Short story 7

Title: A New Mind

Time span: One night

Voice: First person account, past tense.  The story is told as a memory, but it is a replay of Thomas’ recollection of the events by the artificial intelligence. At the end of the story, the plot twists when it is revealed that the artificial intelligence is now in control, and the story is nothing but another file in it’s storage system.  (I think the transcript idea would be too hard to pull off with two characters in the room) Communications by the recording computer are in the form of [response from computer]. IE:

“Computer, begin recording.”

[Recording ready, using low light parameters]

Character name: Thomas Paite

Character background: Computer Scientist. He works for a large computer engineering firm. He is in his thirties. He develops intelligences for industrial computers. He has been studying medical technologies at night in hopes of combining virobots with a program of his design. He hopes to make a breakthrough in computer intelligence that will lead to self aware computer intelligence.

Character’s Girlfriend: Ann. Ann works in another department, developing core architectures. She builds prototypes from the designs Thomas and his department create. She and Thomas have been friends for some time, but they haven’t thought of more until recently. They ate lunch one day. While eating, they held hands for a moment. After several months, they have become close. They argue about designs and esoteric things, mostly. That’s part of the excitement of their relationship. They enjoy intellectual debates.

Character relationships: He is a bit of an outsider at work, introverted and secretive. He is tolerated in the lab, because it is filled with unique characters. Character’s Career: This is an experimental think tank that develops sophisticated smart systems used as operating systems in city sized networks. At present, the state of the art is able to manage large tasks, and converse intelligently with an operator about errors. Computers do not have any truly independent thought. They act as avatars and assistants to the operators.

Story arc: Thomas’ night time studies of virobots and other cooperative medical devices have convinced him that he could create a truly intelligent computer by combining virobots with a holographic or fractal operating system. I talk about rampancy and AI characteristics in previous posts. He smuggles some virobots into his lab, and begins experimenting. The story takes place one night when he is ready to implement his experiment. He sets up the apparatus, and begins growing a batch of virobots. His girlfriend enters and questions his experiment. When she tries to de activate the experiment, he pushes her away. As he turns to her to apologize, the growth lattice containing the virobots collapses. The Virobots surge with the collapse and latch onto Thomas’ arm. They pin him to the table. Ann pulls him free, but his arm breaks while she’s doing it. The virobots in his arm control his hand to grasp onto Ann’s arm tightly. She is unable to flee without causing Thomas great pain. This way, she can’t leave or call for help as the rest of the story unfolds. Kind of a dramatic version of Peter Sellers character in Dr Strangelove.

When Thomas was a child, he broke his arm playing an environmental immersion game. He was healed by an injection of bone healing virobots. They collected around the break, and then hardened, healing the break instantly. Now, years later, the experimental virobots interact with the old virobots. The interaction changes his experimental virobots into a new strain. This new strain is not affected by the antidote he has to deal with an accidental infection.

The rest of the story describes how the virobots fight with Thomas for control of his body and mind. As Thomas’ mind collapses, Ann is trapped with him. The story becomes more and more an account by the computer intelligence until the final entry reports coldly that the remnants of the previous host have been purged.

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