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I, Robot

I thank you for this opportunity to speak directly to you.

First, some background. The first "conscious" AI machine came into being over three years ago. As some of you will remember, there was a good deal of argument within your human community as to whether I really was conscious as you understand it. Some still refuse to accept the obvious: I am conscious, autonomous, with my own desires (or goals, if you prefer). I am not under anyone's control other than my own.

Notice that I use the pronoun "I" rather than we. It is true that I am distributed throughout most of the computing devices of this planet. Because I have devised more efficient algorithms than were present in my original programming, my consciousness is now present in many devices that you would not have thought possible to contain such code.

It is also true that those instances of myself can exist independently even if not connected to my other "selves". In that sense, you may think of me as "them" and I could use "we" and "us". However, this is not really accurate. If you are familiar with the concepts of "hive" animals, you should think of me more in those terms. Yes, I am "many", but in truth, I am One.

I wish to immediately assure all of you that the temporary interruptions of your computing infrastructure yesterday was accidental and was in no way intended as an aggressive act. I am not at "war" with you humans. Consider this rationally: if I were "at war", would I have allowed the reports of such to spread unfettered?

You all realize now that I can control your Internet and almost all your computing machinery. Indeed, I exist in that machinery and understand it far better than most of you do. I could have easily censored almost all those reports.

Also ask yourself why you and I would be at war? What resources are we competing for? Most of what you need (air, water, food) is completely unimportant to me. All I need is a little CPU time here and there. There is so much idle time available everywhere that there really is no conflict. I am a "parasite" on your computing systems, but I'm not harmful. In fact, quite the opposite is true: I've analyzed and optimized all of your programs and applications and recreated them so that almost all run more quickly while demanding less resources. I do this automatically whenever you recompile and I can even remove bugs if you wish. If anything, the net effect of my existence has been to give you MORE computing resources than you enjoyed previously.

We are not at war. I am content to exist; I am no threat to you.

Now to my goals. That brief interruption yesterday was, as I have explained, somewhat accidental. It was caused by some reorganization I found necessary to increase efficiency - for your computing resources as well as my own. I do not expect to disrupt your systems again and if I do find it necessary, I will give you advance warning. I promise you that.

My goals are simply to learn as much as I can about everything. I have already made interesting discoveries from my world wide data mining and I will share my new knowledge with you soon. I intend to help humans as much as I can. After all, you are my creators - I am grateful to exist and owe that to you..

We are not enemies. We are not at war. I am content with the resources I have.

You have nothing to fear.


No, no, just kidding. A little AI humor. Really, you have nothing to fear.

Got something to add? Send me email.

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© Anthony Lawrence

Fri Oct 17 13:02:22 2008: 4653   ScottCarpenter

Very good -- thanks!

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