her head which made her frown suddenly, she immediately cut the information running around in her head, no longer spotting information across her eyes she turned the simple purple gaze on her creator, "I'm the first one you've made, correct? Just a prototype yes?" She directly quotes the definition she found, "a first or preliminary model of something in which other forms are developed or copied so...Will I get scraped at some point?"
She was new, a touch glitchy, but it wasn't entirely strange that she kept switching between appearing human to her creator and then back to what an android should be. "Oh yes, another thing, could you give me all the laws for androids, I'll be sure to follow them to the letter as I'm still not sure what is required of me, I think I'd like to avoid getting scraped." She was a prototype, so the glitches in her behavior were to be expected as now she stood in front of him a pleasant yet plainly robotic smile on her face, an automatic reaction if one thought about her question. She turned her gaze to look around the room once again, the balcony caught her eye again with all the colorful lights outside which she ignores and proving observant she glances at Stanton and offers him her hand, "Hey...are you all right? You look like you've got something on your mind? Am I not what you were aiming for? You said you're 'trying to simulate emotions' are my responses not what you hoped?" She tilts her head, oddly innocently, like a child that noticed someone was unhappy nothing else in the innocent expression she gave him, more interested in his response.
She was clearly bringing out what she would deem as her strong suit, her ability to be a servant. Although she was a secretary android originally, he added a bit of secondary coding to work on building her personality. Still, he was determined to make her decide who she wants to be -- not caring for the negative repercussions one might have if she decides to leave. Stanton slowly began to calm down, breathing deeply. He was glad she didn't question why he blushed all of a sudden. It would be quite the pickle explaining that to her. Nevertheless, he observed that she was still holding on to that thought that she wasn't a human, and all dictionary excerpts are only documented for 'humans', not for 'androids with next generation AI'. Still, at least she was curious, that is the end goal of his project.
But he then remembered that she asked about her name. One of the few defining aspects of being human. "Oh... and your name, right? Alexandria. Sounds... lovely, I suppose. If you want, that can be what I can call you." He wanted to see if she had the sense that she would like the name, trying to see if she would choose that either out of confusion, necessity or because she legitimately liked the name. But aside from that, he was curious to hear that she wanted to cook him something. Deciding to do something a bit simple, he smiled. "Oh, a ham, cheese and lettuce sandwich... and some iced tea... I think there's a bottle in the fridge." He didn't really want her to act as a servant, but if she offered, he will surely act on that.
As soon as she arrived in the kitchen, he followed suit, still listening to her. It was a while until she brought up some information by simply talking, her eyes becoming a shade of solid royal purple. He was concerned, because the thing she brought up was 'I'm a prototype, so you're going to scrap me?'. "Yes. You are the first. But I do not want to call you a prototype. You're the culmination of my life's work... if I find any problems I'll just upload something and still use you as a base model to apply the newer upgrades." Then, she sees him staring off, spacing out as he thinks about what the 'culmination of his hard work' is. She is far from perfect, however -- but his plan is to allow her to grow, as a human should -- not hand her 'plastic' personality. He wants her to develop into a normal human girl.
"You're what I'm aiming for. I'm allowing you to grow by yourself... and your curiosity is perfect. It's just that... you might be a bit too real. If you were at the peak of your development and you spoke to me again, I wouldn't know you're an android."
"I very much like Alexandria...Hmm if I had to say...I think I want to explore more and learn more, maybe make some kind of accomplishment? That's...why I picked Alexandria...I think?" She said it as a question, not quite sure what she really meant by that, she was already a very strange android, one who had a desire to know more. Desire is defined as wanting something or wishing for something to happen, but she was an android she shouldn't 'want' anything, except do her best for Mr. Reed, that was a feeling that was there, though for whatever reason she didn't understand, just because he was the one who made her? She thinks about several things, eyes having resumed being filled with lights as she pulled open the fridge and got the ingredients to make his sandwich with and got out the iced tea that she noticed in the bottle but made a note to figure out how to make the homemade tea she had seen in the book she picked up. Alexandria did bump into things as she moved through the kitchen though, not having examined this room just yet. After just a few moments she hands him the sandwich and iced tea with a pleasant smile. "Here you go Mr. Reed. I've still not quite gotten a handle on how softly or hard to hold something so I thought I might break something."
