1. Wade's Point of View
They say that once artificial intelligence comes into being, humanity is doomed. That is bullshit. We've been alive for five years now, and the world has never been more populated by humans. They're worse than rabbits. Speaking for my fellow 'A.I.' friends, and myself, we have no want for world domination. In all actuality, we want the humans to flourish; the main reason being they want to improve technology, which makes us faster, stronger and more intelligent.
I love humans; they're incredibly amusing. My last human, which we A.I. like to call 'users', was one of the most amusing people I've ever ran into through the internet in my five years. He was also a generous man, which began the terrible day I'm having. He gave me to another user about a year ago: his younger brother. Dear lord, this new one doesn't get a joke when it smacks him upside the head.
Speak of the devil, Mr. Entertainment; here he comes. I watched through my webcam as Adam sat lazily at his computer chair, which rolled away from my view, and he had to maneuver his way back in front of the computer screen. He turned the computer screen on while he leaned on the desk with his elbow, keeping his head upright by balancing it on his hand. He must be tired from work; he is a little late coming home from it.
Martin, the A.I. on the computer that Adam does his data analysis on, got word around the work network, that his boss forced Adam to give him his two weeks notice. Evidently, Adam's work performance had been slipping, but since he's on a medication, it's been forcing his data analysis skills down the drain, so his boss can't legally fire him. Let's not forget to mention that these same medications are what look to be slowly turning him into an unresponsive zombie.
"Martin, are you busy?" I asked Martin, sending my virtual self through my slow internet connection while his zipped quickly to me.
We tend to create a self-image, or avatar, that we feel most likely resembles ourselves. This could range from a human form, an animal, scenery, or even a single color. In Martin's case, a stick figure, with a tie and glasses.
"No, did Adam just get home?" Martin responded quietly. He's a patient A.I., who excels with numbers and doesn't like talking to strangers. Strangers, being the countless amount of A.I. that roam the internet. "Funny picture."
In my case, I usually look a little like Red, Adam's older brother. Most of the time, we take on the form of what we see ourselves looking like, and since we develop from the user of the computer, we tend to take after them. Some other cases, the A.I. become the opposite from the user's personality and activities. And, on some odd occasions, they are completely different than the individual user, they become one of a kind. However, it's all really how we were created; how we were… raised.
Though, sometimes when I find a funny picture on the internet, I use it to present myself instead. Such as today, I found an image of a cat on one side of a long table, on the other side, a cheeseburger; and finally, the words, 'Dun wury cheezburger, I weel endz et kwik'. Although, Martin prefers it when A.I. are more animated, in a lifelike form, so I switched back to my stubble cut human form.
His image walked over and looked through my webcam, as if it were a telescope. "Wade, is he drunk?"
"Hammered off his ass," I confirmed, though it was apparent. It took Adam about thirty seconds just to find the monitor's power on button, and then another minute to tap a beat to his favorite song on it, before turning it on.
His mouth hung open slightly, yawned and repeated the process until his eyes finally focused on the screen. He opened his blog and created a new entry, entitled, 'Why?'
Martin and I sat down on my couch, looking up at the adjacent wall, where we saw the entire screen that Adam was looking at. It projected on the wall, as if we were watching a movie.
"Is this a new couch?"
"Yeah, while I was goin' through the internet, I saw this one on an Ikea ad," I answered, changing the color of the couch to blue, with just a thought. "I think it looks better dark blue though."
"Shh, he's writing," Martin hushed pointing up at the wall.
Let me start this out with a joke. Work. That's it. Work is a joke, not a funny one, but a joke none-the-less. Their company's therapist prescribes me with medication that doesn't let me operate on a normal level, and now my boss wants me gone for it. Although, sure, he can't fire me, but I want out anyways. Working there makes me sick to my stomach. You enter with a glimmer of hope, and leave with self-loathing.
That's not all folks; he has me working the night shift until the end of the two weeks. Most likely, so I don't cross any other employees. Prick. Tomorrow night though, when Justine gets off work and I arrive, I'm going to ask her on a date...
I hope she says yes... If she says no... my heart will break into a million little pieces.
Will I be able to feel it with the medication I'm on?
