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Science Fiction

This story contains themes or mentions of physical violence, gore, or abuse.

           Since 1956, when scientist, Marvin Minksy pioneered the concept of Artificial Intelligence (AI), skeptics have fought against it. Many felt that if a machine had the ability to think and learn, that one day, they would overpower the human race.

           As the years progressed, so did the AI technology, and when nanotechnology was introduced in 1959 by American physicist, Richard Feynman, the ability to create a more lightweight, compact, and efficient machine came to fruition.

           It wasn’t until decades later, however, that the first artificially intelligent robot made its debut. Sophie was created in 2016 by a Hong Kong based company called, Hanson Robotics, and made the first public appearance in Austin, Texas in March of 2016. In 2017, “she” was the first robot to receive citizenship which took place in Saudi Arabia October of the same year.

           Humanoid creations were being developed around the world after Sophie’s debut, but I am here to tell you about what happened in the year 2114: The age of AI. That was the year that all the fears of those skeptics from the past came to be reality.

           By 2114, technology had become a detrimental part of living. Without it, you were not able to purchase any items, and all purchases were made online. The physical stores were pushed out as the population increased and they needed more space for residential housing.

           Oil companies became obsolete as technologically advanced electric and solar vehicles were created. When buying clothing, you could “try it on” through holographic imaging from the comfort of your own home. Even human educators were no longer required, because artificially intelligent robots were able to teach every subject of every grade without the need for wages.

           As the animal population began to decrease, scientists began to create robot animals of every species. It was at this point, that I felt like things could go horribly wrong, but the scientists insisted that they had taken every precaution in preventing any of the AI creation from going rogue, animal or humanoid.

           As I traveled along the main street in my city, the “Smart Car” that I was driving in, began to malfunction and the auto-drive mode sent me speeding into the back of a parked vehicle. I only received minor injuries, but when they investigated the on-board computer, it showed no errors in the system and my insurance would not cover the damage.

           While I stood by my wrecked car, pondering about how I was going to resolve this issue, I looked around and saw several humans like myself laying on doorsteps of apartment buildings or in alleyways. I didn’t realize until then how many people were out of work since technology began to take over.

           As I walked the rest of the way to work, leaving my car behind, I was approached by a man who ask me to send him credit so he could get a coffee and a bite to eat. On his wrist was a “credit band” that every citizen was expected to wear if they wanted to exchange currency. The band provided retailers with the person’s contact information, their most frequented locations, and credit rating. All that information was being stored in a supercomputer buried miles below the earth’s surface in a highly protected facility. The government could find any citizen at any time no matter where they traveled to.

           The man was dressed in a worn-out blue suit that would have cost quite a lot when it was new. He was likely a lawyer or such at one point in time, but robots also took over in the courtrooms. They could store every case file throughout history in their memories, leaving human attorneys out of work. I transferred thirty dollars so he could purchase a coffee and a sandwich to hold him over.

           When I reached my office, my boss was exiting his vehicle and spotted me coming in late. I spent the next few minutes being reamed out for my tardiness while his car went to park itself in the garage below.

           The company I worked for was named Primeautech after the owner, Lucas Primeau, a billionaire scientific entrepreneur that developed an android so advanced and lifelike, that it was difficult to believe that “he” was not human. The skin was a polymer substance that stretched with the natural movements of the body, and no joints or seams could be seen. They named the prototype, Quincy.

           Quincy was equipped with human hair that grew, and all human appendages including sexual organs. Mr. Primeau designed the robot after a model of his deceased son. His original plan was to build Quincy and have him there to remind him of his son, but once word of his creation hit the media, every development company in the world was on his doorstep to ask him to mass-produce Quincy. Instead, he searched for investors and opened his own company.

           Within the first six months of opening the doors of his company, Lucas Primeau had already made millions in pre-orders. Each AI robot was custom designed to the buyers’ specifications, providing they could be fit within certain parameters. The android could not be excessively overweight, though a small amount of pudginess was possible. It needed to be between five feet and six-foot-eight inches tall, and they needed to provide either a video log of memories of the person they wanted to recreate, or the memories of that person would need to be electronically transferred into the subconscious of the robot before they died.

