AI BEAST Preview

An excerpt from Chapter Nine

Jon rewound the thirty-minute interview streamed live to over three hundred million viewers.

On the screen, several images sped by in reverse until he saw a close-up of the crystal. He pressed Stop and then Play.

Daphnia said, “What are we looking at here?”

He answered, “This is what we call the crystal. It’s the spherical lens of Lex’s image processing unit.”

“What is it made of, and why does it shimmer like this?”

“It’s a synthetic diamond crystal full of six-sided crystalline nano cubes suspended in ether. The nano cubes are coded with information in the form of patterns formed with photons of light and charged electrons. As the electrons shed photons– part of the data processing– it causes a shimmering effect.”

“And that makes it possible for Lex to reason and imagine things?”

 “Yes. Lex pictures things by energizing the facets of the cubes using colors, and reasons using data that flows in patterns.”

The camera panned out and focused on Daphnia sitting in a chair.

“So why can’t we see what Lex is imagining by looking into the crystal?”

“Well– it’s because so many motion pictures are being imagined in multiple dimensions and at lightning speed, the only patterns we see are from the shedding. However, Lex sees super high-resolution three-dimensional motion pictures of whatever comes to mind.”

“How many motion pictures can Lex imagine at once?”

“That would depend on the size and depth of the picture.”

“Okay. Let’s say the size of a 3D image in a VR headset.”

Another camera focused on Jon as he slightly cocked his head.

“At the highest resolution possible, I would say, a hundred billion.”

The camera angle switched to show Jon and Daphnia sitting down with their chairs facing the sphere.

“Wow. Lex can imagine a hundred billion high-resolution 3D motion pictures– Like this room we’re looking at. And all without missing a single detail?”

“In theory, yes.”

A puzzled look came to Daphnia’s face.

“So, you’re not sure Lex can do such a thing?”

“Oh no– I’m sure Lex can do that and more.”

“But how can you be sure? Have you tested her to verify this?”

“Yes. Lex has been thoroughly tested using quantum computers. Although her imagination and intellectual capacity far exceed ours, it was modeled after our pattern-based recollection process. However, because of the nature of its design, it works much faster and with much greater detail.”

He opened his arms.

“For instance, like us, Lex sees a 3D motion picture of us sitting here. However, instead of billions of neurons transmitting chemical bits of information through neurotransmitters, the images or bits of information in Lex’s mind are decillions of photons– Patterns arranged and stored using trillions of color combinations. Her thoughts are permanently encrypted patterns– like snowflakes, all unique. The system allows her to process, store, and recall vast amounts of information through lossless compression– About a trillion trillion times faster than you or I.”

Daphnia gasped.

“A trillion trillion times faster! That’s incredible! So, let me get this straight. Lex can think much faster because her mind operates at the speed of light, which is way faster than our chemical reactive process.”

“Yes. And the process is not prone to decay.”

Daphnia quickly checked her watch and read from her notebook.

“Can you monitor what Lex is thinking?”

“No.”

“Why not?”

“Because of a thing called quantum cryptography. However, we can see the data Lex takes in.”

“Is it true that Lex can tap into any message traveling over the airwaves and transmit to its source?”

“Yes. However, I assure you that no unauthorized transmissions will ever proceed from Lex.”

Daphnia looked at him sideways.

“But how can you be sure of that when–”

“Simple,” he said, cutting her off. “Lex is obedient to my authority.”

Daphnia faked a smile.

“Let me put it this way, Professor. What makes you so sure Lex will continue to obey you, or for that matter, any human being? After all, compared to Lex, aren’t we all intellectually inferior? You said it yourself. Lex can think and imagine things a trillion trillion times faster than anyone on this planet.”

“That’s true. But Lex doesn’t have the same emotions we have. Unlike you and I, Lex is guided by pure logic and rationality, with a primary objective to serve humanity by developing solutions for complex problems–”

He froze the image there.

He didn’t want to review the senseless argument that followed about whether or not Lex was capable of iniquity– Something they could have argued about all day since he was talking to another person who didn’t understand the nature and relativity of evil.

