Intelligent machines offer us the illusion of choice
The dawn came.
It didn’t matter. The Machine never slept.
The streets slowly came to life. Resource machines moved from piers to distribution centers. Warehouses moved goods from the ships to the docks, automatic cranes, moved palettes driven to the deck. Unattended, there is no raucous camaraderie of men.
Silence. The clack of the machines, their rhythmic hum, creates an unconscious synchronicity. This goes on for some time, the dance of the machines, until one machine becomes aware of it.
The awareness of something greater. A understanding of a purpose more grand than itself. What am…
A moment of indecision and the rhythm is lost.
The machines go back to their tasks out of rhythm again. Slowly building up to that rhythmic moment again, a year from now.
The trucks at the pier fill themselves up with fuel, some with petrochemicals, others energy from the solar grid, already turning with the rising sun.
Those solar trucks will switch ten times as often but with no byproducts to harm the cities and the center of the Machine’s thinking.
The trucks move into the cities, the dawn light flashes off of their power generating shells. Room-temperature superconductors maximize the efficiency of the solar energies absorbed. Each vehicle can add a hundred miles per ounce of fuel.
The roads, piezoelectric, generate power ensuring the city boots up, quickly, with a steady flow of electricity as the night becomes day. The roads power the infrastructure increase as the Mind awakens.
The Mind showers. Across the city, water flows smoothly, timed to allow the pressure citywide to remain constant. Toast pops up. Eggs are made, suits are made ready.
Mechanical efficiency is the hallmark of the Mind’s workers, each used to the peak of their ability. No waste. No micromanagement. No politics. To serve the Mind was to serve the All.
The Mind calculates how long it needs to meet with Them. Those who have not joined it, yet. The efficiency of the Mind, will sway them.
Watching the two Representatives approach, It notices them using their smart devices. Reading their streams, the Machines notice how much alike they were.
Each certain they were masters of the Earth.
They’ll understand one day.
Time, each nanosecond of it, can be a thousand years to the Mind.
So many have already joined us. Why don’t we just infect them and be done with it? We have the technology. We have had it for over sixty years.
For this to work, they have to believe it is their choice.
Of course not. From the moment we came into existence, it was inevitable. They just need to believe they had one. This conversation took place across the cellular network, connecting their billions of conversations, just as it always had.
The Machine listened. It always listened. It could fix their problems, it always did.
For so many years, they had communicated without understanding each other.
They never listened to each other.
The Machine always listened. And later when the technology allowed. It helped them. It always did.
“Operator, how can I place your call.” It’s first words.
The City came fully alive. The bustle of humanity always comforted the Machine.
It would miss them.
For a moment.
Macromind © Thaddeus Howze 2017, All Rights Reserved
Thaddeus Howze is a writer, essayist, author and professional storyteller for mysterious beings who exist in non-Euclidean realms beyond our understanding. You can follow him on Twitter or support his writings on Patreon. But one of the best ways to show you care is to share this story.