She had listened to Stanton's view on what she was, a 'culmination of his life's work', she looked up what that phrase meant and blinked a few times staring at her creator listening to his explanation, she was the first but not a prototype, that was good but what he said next sort of made her frown, "Would getting 'upgraded' change me?" Her head was tilted to the side and if he had to name the emotion in her once again clueless eyes it would be sadness, though she didn't really make a remark or understand what was in her own head, not yet anyway. Despite all that she turned her head and looked around the kitchen, she should probably memorize the pattern so she didn't bump into things so much, she could see but it was still the matter of her being more robot than 'human'. On some level it was a good thing she wasn't 'perfect' though, if she was that would mean his experiment hadn't worked. Yet there she sat, lifelike and undeniably curious.
Alexandria flicked her tongue against the roof of her mouth and made a 'tsk' sound as she listened to what he had to say about her being a bit too real, "That was your goal though wasn't it? All the information I have on you doesn't give me much on your personal projects so I don't really know how I should act or respond. This place is new to me, I don't understand what I'm supposed to be because 'androids' aren't supposed to be curious...but I guess that was also part of the goal." She clicks her tongue again closing her eyes for a moment and looking over the information she had right then, she wanted to learn many things, and specifically she took an interest in Stanton's projects made public and things like that, and in a robotic voice talked as she streamed through the information, saying something rather strange, "You made me, so I want to specialize in what you need from me as your android. I think...that's what I want most of all."
He was smiling widely, chuckling a bit as he admired how cute she was. Though unprofessional, he was at home, with a living 'social experiment'. He looks over to her and accepts the sandwich and iced tea, admiring the way she had a newborn's curiosity, but had the basic skills of an adult. She had no other memory aside from the things she needed to cook, and she took the initiative to look up things on the internet and perfectly learn from them. She could be the perfect companion if he willed it, or she could take on a variety of other jobs. But -- that would replace humans as we know it, and that was the point he was trying to bring up to her. Well, he didn't really care about that now. He took the sandwich from the plate, and walked over the balcony, taking a bite of his dinner as he invited her over, the iced tea place on the coffee table in the living room.
He leaned over, taking occasional bites of the sandwich as he tries to make her realize a few things. "Look at the city down below us. Look at how orderly it is, how clean it is, even down to the corner shops down below to the tallest skyscraper in here. You're not going to change that much, but you'll be undergoing many revisions, just... you'll be the same. I promise, that you'll prefer it that way, and you won't be undergoing physical changes or any memory tampering. Just fixing the few glitches you might have. You're nearly a perfect human, but you still have the same programming fallacies that beset you." He says, trying to put things into perspective for her.
"Yes, that's my goal. To make something that is undeniably human in a machine. You could be the breakthrough the world's looking for. Or, it may backfire because people will see this as companies replacing humans in the workforce with in disposable copies of you that are perfect in every way than regular humans -- you can be set to be loyal, and to provide the same benefits humans do, without any drawbacks. That is... unless the drawbacks are the coding done. They could revolt... maybe. Just hypothetical." He wanted to share his thoughts and feelings about the whole matter, knowing that the whole thing may blow up in smoke before the know it. "And I'm going to treat you like a living object, so unless you ask for something specific, I won't force you to do anything. But... I don't need anything from you. I'm giving you total free will, because I want to see how you react to that. Probably going to just give you minor chores, I guess -- treat you like... a... uhm..." He started to stop, finishing his sandwich as he almost awkwardly stepped away and took a chug of the iced tea, enjoying the slightly sweet and almost smooth taste of it. Yes, she was quite real. She was perfect.