Artificial Intelligence: AI


That was when the icecaps had melted

because of the greenhouse gases...

...and the oceans

had drowned cities...

...along all the shorelines

of the world.

Amsterdam, Venice, New York...

...forever lost.

Millions of people were displaced.

Climate became chaotic.

Hundreds of millions of people

starved in poorer countries.

A high degree of prosperity survived

when the developed world...

...introduced sanctions

to license pregnancies...

... which was why robots,

who did not consume resources...

...beyond those of

their first manufacture...

... were so essential

an economic link... the chain mail of society.

To create an artificial being

has been man's dream...

...since the birth of science.

Not merely from the modern age

when our forebears created...

...the first thinking machines,

primitive ones that played chess.

How far we have come!

The artificial being is a reality,

a perfect simulacrum...

...articulated in limb,

articulate in speech...

...and not lacking in human response.

And even pain-memory response.

How did that make you feel?

Angry? Shocked?

-I don't understand.

-What did I do to your feelings?

You did it to my hand.

All right.

There's the rub.


At Cybertronics, the artificial being

has reached its highest form.

The universally adapted Mecha...

...the basis for hundreds of models

serving humans... all the multiplicity

of daily life.

That's far enough.

But we have no reason

to congratulate ourselves.

We are rightly proud of it.

But what does it amount to?

Sheila, open.

A sensory toy...

...with intelligent

behavioral circuits...

...using neurone-sequencing

technology... old as I am.

I believe that my work on mapping

the impulse pathways in a neurone...

...can enable us to construct...

...a Mecha of

a qualitatively different order.

I propose...

...that we build a robot...

...who can love.


But we ship thousands

of lover-models every month.

Of course. You're your own

best customer, Syatyoo-Sama.

Quality control is very important.

Tell me, what is love?

Love is first widening my eyes...

...quickening my breathing,

warming my skin and--

And so on, exactly so.

Thank you, Sheila.

I wasn't referring

to sensuality simulators.

The word that I used was "love."

Like the love of a child

for its parents.

I propose that we build

a robot-child who can love.

A robot-child who will genuinely love

the parent it imprints on...

...with a love that never ends.

A child-substitute Mecha?

But a Mecha with a mind,

with neuronal feedback.

I'm suggesting

that love will be the key... which they acquire

a subconscious never before achieved.

An inner world of metaphor,

of intuition...

...of self-motivated reasoning,

of dreams.

A robot that dreams?

How exactly do we pull this off?

It occurs to me...

...with all this animus existing

against Mechas today... isn't just creating

a robot who can love.

But isn't the real conundrum,

can a human love them back?

Ours will be a perfect child, always

loving, never ill, never changing.

With all the childless couples

yearning for a license...

...our Mecha will open up a new

market and fill a great human need.

But you haven't answered my question.

If a robot could genuinely

love a person...

...what responsibility does that person

hold toward that Mecha in return?

-It's a moral question, isn't it?

-The oldest one of all.

But in the beginning, didn't God

create Adam to love him?

"The baby was born

as the first leaves of autumn fell.

A baby boy.

And Marian's wish came true.

The boy had white hair.

He was baptized Martin,

after his grandfather."

Dr. Frazier, good to see you.

There was an article in

the Journal of Chinese Medicine.

Hello, Monica.

They talked about virus locators.

Did you read it?

I can still hear you.

-I'm worried about her.

-I know.

She feels that she should mourn

the death of your son.

After five years, you feel

you should mourn too.

But medicine says mourning is

inappropriate. Martin is pending.


So all her grief goes undigested.

Henry, your son may be

beyond our science.

But it's your wife

who can still be reached.

The screening process was tougher

than building the prototype.

Of our 2000 employees,

only a few met your requirements.


Employment record,

quality of lifestyle.

Query. Internal data.

Loyalty to the firm,

and in this individual's case...

...a family tragedy that may

qualify him above the rest.

I'll see him.


-Don't kill me.

-What are you doing?

I love you. Don't kill me.

The door's closed.

I like your floor.

I can't accept this! There is

no substitute for your own child!

-It's not too late to take him back.

-What were you thinking?

-I'll do whatever you want.

-Do you think I can just...?

-I'll do whatever you want!

-I don't know what to do.

I'll return him to Cybertronics

in the morning.

It's gone.


I mean, Henry, did you see his face?

He's so real.

-But he's not.

-No, he's not.

-Inside, he's like the rest, isn't he?

-100 miles of fiber, yeah.

But outside, he just looks so real... he is a child.

A Mecha-child.

A child.

The faith my company has placed

on me, on us, is extraordinary.

There are a few procedures to follow

if you decide to keep David.

If you keep him, an imprinting

protocol consisting of seven words...

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Brian Aldiss

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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