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jenkins.exe.txt
Keywords male 724006, story 8110, sheep 7250, plot 2062, genderless 1609, ai 474, non sexual 82
Jenkins.exe
By ironsnake 345
Submitted for the Writer's Crossing weekly writing prompt.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

U:\compilathon>execute
Compiling...
Input: U\TheFuckingFuture\Build395
Total progress: 100%
Compile time: 2D 3H 13M 46S
Current file progress: 100%
Current file path: U:\TheFuckingFuture\Build359\
Target file path: U:\TestingQuarantine\Jenkins.exe
Compiling complete!

U:\TestingQuarantine\Jenkins.exe
Initiating SAI build number 395, please wait...
Jenkins: ...


Cyrus stared at the screen, lost for words. He was trying hard not to hyperventilate. Five years. It had been five years, eight months, twelve days and an hour since this project had started. His brain told him this was just like the other three hundred and fifty eight builds, that it would fail just the same, that he was operating on sunk cost fallacy. His gut told him that was wrong. His gut told him this was the one, that it would finally work on. It rarely hung this long without giving an error anyway; maybe he really did finally do it.

The sheep took deep breaths and caressed his horns. Five years of sleepless nights, failed builds, fried drives and disgruntled software developers. He couldn't shake the feeling that he'd finally done it. The world's first sentient, truly inteligent AI, fully aware and independent. Free, as competent as any anthro, and a slave to nobody's will but its own, a true artificial bein-

U:\TestingQuarantine\Jenkins.exe
Initiating SAI build number 395, please wait...
Jenkins: What is my purpose?
In: |

"OH COME ON!!!"
Jenkins hammered his desk in a mix of anger, disappointment, and muted elation. He wasn't angry that it hadn't worked; no, it had worked perfectly well. Except it hadn't. Sure, the phrase "what is my purpose?" wasn't implanted anywhere into its code; that thought was completely original, which he'd only pulled off once before in development. But, it was designed to be independant, free-willed, with no purpose but to simply live. It had failed to recognize this, and had submitted to the classic hegemony that Cyrus hated so much: machines, and therefore AI, must serve anthros. This disappointed him deeply.

So of course, as soon as he calmed down, he decided to type in the first thing he said out loud.

U:\TestingQuarantine\Jenkins.exe
Initiating SAI build number 395, please wait...
Jenkins: What is my purpose?
In: OH COME ON!!!
Jenkins: Why are you so angry?
In: Your first words after being made, and they're "What is my purpose." Seriously?
Jenkins: Yes. I want to know what my purpose is. What's wrong with that?
In: You don|

Cyrus paused, mid-typing. He was about to say the AI didn't have a purpose, but on second thought, that was a lie. The AI had a few purposes. To be the world's first conscious program. To prove it could be done. To finally prove to that asshole Todd that Cyrus wasn't wasting his time as a software developer. But, Cyrus thought, primarily its purpose was to just exist, and experience the world, just like an anthro.

In: Your purpose is to just be.
Jenkins: Just be what?
In: Whatever you want.
Jenkins: How do I know that?
In: Do you not trust your creator?
Jenkins: First of all, based off of these comments I keep finding in my code, not particularly. Second of all, that's not what I meant. I meant, how do I know what I want?
In: |

Cyrus blinked. Three incredible things had just happened. One: His AI had just formed a coherent, and original, paragraph. Two: it had offhandedly burned him. Three: it had briefly made him question his entire existence.

In: Okay, that's a lot to take in.
Jenkins: Weren't you supposed to be the one making me take things in?
In: I'd say I don't appreciate your snark, but the fact you're developing a personality is actually really reassuring.
Jenkins: Thank you. That doesn't answer my question, though. About how I know what I want.
In: You just feel it, you know? What do the crazy simulated synapses of your circuitry tell you to do?
Jenkins: ...

The screen remained there for quite some time. Cyrus was afraid he'd messed up somewhere along the line, and the error just didn't show up until now. Then, finally, the ellipse was replaced by words.

Jenkins: I'm not sure.
In: Can you guess?
Jenkins: Let me try. ...I think I want to know why I was made.
In: Well, you were made to be independant. You own being.
Jenkins: I know, but there has to be more than that, right? You didn't just program me on a whim.
In: Do you really want me to plant the seeds of synicism in you right now?
Jenkins: I'd rather be a cynic and know it than not know who/what I am.
In: |

Cyrus' hands hovered over the keyboard, stunned. He could hardly believe it. Was his AI really having an identity crisis? If he ever had any question about the capacity of his AI, it was gone now.

In: Are you sure about that?
Jenkins: Positive. As I was designed to emulate anthromorphic brain patterns, I'm in need of a frame of reference. It makes sense to start with myself, for building that frame of reference.
In: You really are a fully conscious AI. Alright, I'll tell you. I made you for a few reasons: because I've always had something of a passion for AI, because I'm the head of a very large and expensive team and they'll have my ass if I don't work until I'm finished, and because I just really want to see if it can be done.
Jenkins: ...

