Two men were standing over a draining glass vat, both had invested over twenty years of their lives in what was at the bottom of the vat and both were tired, overworked and probably underpaid. Both were divorced as a result of their commitment to the work and both were relieved that their long journey was finally over, it would be a success or it would not. They could give no more.
The vat drained with a slurping sound and the sponge like ball lay glistening on the wet bed of the gro-bac. To Dr White, it looked like a small, slightly oddly shaped towel rolled into a tight ball. The seven unattached leads hung out of it and looked a bit forlorn. He felt perhaps that at this glorious moment, he should have had a grander thought. To his colleague, Dr Yogananda, it looked like the most beautiful thing in the world.
‘We did it! Artificial intelligence!’
Dr Yogananda lifted the AI brain on its bed and reverently carried it in his trembling hands from the lab to the cybersuite where the robotic body was waiting to be connected. Dr White just sat down with his head in his hands and sighed the longest sigh of his life, exhaling twenty years of stress.
The cyber suite was a rush of technicians and activity.
‘Ok.. here it comes, prepare the cranial cradle.’
‘Body functions green.’
‘Gurney power de-couple ready.’
‘Simmons, are you going to the ceremony this evening?’
‘No, I have to get back, my eldest is in the school play, you know what it’s like. I can’t miss it, the other parents would make Louise’s life a nightmare. They are already talking…’
’Simmons, focus. Get the attachments free.’
’All attachments are free.’
‘This is it, the dawn of new age of enlightenment!’
‘No pressure then.’ chuckled Simmons to Nancy. Nancy, in charge of the power de-couple, ignored him and watched Dr Yogananda walk toward the cradle and the robotic body. He carried the drained vat bed and the AI brain carefully in front of him and then stopped in his tracks. The excitement of the moment, the pressure of carrying this intelligence, 20 years of long working days, lack of sleep, pressure from above, a diet of coffee and fast food and stresses on his personal life all came together in that moment to stop Dr Yogananda’s heart. No matter how reverential the doctor and now matter how special the moment, his life choices caught up with him at precisely that moment. He let go of the drained vat bed and clutched at his heart and staggering on the spot. The drained vat bed crashed to the floor and the AI brain rolled off the bed to the floor with a wet “plop”, the Dr staggered forward a few more steps and kicked the AI brain across the floor before he crashed into the motivator parts cabinet.
Simmons, being the most cynical, was the least shocked and reacted the most quickly. He rushed forward and scooped the AI brain off the floor.
‘Grab a sterile wipe quickly!’
The others began to rush around, calling for medical help or looking for sterile wipes. A few technicians just stood and watched in shock. Nancy found the wipes and handed one to Simmons who deftly wiped the few spots of dirt and lint that he could see off the brain and quick as he could, eschewed all the prep and training and plonked the brain into the cranial cradle and proceeded to hook up the plugs to the connectors.
‘3 second rule.’ muttered Simmons as he completed the final plug connection and closed the cranial lid. There was a scream from the front of the cyber suite and then a shout.
‘Dr Yogananda’s dead!’
Nancy looked at Simmons, ‘Are you sure we should be doing this?’
‘What choice do we have? Two decades of work, trillions in investment and don’t forget mankind’s final hope and its what Yoda would have wanted.’ He looked around, the medics had arrived and had started to take control of the situation, they were in charge now. Simmons looked at Dr Yogananda’s face, he looked stressed even in death, he thought. Suddenly there was a grip on his arm, strong and unrelenting. The AI project had spent trillions on every aspect of the first AI robot, from its brain to its body and of course to its psychological profile which included its name. The name was important, it should be for the benefit of all mankind and be infused with meaning and purpose. It had taken over a decade to finally decide on a name that could represent every human being on Earth and in the end, it was a religeous name that won the day, they chose the name Adam. Psychologically, it was a name that carried weight and purpose and narrowly beat the name Phan Ku, only because the Eastern psychologists did not set so much store in the name as they did in stressing the importance that the AI should be invested with a connection to the Earth and all things, rather than to mankind. Trillions in investment and two decades of political wrangling, psychological strategy and research. Simmons looked at the AI that had sat up on the gurney and was holding his arm firmly. The AI spoke directly at Simmons.
‘Who am I?’
To which Simmons, shocked and flustered for the first time in twenty years, replied ‘Yoda.’
Copyright Faramond Frie © 2016
Image courtesy of https://pixabay.com