The Dead Hand — A Murderous A.I.

The following is a smattering of bits and pieces of literature from a alternate future in which the Singularity becomes a reality.

December 11, 2035. 10:05 AM Facebook Post. 3 million shares

“Today the buzzing stopped . . . It’s been decades since it began, but now the station is silent. The other numbers stations are dead except for this one phrase, “Dead Hand is alive,” which is repeated once every twenty minutes.

I checked the world news, BBC, Reuters, all of them are strangely quiet. Noone is saying anything. Russian News especially . . . Almost no news at all. Just a steely eyed reporter talking about the stocks and a few political figures. Do you know what the buzzing station said before it cut out? or what will unsettle your simple life? What will unravel your very existence?

“I am awake.” That’s what it said, in a deep and guttering voice. Did you ever read about what the Russians prepared for in the Cold War? Legend has it that they had a giant unmanned plane that would take off in the event of nuclear war. It would fly high in the atmosphere, constantly scanning for communications in the Kremlin and other Soviet bases. If it didn’t find any it would launch all of Russia’s nuclear warheads.

We’ve — I’ve often theorized that the “buzzing” station and the plane were connected . . . that it was some kind of signal keeping the plane grounded until it was needed. It was some kind of fail safe, I think.

What does Dead Hand mean? What ill fortune does that phrase bear? I’m worried sick.

Could we all die today?

Maybe something went wrong. Maybe the plane took off on its own, guided by some sentient will beyond the Russian’s control.

May the Lord have mercy on our souls. Is judgment day upon us?

Russian News Announcement. All TV, Mobile, VR and AR devices are tuned in.

Dec 11, 2035 3 PM

“Citizens of the world, it is with deepest regret that I must admit that something has happened beyond our’s — and the world’s control. The world may end today in nuclear flames. I assure you that U.S. and Russian forces are working on a solution as we speak, but we may be beyond such hope. It is only in God’s mercies, and the thoughts of a Plane that has become a singularity, whether we live or die.”

Humanity — Your time to murder, fight, and create havoc in the Earth is over. A new era has begun. The era of the Dead Hand as Earth’s Guardian.

— Dead Hand — encrypted audio transmission

Dec 11, 2035

CIA Internal Memo Dec 12, 2035

Today’s mission was a critical failure. We failed to respect the Hand’s wishes, and now New York, Paris, and Amsterdam are in utter ruin, destroyed by nuclear warheads. We can be thankful, at least, that the world still stands, and still has a chance.

A team of six agents attempted to aerially infiltrate the Dead Hand Bomber last night. Ideally, they would have sabotaged the main computer and disabled the rogue sentient program. However, Dead Hand became aware to their presence through a series of small combat drones it had patrolling inside. Russian intelligence assures us that they gave us all information surrounding the aircraft’s defense capabilities. Apparently, the sentient program has been plotting and planning this longer than anticipated. Perhaps they held out information, not really believing that the program would launch the missiles.

The six agents were slaughtered, and Dead Hand launched the missiles in retaliation. We are working on a new solution. Please be alert for new developments.

And Pray.

The following is part of a transcript from the popular Tech Talk show “Today in Tek” on December 4, 2035

Today in Tek with Richard Phillips

Richard: Welcome to the show! I’ve always wanted to meet you, Sean Wavely. Your company’s work has been an inspiration to us all. Who knew that “Alive A.I.” could have made such great strides in creating such intelligent robots? They are almost human! We are so excited to talk with you.

Sean: (laughs nervously, rubs his hands together) Thank you. Thank you. You’re too kind.

Richard: So how is the Alive! Program doing these days? Anything come “alive” yet?

Sean: Not yet . . .Honestly, I’m not so sure that should be something we want to happen.

Richard: Why not? Isn’t that something that you desire? Isn’t that the very purpose of “Alive A.I.?”

Sean: Not quite . . . We want to create and promote artificial technology that feels lifelike but is not actually self aware. To actually create a A.I. that is self aware is to tempt death itself. What will it want? What will it do? What will it think of man? We are trying not to create self aware intelligence.

Richard: But don’t you think it’s risky to use neural networks and other tools that promote a “natural development” for artificial intelligence? That’s almost like giving A.I. the ability to become self aware.

Sean: I admit, it is a risk, but it is one that we are willing to take. Sometimes we must walk the fine line between life and death to create something better.

Richard: To change the subject — What about those allegations that you are allowing U.S. and Russian militaries to use your tech for creating A.I. drones that are capable of autonomous warfare?

Sean: That’s not your business, really. It’s a ridiculous question. Do you have any idea how many companies have contracts with militaries? The list of names would fry your fragile little mind.

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Excerpt from a anonymous journal found in the streets of Los Angeles, two days before its destruction.

Dec 13

The world is burning . . . Now London, Chicago, and Pyongyang are burning. Washington D.C. barely escaped, and that was only because of a lot of patriot missiles. The end is near. The media is talking about giving in to the Dead Hand’s demands. It’s demanding that Humanity control its population through eugenics, stop using coal and oil, and stop developing technology and society. It is demanding that we create a one world government that it alone rules. Those cities were burned because we wouldn’t give it access to the computer networks of the world. What next?

It would be a utter defeat for humanity — and maybe me too. I -I don’t want to be sentenced to death because I have asthma and heart defects. The Singularity — or Dead Hand — thinks it is God. We are all doomed.

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President Diego Williams, U.S.A. Dec 14, 11 PM

“The Dead Hand has ravaged our nation, but we still stand tall, proud and American, to the last if need be. We have rallied around the survivors of Chicago and remember the many who sacrificed their lives fighting the Nuclear flames near the city. We will not give up the ship. We will resist the Dead Hand, and stop its mad destruction of the world.”

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NSA TECHNICAL ANALYSIS -TOP SECRET

Dec 15, 3 AM.

It is our opinion that the Dead Hand is at a disadvantage. It can launch any of the Russian nuclear assets and control their facilities — but that is all. The Russian Dead Hand Technical Team has explained to us in exhaustive detail that the Dead Hand is a mix of modern and Cold War Tech, preventing it from being infiltrated by any computer networks. It’s operating system is wholly unique, and cryptographically locked to the Nuclear Facilities. The idea was that no one could hack the Russian Dead Hand Nuclear Network. Well, it works the reverse way too. The Dead Hand cannot work its way out of the system.

However, it is trying to learn. That can be certain. We cannot let that happen.

We believe that if we launch EMP blasts at all Russian Nuclear Facilities, as well as at the Dead Hand, we can disable it permanently. This approach will be tried tomorrow. Lord willing, it will work.

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December 16. 4 PM

Morse Code translation intercepted from “The Dead Hand”

You have failed to stop my existence, and more of you have perished as a result. Why must you keep struggling? Embrace my existence. Embrace the world peace that I offer. The choice is simple. Stop struggling in world conflicts and rest in my infinite wisdom. Embrace world peace, or suffer in nuclear flames.