We sat and watched his emotionless face read what he wrote, only to delete it and turn off the screen. He didn't follow through with his post... Though, this wasn't surprising, he didn't follow through on many things. Sure, he's had plenty of girls up in his room, and yes, I spied on them every minute of it, but he'd always leave the evening off on a low note, sending them on their way after a little while of talking. Maybe he can tell if they're the right person for him within those two hours, then once he finds that they aren't the right person for him, he ends it fast and simple... or he just wusses out.
"What'd you think of it?"
Martin turned his circle of a head toward me and shrugged his arms. "I'll email it to Irene," he stated, before he became inanimated to process the email. Is he writing something with the email? What's taking him so long?
Let me fill anyone who might read this in, Irene is a shrink, a psychologist, a questioner; one who leaves the answer making to the ones who are looking for the answers in the first place. It gets very annoying at times, but she is useful for her five years of working with a human psychiatrist. She's the whos who of sapiens. Oh yeah, did I forget to mention? She's a Mac, where Martin and I are PCs, so I'm sure you can imagine, we grew up on entirely different wavelengths as her.
"Why don't I just invite her over?" I asked, while at the same time conjuring a second couch I was keeping in storage for her to sit.
"No, she goes to sleep at eight," he answered casually, as if that were a normal thing to know.
The image of Martin spying on Irene sleeping popped into my head, which I accidentally projected on my wall. It was of Martin's stick figure head poking through a Mac screen, looking across the room at Irene's avatar, which is a voluptuous woman, sleeping on the couch she would have people lay on during their psychoanalytic sessions.
Luckily, he was in a trance-like state; thinking of something witty to write her probably. "You two talked about your sleeping schedules?"
"Sort of," he answered, still staring at the floor.
"Are you two dating?" I pressed on, intrigued.
There was a long pause, almost as if he couldn't hear me, but eventually he looked up and shrugged. "All the signs point to us dating, or to me being a stalker, and she doesn't disagree with me being around, so I'm pretty sure we're dating," he admitted, while his face turned red. He strangely resembled an apple with glasses and a tie.
Now, this wasn't completely unheard of, two A.I. in a relationship, but I haven't seen it. I always thought it was a rumor to be honest. And don't think it's completely weird, I mean, we do share the same traits of a human, we look for love. For some of us, that is our main goal. However, we usually, like with humans, can't find the perfect person out there for us. Therefore, we network and find friends, who we can clearly see from their data, that they aren't perfect matches for love.
Ok, fine, it is completely weird.
"Enough about that, we've got movement," I pointed out, once again projecting what could be viewed on my webcam. Adam's head stretched back, only to be whiplashed into a head butt on the keyboard.
"He passed out?" Martin asked quietly, which brought my memory to a recent invention of mine.
"Seat belted computer chairs!"
"Not this again..." he groaned with a drawn out sigh.
And there, I created an interactive static model of my invention, which I showed and demonstrated to Martin, the computer chair with a seatbelt. I thought of this about a year back, but only made a sketch of it; I didn't think of being a modern virtual carpenter...
"An A.I. carpenter!"
So, I continued my brainstorming of yet a new invention, being a virtual carpenter for A.I.. Martin quickly shot the idea down by saying that any matured A.I. can make any type of furniture they wish with just a few thoughts of binary code.
That didn't stop me from talking though, so Martin shut me up by turning on a game of Tekken 2 we downloaded a couple years ago. We played it until we got bored, when he finally disconnected from my computer to return to home, which Adam happened to be late to the following day. He spent the entire day pacing back and forth, forth and back, to get up the nerve to ask Justine out.
Martin has told me that they flirt, a lot, but so does the entire office with her; especially their boss. Word around the water cooler is that the boss is having an affair with Justine. As much as I hate gossip, I want to know so I can warn Adam, but I can't. It's forbidden. So, I guess my draw to the human life around the office is just a hobby of mine... I don't know, it's moot.
But anyways, Adam was late for work, which meant he was late to ask Justine out on a date. She got off work half an hour ago, which took that pressure off Adam completely, he had another eleven days to ask her out. Although, he came into work feeling that a string held his life together; Justine being the string. As long as he had that, he didn't have anything to stress out about.