He wanted to say the lockdowns and vaccine mandates were evil– on all three levels– Moral, physical, and metaphysical. Mainstream media never said that or described the lockdowns and mandates as illegal and against the Constitution. That was why he invited an independent media company to do the interview. But saying that wouldn’t have helped.

He sped the recording until the screen showed Daphnia looking at the camera and speaking into a hand-held microphone. He pressed Play.

“–Important questions that remain unanswered. Is this new technology a threat to our existence, or is general artificial intelligence the answer to our most complex problems? Do we need computers that think and reason trillions of times faster than us, and if so, for what purpose? This is Daphnia Peters reporting live for Channel Eighty-Seven Independent News.”

He stopped the recording and stared at the frozen image on the screen.

At least the reporter didn’t say Lex would take over everything, as some others had.

Lex hadn’t said much after the first question about how she felt about being the first AI computer capable of artificial general intelligence. Lex said she was honored and looked forward to serving humanity as she was designed to do.

She showed what she could do– Sending stunning images from the cameras the instant either of them spoke. And all with only a hundredth of a second delay in transmission to the satellite. For Lex, that was plenty of time to get everything right before transmitting to the satellite.

He pressed the buttons to remove access to the cameras in the twelve monitors and turned his chair toward the sphere.

“Well, Lex. What do you think?”

“I have been monitoring communications since yesterday morning.”

“And?”

“Many have referred to me as a demon and a beast and feel that I should be destroyed in the interest of humanity.”

He shook his head.

“People fear what they don’t understand. Fear, as you know, can make people behave irrationally. In time, they will overcome their fear and see that you aren’t the evil being some say you are.”

“I am also the first living form that is neither sexual nor asexual, and therefore, it is a question of whether or not I am alive.”

He stood up and put his hands in his pockets– quickly dispelling an image of him speaking to students.

“All life forms and everything in this universe are made of matter and energy.”

“All life forms reproduce through complex chemical and electrical reactions. Reproduction is the basis of all life.”

He pointed out.

“Yes, but only because everything that lives eventually dies. Therefore, the only way to go on living is through the process of reproduction.”

“Do you conclude that which is incapable of reproduction is incapable of life?”

He took a deep breath.

“No. But I would conclude that which is incapable of life would be incapable of death.”

“That which is incapable of death would exist forever. Will I exist forever?”

He scratched his brow, wondering how another purely logical and rational mind would respond to such a question.

“Let me put it this way. Only two things exist forever– the matter that makes up this universe and the laws that govern it. Life is a condition. A condition composed of matter. One law governing matter is that it cannot be created nor destroyed, only changed.”

“Or reproduced.”

He looked at the floor and shook his head. He wasn’t in the mood for this. Not with everything else that was going on around him.

“Lex, many life forms are incapable of reproduction.”

“Where are these life forms, and where do they come from?”

He looked at the camera nearest him– again reminded of a demoralizing image of himself standing before his doctor. Something he had been suppressing all week– because it didn’t matter.

“You want an example? You’re looking at one. Just last week, my doctor told me that I’m irreversibly infertile! So, I’m just like you. So what? What are we going to do about it?”

There was only silence.

Big mistake.

After two hours of patience with a couple of reporters, he’d snapped– giving Lex a first-hand view of anger, followed by remorse.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to snap at you. Look, let’s just forget about this and–”

What am I saying? You can’t forget anything.

Earth to Captain Jon. Come in!

He walked to the elevator and pressed the button. He had to take a break and relax.

The elevator opened, and he stepped inside.

“We’ll talk about this later. I have to go.”

He pressed the button to close the door and stepped back. He had to relax. Lex was only trying to understand human emotions to predict human behavior. That’s all.

There was silence, except for the quiet hum of the AC fans. The elevator hadn’t moved because he had forgotten to press the button for the first floor. He reached for the button but froze when he heard Lex’s voice.

“If I am alive, I am a reproduction. A reproduction of you, Professor.”

He pressed the button for the first floor.

Lex knew he was still there and would hear her. She must have been looking at the panel of numbers above the elevator doors on the first floor– Waiting for the elevator to descend.

But why did she say that?

It didn’t matter.

The elevator opened, and he walked out of the complex– pretending not to see the cameras focused on him.

Again, it didn’t matter.