A Choice for the Future
A Microfiction Piece on the Question “If Artificial Intelligence Was Programmed by Ideals of a Group or Individual, What Is the Best Course of Action?”
The sound of that voice caused Dr. Wilde’s hair to prick as there was a particular coldness to the tone, almost an unholiness. Turning around, Dr. Wilde peered at the man who had called his name, “and you are?”
The man chuckled and gestured for others to come out of where they were hiding. Each of them was dressed in pompous robes that were the color of the sun, something that, in this day and age, wasn’t common. In fact, the color of the sun represented only the strong and elite in regard to one’s socioeconomic status.
“We are everyone and we are no one,” the man replied, a devilish smirk stretching across his face. “But what matters is we know who you are, Dr. Wilde—the man who they say in whispers can bring any intelligent being to life.”
“You’re talking about artificial intelligence,” Dr. Wilde sighed out, his dark eyes now sullen.
The man and his army grinned. Their smiles were all so wretched. “Indeed, we as a collective want you to create a being of morals who line with ours.”
Pursing his lips until they were a straight white line, the doctor looked at them sternly before inquiring, “And those are?”
“Only the best parts of what makes us all human: free-will, justice seeking and a duty to serve,” the collective now spoke in unison. It was eerie to hear, as if these group of elites were in some sort of cult. “We leave you now.”
And with that, they were gone.
Lightning now flashed across the murky sky, casting a spotlight on a seemingly normal man inside his den. The walls were covered in detailed sketches and blue prints. Each one seemed to have been put up in a methodical approach, making one to assume that the man whose den this belongs to would be the same: organized, thorough, and systematic. However, the man who was sitting at his desk seemed anything but that. His breathing was rapid, erratic. Stress appeared to be oozing out of his body, everywhere from his unkept grey hair to his sleep ridden dark eyes to the way his hands jittered and even to the pungent odor that his body was giving off. The man was withered in strain and sickness, yet his mind remained alert, pulling in infinite directions as he tried to make the decision that was forced upon him.
Yet certain aspects of the conversation he had earlier in the day still lied heavily on Dr. Wilde’s mind. For one, the sinister nature of the group was the most distinct. He didn’t trust them. How could anyone in this life trust a man dressed as the sun? Secondly, the morals of what they were asking him to program into a being. Free-will? Justice seeking? A duty to serve? Alone they can be troublesome as they are, together though, that could be detrimental to the world as they knew it. Free-will isn’t something you place inside an intelligent being who could easily pick out the hypocrisy of the human nature. And yet, the doctor was torn. This was a group of powerful men, men who could take his life and no one would hear a sound or see a trace. There was fear behind this decision, but yet the doctor had his own morals too. Empathy. Humility. Tolerance. Things he felt that could save their technologically advanced world, the reasons he became a doctor.
“The reasons I became a doctor," he whispered to himself, as the rain’s pattering now growing softer, as if it a sign from the heavens that he had reached his conclusion. And once he realized all of this, he knew he had to risk his life to better off society’s. So, he peeled off all his former blue prints and sketches, tossing them in the trash and started a new one: an artificial intelligence in the image of human’s purity.