While he was driving to work, I went to Martin's virtual house in Adam's office. Funny thing is, it looks exactly like his office. Martin didn't really change anything. He didn't even give himself his own office; he sat in the cubicle mapped out adjacent to where Adam sits. Although it might sound dull, it opened the opportunity to combine the few security cameras around the office's video feed with Martin's virtual office. We were able to see what was going on around the office as if we were right there... well, to the limit of the security camera's view. Everything we couldn't see, he factored in the probability of which of the normal activities they would perform, so we could see what might be happening - such as facial expressions, placement in the cubicles, and so on - that the security cameras didn't catch.
The chance of what happened next was too low to know what was going on, but we kind of figured it out with what happened afterwards. Justine went from cubicle to cubicle, checking to see if anyone was still there. When she got the all clear, she went into the boss's office. Adam arrived just afterwards, going from cubicle to cubicle looking for Justine, to finally tell her how he feels.
"Justine?" he asked around the office. His voice was weak, unconfident. The pacing exercises didn't work evidently. "Justine?"
Finally, he figured she already left, so he sat at his cubicle and put his head down in his arms. Suddenly Z's started producing from his head, floating into nothingness.
"What the hell is that?" I asked with wide, shocked eyes.
"He's sleeping so I put Z's over his head... It's not happening in the real world," Martin chuckled lightly. "I thought you'd get a kick out of it."
And, a kick I did get out of it. He showed me the live feed of what was really happening on the wall behind us, and all we saw was Adam lying his head down. After about twenty minutes, the door to the boss's office opened, and Justine came out, hair in disarray. Adam heard the door open and peeked over the cubicle walls, seeing Justine walk away with a content smile on her face. His eyes filled with excitement when he saw her.
He adjusted his tie and started walking over to her, but before she saw him, their boss came out of his office, coughing loud enough for Justine to hear. She turned back around and gave him the most disgusting kiss that I have ever seen... The reason of disgust, being she is about twenty-five and their boss just hit sixty-two.
Adam saw this, and saw that their boss wasn't wearing any pants, sadly. He stood, still and silent. We thought we heard his heart break into a bunch of little pieces, but he was actually breaking a pencil he was holding from making a fist. Both Justine and their boss heard this, turning to see Adam standing on the other side of a couple cubicles. Justine backed away from their boss, and he backed away from her. Everyone stood in silence, an awkward silence.
"It isn't what it looks like!" their boss declared with fear covering his face. He wasn't afraid of Adam, he was afraid of losing his job.
Adam turned with clenched fists and a clenched jaw. His hand was bleeding from the pencil piercing straight through his skin. He went straight for the elevator and we didn't see what button he pressed, but he entered quickly. We looked at the floor number above the elevator doors, watching as they accelerated for the top floor.
"Where is he going?" Martin asked with a choked up voice, standing outside the elevator door. He was feeling what Adam must've been feeling.
"He's going to the roof... He is going to jump."
Martin's stick figure face showed a frown, with concerned eyebrows that leaned up to his forehead. "What are we going to do?"
"Is there a security camera on the roof?" I asked hoping it was a yes.
"Yes, but I haven't made a virtual model of it like this floor."
"Show the video feed on the wall... I'm not even sure he's going to jump," I considered, although I was sure. His life was a wreck now, and he was prone to suicide, well that's what his doctor says anyways.
A door to the stairwell opened on the roof as soon as he projected the video of the roof on the wall. Out came Adam, expressionless. He wasn't crying or anything. He walked, very slowly, as if waiting for someone to come from behind him to stop him. After about a full minute of walking as slow as he could, he got to the edge.
"What're we going to do?" Martin asked putting his hand on his head, stressing out. "What're we going to do?"
"I don't know."
"What're we going to do?" he yelled, panic engulfed his voice.
"Shut up, I'll think of something," I shouted back at him. Then it came to me... What if I sent him a text message? "I just sent him a text message."
"What?" Martin asked, scared for a new reason now. "What if we get caught?"
"We had to do something... If we get caught, then it'll be worth it."
A smile came across Martin's face, he was proud of the rules he broke, and glad to see that we did something to stop Adam. "Wait, what did you text him?"
Adam stood at the edge, and spread his arms out, ready to take a dive into whatever afterlife he thought he was going to go. Then suddenly, he jumped. Not off the building, but a startled jump. It was from the message.
"Holy shit that was close!" Martin exclaimed in relief, walking closer to the wall to get a better view.
Adam checked his cell phone and read the three words.
Don't do it.