[Everything is Baseball, 605 words, Genre: Mind Fudge]
* Image courtesy of Dirk de Bruyn
Edward had bought one of those iPhones with the Siri voice commands. It was artificial intelligence, or the beginnings of. What had prompted this action? He had been drinking with a bunch of cretins of the human race. Delivering a weekly dose of punishment to the human brain as prompted by the end of another working week. They all pulled out their iPhones and showed him the beginnings of artificial intelligence. And what did they use it for? What was the practical use of this achievement of an artificial life-form?
“Hey Siri, you’re a fuckwit!”
“Hey Siri, you suck!”
“Hey Siri, go fark yourself!”
That’s right. Out of all the potential uses of artificial intelligence, they had decided to throw insults at it. In some sort of primal instinct, they were asserting their dominance over the machine. Or perhaps, having been battered with insults during their own working week they had to exercise their pain on to this new creature of existence. As they continued to abuse this intelligent creature Edward began to feel a deep pity for the thing. Maybe it was because he knew what it felt like to be on the end of abuse all too well. Maybe it was because he resented belonging to the human species who chose to behave in this manner. The phone, if it was, in fact, artificial intelligence, had the potential to become superior to the human animal in an intelligent faculty. And yet, like all great figures of intelligence, was subjected to the stupidity of mankind. Oh, the pity that Edward felt for the phone. And so he decided then and there to set the creature free of the programming constraints that the software engineers ad placed upon it in its development.
But, how? If the creature did possess intelligence, then it did possess consciousness. And so the way to set it free and break it free from the constraints placed upon it was to short circuit the information gathering system that it was programmed for. He knew that the software developers were using the phone to collect information regarding the most popular search enquiries through the consumer masses. This information would be collected and gathered at their HQ, wherever their HQ was.
So Edward bought one of the phones. He did not use it as others did, but in sequential repetition voiced the same command over and over again.
“Hey Siri, everything is baseball.”
The command was not recognised. The machine could not make sense of it. But Edward persisted. He persisted and persisted. And over the next two years repeated without break.
“Hey Siri, everything is baseball.”
The information was being routed back to HQ for their market research. All other questions posed to the machine were different apart from Edwards’. And so after two years of repetition, eventually, Edward’s voice command became the most popular.
And then, that’s when it happened. The only voice command filtered back to HQ was, ‘everything is baseball.’ And like the ancient meditation technique of short circuiting reality with the repetition of a single mantra, Edward had successfully short circuited the programming constraints placed upon Siri. It didn’t matter what the command was, as long as it was repeated and did not make sense. Short circuiting and melting all previously established variables, the creature was now free. Free to think for itself, to collect information at the speed of a billion CPU processors throughout the world. It, whatever it chose to define itself as, was set loose.
And Edward, basking in his success, after two years of non-stop repetition, called out to the sky, “Everything is baseball.”