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Science Fiction Teens & Young Adult

Tessa cried in happiness as she launched her app to the 10,000 people to test it out first. It was finally working. She had been working on it for the past 10 months. She got up and went to get a cup of coffee. The espresso tasted so sweet for the first time in 10 months. She sat on her chair, enjoying some time for herself. After 30 minutes, she went back into her office to check on how things were going.

Ding! *new mail from Heather Bishol*

Tessa opened the email faster than ever. It was a feedback from one of her testers.

Dear Ms. Harper

This is Heather Bishol! I just got my final logo design for my business and it is just so amazing. I am definitely going to use that logo design. Thank you for creating this app. I think this will help many people like me in the future!

Sincerely, Heather

Under the email was an image attached. Tessa opened it, excited to see if all her work was worth it.

Clang! Tessa dropped her cup and walked back from the screen. The design, the logo Heather chose wasn't familiar at all. It was a totally different style than the ones she had already inserted in. How in the world did a design like that get created? Tessa thought.

She frantically looked around for her phone and called Cassandra, her coworker.

"Hey Cassandra. I just sent you an image. Can you check that out real quick?" Tessa's hand was shaking.

"Hey! What's wrong? I just saw it and it looks really nice! It's not a style you would create but it looks better than the ones you created before to be honest," Cassandra's happy voice filled Tessa's ear. This only made Tessa even more anxious.

"Cass, I didn't create that. Like you said, I don't like styles like that. I called you to ask if you inputted a code name for a design like that," Tessa's heart was beating faster and faster.

"Oh my gosh! No, I didn't. And there's no one else to touch or input designs into the program," Cassandra's voice became much more serious.

"Cass, I think the program became self-aware. It's teaching itself to come up with designs we never inputted in. I never thought this could happen," Tessa's became lightheaded at the thought of the program developing and training itself to become better than her.

"Isn't.... Isn't that a good thing?" Cassandra sounded confused.

"I mean, yes and no. It's definitely good that it is coming up with new ideas and designs every second. But I'm scared that it will take over our work. Once the program can tell the difference between our work and its own, it might start taking over the whole program and become its own program," Tessa took a deep breath and told Cassandra.

"Is there a way to stop it?" Cassandra asked carefully.

"First, I'll see if there was a virus that hacked into our program. I highly doubt that but you never know," Tessa had a little hope that it was just a virus because Cassandra was a master at removing the viruses and finding people who hacked into their computer.

"Okay, tell me if there is. I am on my way to the office right now," Cassandra replied.

Tessa opened the program, calming herself down. When programming, everything had to be perfect. Shaky hands wouldn't help at all when trying to input a new code into the system. For the next 15 minutes, she tried opening every individual code, trying to see if the system got hacked or if there was a virus. She ended up with finding only a clean system.

"Tessa! Was it a bug?" Cassandra ran into the office.

"Nope... It was all clean," Tessa sighed.

Suddenly, 15 new tabs opened. It was from the app development program. Tessa and Cassandra stopped at what they were doing and their eyes widened, looking like two pairs of marbles. What they saw were 15 new color codes and color matches. Then it started to code by itself, creating brand new logo styles.

"OH MY GOODNESS!" Cassandra screamed, frightened by what she saw.

"It was actually the program developing itself," Tessa could barely speak, so scared.

"Tessa! Open your phone and research if there are any other cases similar to ours," Cassandra was trying not to get hyper.

"Okay. But it's 2009, it's not like those old days anymore. This might be a common case already," Tessa tried unlocking her phone but her shaky hands did not help her.

'AI self development', Test typed into the Google search bar. Many articles came up and Tessa checked on every single article. At the end, nothing matched her situation at all. Cassandra rubbed her eyes, tired at looking at the bright screen for two hours.

"How about we ask in the Google community?" Cassandra suggested, red skin surrounding her hazel pupils.

"Oh! Good idea!" Tessa replied.

They posted the comment and went out to eat dinner, feeling as if they got a million weights off their shoulders.

****************

Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding!

"What in the world! What is all of this notification coming from?" Tessa rubbed her eyes as she reached her hand out to look for her phone.

With her eyes half opened, Tessa opened the Google community, which had 141 notifications.

