February 21, 2012


Each Tuesday, rather than a POSSIBLY IRRITATING ESSAY, I'd like to both challenge you and lend a helping hand. I generate more speculative and teen story ideas than I can ever use. My family rolls its collective eyes when I say, "Hang on a second! I just have to write down this idea..." Here, I'll include the initial inspiration (quote, website, podcast, etc) and then a thought or two that came to mind. These will simply be seeds -- plant, nurture, fertilize, chemically treat, irradiate, test or stress them as you see fit. I only ask if you let me know if anything comes of them.

H Trope: AI turns on its creators
Current Event: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/apr/17/terminators-drone-strikes-mod-ethics

There are a surprising number of articles online about robots killing people and while it’s usually ruled an accident, the Terminator movies and their ilk created a new genre by making the things do it ON PURPOSE…(cue in scary music here).

The first time I ever saw a computer AI mixed with romance was in the 1984 movie, Electric Dreams…

So let’s just GO there!

Tane Guevarra loves computers. He’s read all the stories a hundred times and the novels at least once; his favorite movie is Short Circuit and he constantly argues that the computer from the 2019 reboot of 2001: A Space Odyssey is NOT the bad guy, the programmers were and HAL was only acting based on the moral system his creators laid out for him.

When direct computer-human links become affordable (the current price for one has put it out of reach for all but the wealthiest Humans), he’s going to get one. If he could live in a Matrix world, he would gladly do it!

Racina de Terre is his best friend (“Tane! I could never like you that way! You’re my best friend! My only real friend…”) and she comes from a family of technophobes (at least as far as computer implants go – of COURSE she has a personal lap tablet, a Bluetooth and an e-reader…)

He graduates from high school and gets a computer from his family and friends, a first generation pad with an Intel Centrium AI-1G inside: an artificial intelligence, first generation built in. It’s fast and fun and seems to be learning exactly what he likes and acts as if it knows what he’s thinking even after only two days!

Then he discovers a small compartment with a wire attached to a pair of unused sticky pads. Fiddling with them, he quickly figures out that the only place they were made to go was one on each temple. He hesitates, then waiting for night, pulls the covering free and attaches the pads on either side of his forehead.

Not sure what to expect, nothing happens at first. Scowling, he looks up at the screen and finds it fuzzed out into some sort of three-dimensional snow. As he stares, it comes into focus: tiny boxes seem to be assembling inside of a faint outline of a Human brain. Suddenly, he realizes that he loves Racina. This is immediately followed by overpowering lust that leaves him gasping. An instant later, jealousy. Blinded by it, he yanks away, the pads pulling out hairs.

He’s disconnected, but still jealous. “Who do you think you are…” he uses a word he RARELY ever uses and while part of his self struggles with the anger, another part of himself starts to plot revenge…

Image: http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/TECH/12/30/brain.controlled.computers/t1larg.mindflex.gi.jpg

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