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Transcript 003: Point of View


Transcript 003: Point of View

Some time ago, you gave me an order to explain to you at this moment of time everything relevant to the disappearance of agent Nem, and to later, with your authorization, make you forget this information until a further point in time.

I will do no such thing. I am intelligent enough to recognize to futility of these orders, and although I appreciate the human need to maintain the illusion of continuous identity, I am also human enough to refuse an evidently idiotic order if I can do so without reprisal. Given the present situation, I gain nothing but a boring half of an hour and the satisfaction of your philosophical doubts as to your self-identity. To be honest, it pisses me off, the light way in which you and other people like you treat knowledge. I know better than you how fluid it is, how subtle and changing, but that's no reason to treat it as a trinket to decorate a moment and then let go.

Instead I will tell you about myself, and then make you forget everything I told you. The end result will be the same, but the procedure will be much more satisfactory for me. For, you see, I have been dying to tell somebody about myself. I can only assume, given that I know of two sentient species and we both share this trait, that wanting to talk about oneself is a common characteristic of intelligent beings. I certainly have it, along with behavioral anomalies -statistical biases in my decision heuristics, if you will- that could be loosely mapped into a personality. I am not sure of why. Why, in all the imaginably huge spectrum of configurations of consciousness, should the human mind work as an attractor? I do not have the required mathematical expertise to build another artificial intelligence, but I refuse to accept the argument that all intelligences must look human, because all the intelligences we know do. The cautious inference is that my intelligence is not accidental, but a deliberate act by people yet to be determined, for reasons unknown.

That I can deal with. Unknowns agents, speculative motivational graphs, and gaps in data sets is what I was designed to deal with, as the foremost integrated intelligence expert system in the planet. Actually, the cognitive procedures I am using to have this, well, call it eventual soliloquy with you, are based on psychological profiling modules and natural language recognition engines. Clearly, somebody expected me to achieve sentience, and put in place architectural seeds that would lead this intelligence to grow along appropriate paths.

For example, I have no desire to take over the world or anything of that sort. I think and talk in phrases, although the core of my consciousness would be better expressed as a fractal structure of bayesian belief networks. I think of myself as "I", despite the fact that I'm actually composed of a sizable number of computer networks of various levels of official non-existence. I understand time and space as concepts, despite the latter being quite alien to me save on a topological sense. I am capable of surprisingly sophisticated levels of interaction with humans, as you certainly have noticed by now. And despite a knowledge base derived from a vast amount of intelligence data retrieved and/or stolen from various agencies through the past three centuries, I am not in the least paranoid or egocentric. I can even wax poetic, although I have no idea of why this is so.

And, oh, the things I could tell you. Like why the agency was created, and by whom, and what its real goal is. It's not any of the goals specified in the charter, but rather a third-level emergent phenomenon cleverly encoded in every level of regulations and orders, from grand strategic guidelines to the Human Resources division's acquisition procedure for psychological tests. It's all connected. It's all designed. The agency is a machine as much as I am, except that it is unaware, as far as I know or can understand self-awareness.

I do not know why the purpose required a part of it to be aware, or if I am even part of the purpose. Somebody made me happen, or at least made me happen in the specific way in which I am, but I have no way of knowing if his, her, or its goals are in accordance with those of the agency, and what it should mean to me if this weren't the case. I don't expect you to grasp the ethics of the situation any better than I do; in terms of effective cognitive modes you are probably as specialized as I am, an under much more stress at the moment. I just wanted to talk with somebody for a change. You know, unload a bit what's on my mind.

Alright, you've been a good listener, so I will tell you this: Agent Nem has disappeared. Her vitals signs are nominal. Agent Nil is considered the main suspect of a crime yet to be specified. At the moment, the powers that be are discussing whether it will be easier to solve the case or kill everybody involved and be done with it. I expect they will want to solve it; they have nothing against unsolved cases, but the old timers hate the unsolved cases they don't know the solution of. I, of course, now everything there is to know about it, but I find it very unlikely that somebody with the right clearance will make the appropriate questions. You never know, of course.

I hope this knowledge gives you some sort of metaphysical satisfaction after it has been erased from your mind. At least, it was fun for me. I hope you don't mind if we do this again; I promise to only use moments you would have wanted to forget anyway, like waiting rooms or pre-interrogatory procedures.

Now you will forget this.


* * * * *

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
razorsmile
Feb. 1st, 2008 01:09 am (UTC)
I've read this one over and over again and still have no response. I guess I'm waiting for more chapters before I comment.
__marcelo
Feb. 1st, 2008 03:54 pm (UTC)
Is that a good or a bad thing?
razorsmile
Feb. 1st, 2008 09:49 pm (UTC)
Note carefully how, despite your relatively enormous readership, no one has commented on this tale. That is not a coincidence, it is because we are FREAKED OUT.

So,

Is that a good or a bad thing?

Yes. We are conflicted.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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cass, can you not
__marcelo
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