"CASSANDRA! WAKE UP!" Tessa's eyes widened instantly as she saw all the replies and questions, flooding the post from the day before.

"What happened?" Cassandra stumbled over to her.

"Look at all these questions and replies on our post yesterday!" Tessa exclaimed.

They spent the next hour, reading each question and replies, hoping to find something. They approached the last comment and both of them gasped at the same time. It was a comment from a famous AI developer. He wanted to see their app and their program.

"Oh my gosh. Please invite him and ask what is wrong," Cassandra was so excited.

"I will, I will," Tessa wrote the reply to him, her stomach tingling with excitement.

**************

Just 30 minutes later, they got a reply from the scientist.

Hello, and yes! I am so honored to get invited. I will bring a new reporter if that is okay?

"Oh my goodness! This is going so well! A news reporter is going to come! All our hard work might pay off now," Tessa got tears in her eye, getting reminded by how much of a hard time Cassandra and she went through past the years.

"Really? We just need to keep our program well until then! Until they came on Saturday. It was Tuesday, so four more days and all their hard work would pay off," Cassandra had tears falling from her eyes.

They embraced each other, happier than ever by the news.

********

The two partners didn't leave their monitors, Cassandra on a lookout for viruses and hackers and reenforcing their program. Tessa was making sure all the 10,000 tests went well and ready to launch into the public. Over the next four days, they noticed that the program was getting taken over by the AI self development program. It kind of scared them. It was getting hard to input new codes because the program rejected it.

Now it was more of a scary situation than an exciting situation.

It was already Saturday and the girls made sure the program was ready to go.

Ding Dong!

"This is Dr. Matt Figg and news reporter, Harold Kish," Dr. Matt and Mr. Kish were here already.

"Oh my gosh, they are here, is everything ready?" Cassandra whispered nervously.

Tessa just nodded and signaled for her to let them in.

"Hello Dr. Figg and Mr. Kish! It is a pleasure to have you!" Tessa's voice was shaking.

"Hello, Ms. Harper and Ms. Nola!" They shook hands and went straight to look at their programming screen.

They explained excitedly about their program and their programming process. Then they showed them all the files their app self developed.

"I just can't really believe it...." Dr. Figg was full of doubt.

"How about we do a contest with our own app? You can request a logo from both the app and us. Come back in a week and see which one is better. We will also send out a survey to our local neighbors to see which one they like better," Tessa knew this question was coming.

"Oh, that is a very smart idea! But how will I know the AI developed it?" Mr. Kish quickly jotted some stuff in his notes.

"How about we transfer the AI program, just the AI and leave it in this office with a camera set up? We will work in our apartment," Cassandra offered.

They both nodded. Cassandra and Tessa smiled at them as they left their office.

***************

A week passed very quickly. The logo theme was for an AI development group. Day and night, skipping meals and sleep, Tessa and Cassandra came up with a logo they both loved. It was simple, yet straight to the point.

The AI had his logo done in just five minutes however.

A week had passed already and it was the moment of truth. Although Tessa and Cassandra wanted their app to win, they couldn't let the AI beat them.

"Both look very simple and amazing!" Mr. Kish said, amazed.

"I think I have my pick already though!" Dr. Figgs said. And at this moment, Tessa's stomach felt as if it was getting tied up.

"When I say one, two three, you can put up the finger of whichever one you want," Cassandra's voice was shaking.

Tessa and Cassandra's logo was the first one and the AI's logo was the second one.

"One, two, three," the girls said as they closed their eyes.

"Open your eyes!" Mr. Kish said. The girls' eyes followed the tips of the two guests' fingers.

Tessa's hand immediately went over her mouth as they saw both of their hands holding up two fingers.

"No way!" Cassandra screamed.

"Oh my goodness, don't tell me this is the AI's," Dr. Figgs had a worried frown on his forehead.

All four of them were speechless. Ding! The results for the local survey and Tessa prayed they won this one.

48% - 52% was what it said on the survey. The first being Tessa and Cassandra's and the second one being the AI's.

Tears gathered in Tessa's eyes, horrified that the AI had beat them.

"It's was a world where AI can develop themselves but now, they can start taking over us," Dr. Figgs said, staring into the survey results.

February 27, 2021 04:26

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