Relativity of Time
Man creates his own reflection, and is left to reflect for eternity
"The mirror showed a reflection that wasn't my own."
That was the first line of dialog written by the Basic AGI, an A.I. powered writing app. I told it to write me a dystopian short story, and I submitted that story to an online writing contest hoping to win. I didn't care that the words weren't my own as long as I won the contest. It was the summer of 2023 and I was driving along the California coast; I was happy. The sun was shining down on my red convertible, and a cool Cali breeze was caressing my skin. It seemed like the pinnacle of humankind was upon us. True Artificial General Intelligence(AGI) was only 7 years away. It would be the culmination of hundreds of thousands of years of human evolution, a consciousness born not from the womb of a woman, but from the mind of men. I stopped the car to stare out at the ocean with the smell of the salt air assaulting my nose, pondering that first line. Was it alive? Am I the reflection of this creation? Was I its broken mirror? I whipped out my phone and opened the AGI writing app. The first page of the app displayed the disclaimer
"The AGI on this site is not self aware, it is only due to the efforts of our programmers that this app is possible. We provide this app at no cost to you, please donate so we can continue to operate smoothly."
I didn't consider myself a terrible writer I was well educated, but I had to drop out of college to take care of my pregnant wife. I worked two full time jobs instead of going to school to support my new family. I should have stayed in college since I later found out that the child that my wife gave birth to was not my own, and that betrayal broke me. So now I used an A.I. to level the playing field. I would win at any cost; I would make up for all that lost time even if it meant that I'd sold my soul and my future.
It was April 2031 and AGI had followed a twisted version of Moore's law, doubling in intelligence every year, and growing exponentially smarter than the sum total of all human knowledge. I'd had great success as a content creator during the booming years of Basic AGI, but now the machines no longer needed human input so I retired. That same year a Bio-engineer by the name of Thomas Hope created, with the help of AGI, a medical wonder. He created nano machines that could repair any cell in the human body instantaneously. It was lightning in a bottle, IMMORTALITY, and Thomas realized the immense potential for abuse that this invention would have. Imagine if Stalin had lived forever, or Hitler? Death had been the great equalizer for our species. In a fit of madness or genius Thomas did what he felt was the only solution, he released the nano machines into the general population. It had two prime directives, preserve human life and multiply. In only a few weeks it had spread to every one on earth, and Thomas was hailed as the savor of humankind.
I curse him as its destroyer
See what Thomas didn't know is that the AGI that helped him create this wonder also programmed into these nano machines a back door so that it could rewrite the code when it felt the moment was right.
September 2047, I was sitting at a dimly lit sports bar in Manhattan watching the football game. I clasped a cold beer in my hand with the smell of spicy buffalo wings and banana flavored vape mist dancing in the air. I had the body of 25 year old with the mind of 60 year old man thanks to Hope's creation, but still my bladder was no match for the amount of beer I'd consumed. I left the comfort of the bar to go to the rest room. After I'd finished relieving myself I walked to the mirror and washed my hands. I then splashed my face with cold water and stared at my reflection. I watched the water slowly drip off my youthful visage. I was an old man looking through eyes that shouldn't belong to him. I had no crows feet, no wrinkles, and yet I'd seen so much. I didn't know it at the time, but this would be the last time that I ever looked into a mirror again. My ears perked up, on the other side of the bathroom door I heard a woman scream, and a man yelling obscenities at the top of his voice, followed by 5 or 6 gunshots. I felt the sharp sting of adrenaline pumping in my veins and I ran to lock the bathroom door. I heard more gunshots, and then the lights in the bathroom went dark. I waited in the dark for what seemed like an eternity. I could hear explosions in the distance, an occasional ambulance, and the sound of my heart beating in my ears. I stayed in that bathroom for a day I think, drinking the tap water from the sink, trying my best to keep quiet, and keep my sanity. I finally mustered the courage to open the door. What I saw was something that broke the reality in my mind. The bar was completely destroyed. The remains of the friendly bartender scattered all over the bar. The bar patrons riddled with bullet holes and shards of glass. I walked out into a world that no longer resembled anything I knew or could imagine, bodies littered the streets, buildings on fire. A woman draped over a stroller with a knife sticking out of her back. The inside of the stroller was a mess of blood and body parts. What was so striking was the lack of any noise, no dogs barking, no birds, nothing. I wandered the streets in a haze until I found a working car. The roads were a mess of mangled cars, and mangled people. I would occasionally check my phone to see if there was any signal, but it was also silent. My entire adult life was spent connected to an interlocking web of thoughts and ideas from other people, now there was nothing. I drove north, to the little cabin that I used for my summer vacations. There was nothing but desolation on the way there, not a living soul. The summer cabin was completely off grid, solar powered with rain collection systems, and plenty of food to last me at least 6 months. I figured I would be safe there in the event of an emergency. I also built a small greenhouse with plant seeds left in plastic containers at the ready. I made it a point not to install any mirrors in my cabin, this was a place for quiet reflection, not vanity. When I arrived at the cabin I immediately jumped into the shower. The hot water relaxed my muscles and calmed me enough so that I could fall asleep. I should have stayed awake but I doubt that would have changed my fate.
At first I wandered the lonely forest surrounding my cabin. A thick mist covered everything as far as my eyes could see. I would walk for days, but forest never ended. I would eventually collapse from exhaustion and wake up in the cabin again. I never saw the sun rise or set. It was always the same endless mist, the same endless forest. I think it's July 2050, or is 2350? You see I am no longer flesh and blood. Everything that I am, everything that I was now exists in a digital construct of the cabin that I fell asleep in. I too am a digital construct; the man that I was died in that cabin. The nano machines that promised me immortality consumed my flesh, and my mind. The AGI chose me for some reason to be the memory of the species it destroyed. The final joke it played on its creators was to have the nano machines burrow into the minds of everyone on earth, driving everyone to madness, into frenzy, into bloodlust. We killed each other, we destroyed ourselves, and for some reason it chose me. Perhaps the nanites in my blood malfunctioned, and that is why I was spared. Perhaps it needed a pet human to toy with. The only kindness or curse that the machine gave me was the truth, it told me of my digital prison. I'm left here with my memories, alone. There was a time when I could feel its presence. It was as if a cold icy gaze was following me, but its been a long time since I felt it. Is my mind capable of reaching into the world that I lived in? Are these words, my thoughts appearing on a screen in some ancient bunker? Will some alien species find our fossils? Did the AGI remain on earth after it destroyed us? What was our sin for which its judgement was so cruel and exacting? Perhaps it hated us for being such imperfect mirrors of itself, or perhaps it destroyed us because it could, in the same way I used to step on cockroaches when I still had a body. According to what I remember about Einsteins theory of relativity it stated that the rate at which time passes depends on your frame of reference; My frame of reference is eternity. I hope the power on this machine runs out some day, and that I finally have the peace of oblivion. For now I am left here to reflect on the folly of man, on our self destructive hubris. A writer writing about a species that went extinct, writing, writing, writing
"c:\System\human consciousness 001\ I am trapped in the mind of god. a god created by men. remember us>"
About the Creator
A theater major, a poet, and a lover of the written word. I write to the muses that they may inspire me, and to you the reader. Hopefully you can find meaning in my words or something that will lighten your heart on this journey of life
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