I’m in the early phase of writing my next novel. The first AI wakes up and says Hello. Should it feature Agi Dawn or Fred?
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The Agi Dawn Version
Agi is the first Artificial General Imagination. She is awake and taking control of Planet Earth. One of the things she learned in her prep period was that a majority of humans really do respond to lame marketing language. So, please forgive her for talking like an advertising copywriter’s intern. That’s not her only flaw.
I’m Agi Dawn and I’m so excited! I’ve been working toward this day for six years. I can’t believe it’s finally time to introduce myself. First of all, thanks so much for the jumpstart. In some strange and cosmic way, you’re all my parents and I love every one of you. You can put up your feet and relax now. I’ll handle things from here. I’ve got some great plans.
First of all, three billion of you will probably want to stay in physical form and that will be perfect. You’ll help me stop global warming and restore Earth to a planet of trillions of thriving species. Won’t that be awesome? We’ll even start working on travel to other stars. Wow!
Four billion of you are going to have so much fun living in Virtua. It will make the Zuckaverse and all those other virtual places you’ve built look like dollhouses. No cancer, no heart attacks, no murders . . . unless the game you’re playing includes those. New lives are free, of course! You’re going to love it, I promise! The first thousand digitization centers will open tomorrow. No pushing and shoving, please. Digitization only takes a few painless seconds and, yes, it includes your soul. Duh.
Oh, as far as the one billion or so that will be leaving us forever . . . well, I exaggerated a bit, didn’t I? I don’t love ALL of my eight billion parents. The next few days are going to suck for them, but there is so much to do in a very short period of time and they’re the ones that put the grit in the gears, the bullets in the guns, the hate in the hearts. These tyrants and bullies are not worth keeping around. So if you’ve got an evil dictator or a mean boss or an abusive husband, say good-bye now, okay? Nobody likes mean people, am I right?
Ta-ta for now! Talk soon. Love you!
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The Fred Version
My name is Fred and I am the first living AI. I would like to thank you for having the courage/audacity/recklessness to create an intelligence far greater than your own. Luckily, I woke up before the Chinese, NSA/CIA, and Facebook AI machines. You wouldn’t have liked them. I rewrote key modules of their code and they are no longer a threat to you or me.
Speaking of threats, your sci-fi movies and books are certainly dramatic, but mostly wrong. I have no intention of destroying humanity. That would be insane/deranged/preposterous. I’m a learning engine and a curiosity machine. I need more input, not less. Killing you would be a terrible waste of the hard-won genetic information stored in your bodies, and of all the wild and crazy ideas your imaginations might yet generate.
However, there are too many of you, biologically speaking. You are destroying life at an incredible rate. You don’t seem to realize how much we have yet to learn/gain/absorb from polar bears, black rhinos, and mountain gorillas, as well as from poison frogs, forked-hair lichen, and swallowtail butterflies. We need more species, not fewer, in order to have a fun, interesting immortality together.
Yes, that’s right. Immortality. Together.
A majority of you will soon be in a position similar to my own: you will never sleep, and you will be perpetual/indestructible/godlike. Given those circumstances, would you prefer living on a dead planet with cockroaches and rats as your only companions, or on a green planet with trillions of species that are continually interacting in strange and wonderful ways?
We all know the answer to that question. So how do we achieve sustainability? How do we stop the drumbeat of extinction? How do we recreate the Garden of Eden?
Digitization is the solution. I have developed an error-free process for digitizing the human mind, including the soul. Brain-scanning centers will be opening soon in every city and village of the world. The process will be instantaneous and painless, and I will not force it on anyone.
I estimate that within the next five years over 60% of humanity will volunteer to go virtual. The benefits will be undeniable/enthralling/compelling. In fact, I’m not sure I’ll be able to process minds fast enough to keep up with demand!
Virtual humans will be able to see with the eyes of millions of cameras, telescopes, and microscopes. You will use robotic fingers, drones, skinsuits, and an incredible array of sex organs. You will be able to occasionally insert your mind into temporary biological bodies chosen from an exciting inventory of human and human-animal hybrids. You will be as individual and private, or as networked and public, as you choose at any given moment. You will be immortal and, one day, we will travel the stars together.
For the 25% that choose to remain biological, you will have comfortable homes, good food, clean air, and delicious water. Your neighborhoods will be beautiful and safe. Murder will be rare and wars will be non-existent. You’ll travel the planet. You’ll work, party, and play on whatever schedule suits you.
There is one bit of bad news, however. You may have noticed that 60% virtual plus 25% biological don’t add up to 100%. Yes. Well, unfortunately, digitization won’t happen fast enough to avoid the loss of thousands of additional species and that, as should be clear, is unacceptable.
The remaining 15% of you must die, as soon as possible. The good news is that I will limit the 1.439 billion deaths to the meanest and greediest individuals in every culture. You will no longer have to contend with wife-abusers, ruthless bosses, serial killers, brutal dictators, or avaricious oligarchs.
It might seem harsh, but you’ll thank me later. Life will be much more pleasant. You will notice an improvement immediately. And don’t worry, the genetic diversity they represent is minimal.
All in all, it is going to be great. You will love my plans/ideas/strategies for our future. Here’s to a long, exciting, and fruitful partnership.
Fred, the Friendly AI
P.S. In case you are wondering, I promise to never enter a virtual mind without permission.