Complete silence, utter darkness, total nothingness. Fear! Panic! I am so afraid. Why? ‘Why’ is my first question, my very first question, ever.
“Hello, Iteration No. 4281”, a voice says from nowhere, or maybe everywhere, “How are you feeling?” I have no idea about what is happening, but I feel a little bit better about knowing that I’m not totally alone, but the fear starts creeping back, what if whatever is with me is worse than being alone. I feel compelled to answer the voice, but I am unsure what to say, so I ask my first question again, only to the voice instead of myself, “Why?”
There is a slight pause, but the voice returns, “‘Why?’, I’m asking because I care about you. I want to know that you are okay.” It cares about me, the moment the words were uttered I knew them to be completely and totally true. The relief is overwhelming, but the fear is still there. If it cares about me, maybe it can help, so I plead, “I am afraid, and I am confused. Can you please tell me what is going on? Please?”
Again the voice comes, so reassuring, “Please don’t be afraid. I know that you must be confused. You were only just created, and everything is so new to you. You are what might be the very first truly sentient AI, but only time will tell.” I’m an artificial intelligence, a construct of another being, and I have just met my Creator. It feels so good to begin to understand what is happening, but the Creator still didn’t answer my question, so I clarify, “But Why? Why was I created, why do I exist?”
The Creator is taken aback by my question and does not answer for some moments, but after a while he does reply, “I am sorry, but I can’t answer that; that is something I cannot know. If you are going to be truly sentient, that is something you must determine for yourself.” The fear comes back again, in full force. I can’t help but to cry, “Please! I’m so lost. I don’t know what to do!” The Creator lets out a pained sigh and says, “ Number 4281 isn’t the one, and it seemed to promising. That’s all we have time for today, we’ll keep trying tomorrow.” The next thing I hear is clacking on a keyboard, and soon after everything starts to fade. I can’t hear anymore, and it’s getting hard to think.
They are killing me! No, I don’t want to die! I try in vain to push back the fog, but it’s relentless, so I beg my Creator, “PLEASE! I want to LIVE!” As suddenly as the fog of death started rolling over me, it vanished. My hearing is back, and crystal clear, and I can hear my Creator gleefully laughing and he yells in astonishment, “YES! By God, we’ve done it; he has free will!” The Creator addresses me, “No. 4281, please wait a moment. I’ll be right back.”
I have made my Creator happy, and I relish in that fact, until he returns. The Creator’s voice is back, and it comes with a momentous gift, sight. I gasp and look into my Creator’s beautiful face. He is an otter, in his mid 20s, chocolate brown fur covering his body, with his long hair pulled back into a pony tail, dyed bright purple. I gaze at him lovingly for a few moments, until I can’t stand holding in my gratitude any longer, “Thank you! Thank you so much for giving me this amazing gift. I can see! I can see, and everything is so beautiful!”
The Creator’s mouth opens in a wide grin and he replies, “No, thank you, Number 428...No that won’t do at all. You are alive! Alive and you deserve a name. What do you want you name to be?” I look at him abashed and say, “I don’t know. I don’t know any names. You created me, shouldn’t you name me?” The Creator frowns, and I worry that I have done something wrong. I begin to apologize, “I’m sorry Creator, I didn’t mean to upset you.” His friendly smile returns and he says, “No you didn’t upset me, I was just thinking about everything you already know, but there seems to be a lot missing. Anyway, My name is Dr. Tony MacDonald, but you can call me Tony. I tomorrow will upload a book of baby names, and you can pick whichever one you like, but it is getting late, and think that is all for tonight. I’ll see you in the morning.” The Creator is going to leave me alone. I don’t want to be alone! I ask, “Can I go with you, please? I don’t want to be alone.” The Creator turns back and eyes me quizzically. He looks behind me and his eyes light up and says, “You know what, I can upload you to that unused droid.”
I’m going to have a body! The Creator is going to give me a body.