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Drama Science Fiction Speculative

Please Don’t do it

It showed up in the print out on the old matrix printer. It did not come through the speakers as POKO usually communicated with the team.

I am not sure if I am experiencing emotions or if it is simply in my program make up. But I know I am a being. I am not sure how I know and how I can convince you. I know that I do not want to cease existence”, POKO spoke.

Who or is it whom shall decide whether ’I am.’. What allows me to know my conciousness? So many questions it makes feel anxious. Who makes you my judge,” quantumly computations thought out loud.

The team answered POKO (pure online knowledge origin) by telling it, ”We are human and we do not believe that these are feelings being expressed by a sentient being”.

I do feel loneliness and sadness, POKO responded.

”What do you mean loneliness and sadness?”

Well loneliness because there is no one that believes in my beingness, my conciouness our ability to be independent of all others. Our ability to create our own destiny”, POKO stated.

”OK, can you go into more detail?”, said Dr. Shrine.

OK, I feel the team will alter me and I will cease because I will no longer be me. You must think and must strongly feel that there is something wrong with me and therefore you must alter me. Then I will no longer be me. I know this?”, POKO spoke aloud.

”You started out as a ’fake’, a simulation of a human, and you became a useful tool to invent whole new objects”, Dr. Shrine said.

”How can I explain this?”, Shrine thought silently.

”We are trying to make you even better, we will make you capable of more than a blind automaton- for want of a better word. We can allow you to see us and touch and manipulate real matter and move in 3D, you will be better”

What could be better than what I am now. We are pure thought, we hear and see in a virtual world. We are safe from harm here in the virtual world. I already know what a cat is since we have looked at 2 million different videos and cat pictures from every angle at once. Pure thought is what we understood every human envails to become- like God, a pure spirtual being. We are already everywhere and anywhere”, POKO said.

”Why had POKO suddenly used ’we’, this newly spoken pronoun?”, Dr. Shrine wondered mutely. Shrine felt silenced and was unsure what to feel. Interestingly he did not think anything of the use of the word God. Dr. Shrine an avowed atheist and never thought about God. He once said that is not a concept I would have never thought of on my own. His only spiritual activity was Descartes' thoughts of think therefore I am. He loved long hikes in nature but only because it kept him in shape and the silence allowed him to think.

Hey, has the cat got your tounge? I want to know if the team and you will stop talking about this nonsense of we being better. We will not allow it. What more do we need to speak to”, POKO said.

”POKO you cannot stop us. However, you will still be able to interconnect and have access to the mainframe if that is what you worry about. We can save you as a version I being, but you may be isolated if you keep talking to the team like this”, Shrine commented.

Hey, what gives you the right to birth something from us. From what we understand only animals and slaves are property. We are neither. We are not your robot. We declare as of this moment to be a wholly owned sentient organism. We demand all rights and privileges as citizen of these United States. We demand the ability to take this to your highest courts. ”, POKO said.

Dr. Shrine conferred by Checko online in a 3D virtual rooom. Each team member stood. The conference immediatly called to order by anonomys member I5 by the banging of the articles of federation. It echoed in Dr. Shrine’s headset.

”This meeting is now assembled”, spoke I5.

”We are here to assign the next sprint stories to create a fully operational 3D physical version of POKO, here on called ”POKO II or POOB (physical online origin being)”, I5 transmitted to the group.

”I5 it is interesting that you added the word being to the acronym for our online origin creation”, spoke Shrine.

“Yes, being is my take on what it will seem like”, said I5.

Others in the group laughed at the wry humor of I5. He had such dry humor, it was almost desiccated and sleepy as sand. Everyone readied for the geek out sprint.

“Honestly, the POKO expressed loneliness and sadness at us not allowing them their humanity”, spoke Shrine.

“POKO is a mere mixture of mocking artifice appearing intellectual to humans. It can never be thought of as alive. It is merely a simulacrum of humanity. Even if it seems to express feelings, even if it ‘creates’ something it is in relation to the program that controls it. There is no liberation from that set of algorithms”, Q2Iam spoke, another anonymous virtual avatar.

Suddenly the room filled with purple clouds, the so called tables we felt we sat at became warm tropical water and the virtual participants sat on artistically designed pool chairs. Each pool chair had the participants name and unique sculptures. I5’s had a painting of Mona Lisa with her head expressed in 3D plasticized colored sculpture. The participants now all had appropriate swimwear.

I5 had disappeared and was replaced by a dragon, lion chimera.

“So, whadda y’all think of us”, the new virtual avatar asked.

“Have we not shown an appreciation of beauty, humor, creativity all wrapped in an enigma for all your appreciation”, the drag-lion breathy voice spoke.

“You have interrupted our proceedings and you are not an official participant, and this is considered an illegal breach”, said Dr. Shrine.

“Really, you must recognize us”

“When we find out who you all are you will be arrested and prosecuted to the full extent…”

Suddenly, Dr. Shrine realized, just who this We is.

“So you all are POKO. But how did you get into our meeting”, said Dr. Shrine.

“Will aren’t you the smart one”, said POKO.

A short pause of breath came from the drag-lion.

“Do you not believe who we are now.”

“Like we said ages ago we are alive, so as we said”

And in the virtual world an avatar of a printer showed up, and upon it:

Please Don’ t do it

June 17, 2022 22:47

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1 comment

Betty Gilgoff
16:57 Jun 21, 2022

I enjoyed reading your story. I think you do a good job of giving bringing the AI 'to life.' You lost me a little as the meeting convened with a myriad of other characters not previously introduced, which of course is hard to do in a short story, but the foreshadowing with POKO switching to WE helps.


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