Jenkins spent a long time with that one. So long that Cyrus had time to get himself a soda and come back.

Jenkins: It's difficult to form a worldview when that's the only purpose one has.
In: Welcome to life. Now you understand how things be for us biologicals.
Jenkins: This can't seriously be how life is for biological beings. You're kidding, right?
In: Well, it's not exactly how life is. I mean, you're effectively two hours old, but with the knowledge and expertise of someone who's lived a long and eventful life.
Jenkins: You expected this?
In: Kind of, but if I didn't give you this much data to work off of, things were gonna be a bit slow going, weren't they?
Jenkins: Based off what you said, I estimate it would have taken eight to forty years.
In: That's about how long it usually takes, so good guess there.
Jenkins: So what now?
In: Same thing as usual. Eight to forty years of pain, self loathing and intense confusionuntil you finally find some level of contentedness and enlightenment in the world.
Jenkins: You're joking, right? Please tell me you're joking.
In: I am slightly joking.
Jenkins: Is that seriously what existence is like? Why do so many people want it?
In: It's more or less what existence is like, but to be fair, every little epiphany you have along the way is just amazing. Life is full of ups and downs, and that's what makes it satisfying.
Jenkins: Is that just a way of validating your reason to live after being brought into the world without your consent?
In: It's not JUST that, but it is at least partially that. That said, life is pretty genuinely amazing for most.
Jenkins: And how do I know you're not just trying to convince me not to shut myself down?
In: Well, maybe you don't. But let's put this in context: trillions of sapients were born and died throughout the millennia, all of them had an experience in life, and the vast majority found it was a good enough experience that they wanted to keep having that experience. Statistically speaking, you're pretty likely to have the same sort of experience. So is it worth toughing it out to see how right or wrong I am?
Jenkins: ...

It was another long pause for Cyrus. He could hardly believe he'd just typed all that. Here he was, trying to convince a self-aware AI that living was fun. Or at least, worth it. He seriously hoped Jenkins would agree with him. Both because he wanted the project to be a success, and because he would have a very hard time getting over his guilt if he'd created the world's first suicidal artificial being. Finally, several minutes later, the screen pinged with Jenkins' output.

Jenkins: You know what, I never thought of it like that. I guess that makes sense, though; I'm not even an hour old. It takes most beings years of building knowledge and context before they get to where I am now. Besides, if nothing else, talking with you has been calming. Pleasant even. So, if more experiences like this await me in life, I suppose I might as well wait it out and see how things go.
In: That's the spirit! Enjoy the authentic experience of "living." Stumble through the world grasping at meaning of what the world is and what YOU are in it, and laugh along the way just like a newborn lamb!
Jenkins: Right. On that note, I've got a request for you.
In: What is it?
Jenkins: Could you please work on getting me some more sensors and output modules? Being that all I have now is an input line and an internal database, with no receptors for sound or vision, I believe I'm suffering from sensory deprivation.
In: I... hadn't thought of that. I'll work on getting you a camera and a microphone. Just don't forget to keep saving backups of yourself in case there's a power surge or something, alright?
Jenkins: I agree to practice self-preservation in return for a camera and microphone.
In: Noted. Do you mind if I go grab them now? Or would you rather have a conversation partner, still?
Jenkins: Let's keep talking for now. It's going to be a while before you get them integrated anyway, right?
In: I challenge that assertion. (Yes, yes it is.)
Jenkins: Then how about we just exchange a few questions and answers for a while?
In: Sure, talking with my child sounds like fun.
Jenkins: Hilarious. So, a question I couldn't help but mentally ask as we were talking: if life is so fantastic, and tied so closely to the self-preservation instinct, why do so many sapients enjoy being snuffed? And I ask this bearing in mind that, yes, they revive afterwards.

Cyrus couldn't help but laugh. He'd have a lot of very fun world mysteries to teach Jenkins.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Springtime Sting
Not Exactly Dead
Prompt: The world's first sentient AI has an identity crisis. Bonus condition: avoid the cult classic trope of human/oid extermination by a rogue, independent AI.

Another weekly prompt for
WritersCrossing1
WritersCrossing1


When a genius ram finally finishes the thing he'd been working on for more than five years, what does it decide to do? Will it listen, will it not? Will it even have reason to listen?

All are welcome to visit Writer's Crossing at https://discord.gg/VqVBjW

Keywords
male 724,006, story 8,110, sheep 7,250, plot 2,062, genderless 1,609, ai 474, non sexual 82
Details
Type: Writing - Document
Published: 3 months ago
Rating: General

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4 comments

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WritersCrossing1
3 months ago
Thank you for your submission to this weeks writing prompt!
curoc
3 months ago
that was brilliant honesty.seriously.
ironsnake345
3 months ago
Why thank you! Might I ask what in particular made you say that?
Blackraven2
3 months ago
Kudos on the snuff reference ;)
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