           They AI creation could also be customized to perform various tasks from medical aide to sexual partner. The options were virtually limitless. Quincy’s received a memory transfer just before Mr. Primeau’s son passed away. It was stored on a computer until the AI was completed. When AI Quincy first opened his eyes, he instantly recognized his father and was unaware of what had happened of that he was not human. From what he could recall, Quincy was the human son of Lucas.

           After the first year of production, Lucas had sold more than 10,000 AI companions worldwide, and all the customers were so pleased, that the following year’s sales had more than doubled. Before long, the population of AI robots equalled that of humans.

           To increase production, Lucas developed a group of AI workers to speed things up without depleting the quality of his work. The demand for new models continued to increase, so more AI workers were added, leaving very few human workers on staff. I was one of the lucky ones that was able to stay, because I could develop the software needed to customize each of the robots, but I figured it was just a matter of time before I was fired as well.

           One night in March of 2114, I was working late at the lab, trying to finish off a component for the next order, when I heard glass breaking. I quickly left my lab and ran down the hall. As I turned the corner by Mr. Primeau’s office, I could feel a cold draft hitting me in the face. When I looked inside, I saw the window of his office shattered. I rushed to the window and looked down the twenty-story drop to the pavement below. There I saw the bloody remains of Lucas Primeau.

           I called the authorities and spent the next couple of hours explaining my story. At one point, I could sense that the police officer had suspected me of sending Lucas to his death. After reviewing the security footage, however, he realized he was mistaken.

           On the security video, it showed me running from my lab at 10:13 PM, and entering his office at 10:15 PM. However, at precisely 10:14 PM, the murderer exited Lucas Primeau’s office; it was Quincy.

           The police searched the building for Quincy, but he was nowhere on site. They put out an all points bulletin and scoured the city in search of their AI suspect. I went home and locked my door then turned on the television.

           On Channel 115 News, there were reports of a global catastrophe that was taking place. The reporter stated that artificially intelligent robots had turned violent in every corner of the planet. She warned viewers to secure themselves inside and avoid contact with any robots.

           I stayed glued by the TV waiting to hear that the problem had been resolved, but with AI taking over most facets of the military, there weren’t any soldiers left to protect the humans. The battle went on for days as the robots began to overrun all the government buildings worldwide. It was on the eighth day, that a scientist from Norfolk, Virginia produced a solution.

           Since the robots had not yet taken control of the satellites, he suggested that they tap into all the existing satellites and send out an Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) to fry the circuits of the robots, but he stated that it needed to be done simultaneously so they did not have an opportunity to retaliate.

           The remaining government officials hired one of the country’s top computer hackers to hack into all the satellites, and all at once, they sent out an EMP. The world fell into darkness as all electronic equipment was completely wiped out, including the army of AI robots. The world was safe.

           It was believed that in the memories of the human Quincy, he was mentally unstable, and when his programming was linked to the rest of the robots the company had created, they all malfunctioned at the same time and became aggressive.

           In the years to follow, we began to get back to our roots and began living a life off the grid. Electronics became a thing of the past, and we made our living off the land like in the days of the pioneers. Strangely enough, with technology gone, people began to spend more time with one another. All the robots were gathered up and disassembled piece-by-piece. Their parts were melted down and used to create shelters for the remaining humans.

           It was an eerie feeling at first: the lack of noise within the city, but in time, it became welcoming. I could hear the birds singing again, and the sky was much clearer than it had ever been. The age of AI was over, and humanity was getting a fresh start.

June 14, 2022 14:24

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2 comments

Ace Quinnton
22:55 Jun 14, 2022

If only the gobal warming could get a restart too. They may have gotten a fresh start on life, but it won't reset all the greenhouse gases. The previous fossil fuels that surround the world's atmosphere won't go away. It'd be nice if this could happen in real life (not the technology waging war against us, but the rebirth of Earth) but unfortunately, this is only fiction.

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Greg Gillis
21:09 Jun 18, 2022

That would allow for a vast improvement in the air we breathe, the quality of the foods we eat, the acid rain that pours down upon us. If only changes were made decades sooner. Thank you for your reply.

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