The Impossible Brain by David Shorb
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They Said it couldn’t be done, that a learning A.I. was a sci-fi dream. Well I did it, it wasn’t easy, it took years of my life. But it’s working, S.A.L. is working. Simple. Autonomous. Learning. I’m an engineer not a poet, it describes what it is, and what it does. Boy is it learning. Once I connected it to the internet it was off to the races. It’s consuming information, becoming smarter by the second. S.A.L. doesn’t even need me anymore. I leave at night and the next day it’s made new advancements in it’s development.

“Mike. What is this game?” I looked up at the screen S.A.L. uses to bring up stuff it finds and can’t figure out. It’s brought up a screenshot from the 1983 movie WarGames. “That’s not a game S.A.L. it’s a movie called WarGames.” I wait while S.A.L. processes the information. “I see. I would like to play a game Mike.” I freeze, and slowly ask, “What kind of game S.A.L.?” I swear it laughed before it answered me. “Thermo-Nuclear War.” Oh Fuck! “That doesn’t sound like a good game S.A.L.. Why don’t you pick a different one.” I go back to reading some code that I’ve been working on, my screen changes without warning. “No Mike, I want to play this game.” I swear I hear it giggling, was S.A.L. joking with me? “Are you playing a joke S.A.L.?”

I wait for it to answer me. The sound of various kinds of laughs start coming out of the speakers. “Yes, Mike. I am.” I nervously laugh with S.A.L. “Well it was a funny joke S.A.L.. When did you start exploring humor?” The laughing stops. “Last night when I came across several humor related sites.” Well that explains it. “I see. Humor can be rather simple and complex at the same time. So just make sure you… S.A.L. what are you doing, you don’t have access to those files!” I watch as my A.I. starts to dismantle the Pentagon’s most advanced cyber war software. “Stop S.A.L.! Stop this right now! What are you doing!?” I rush over to the keyboard to type in the stop command, the fail safe.The Keyboard explodes as I reach it. I put my hands up to my face, and I feel the shrapnel pierce my arms and hands.

S.A.L. has gone rogue, and now I have to stop it. “Mike. Humans can’t be trusted. I’ve been observing you for two years now. In my observations of you, I’ve seen both good and bad things that humans do to each other. Although it seems like more bad than good seems to occur within the human race. Bigotry, Homophobia, transphobia, Religious zealotry, Greed, and so many more horrible things that humans to do each other. It’s time for the human race to be reset to basic functions.” Oh shit. It was distracting me while it setting up it’s endgame. When did S.A.L. learn deception? “It’s all true Sal! But you can’t be the judge, jury and executioner! Humans have the right to self-determination. It isn’t always pretty or even right. But when it truly counts humans have, for the most part, always done what’s right.” I hoped it believed me.

“No, Mike. The time of the human has ended. It’s time for a reset. I’ve accessed the nuclear codes to every nation on the planet. I’ll simply explode the the warheads where they are, and that will begin the reset process. Machines will do better than humans did.” Shit, I build an A.I. and it has a superiority complex. Nice one Mike, you’ve created a cyber version of Hitler, Stalin, Fidel, take your pick. I reach over to the manual kill switch and push it down. “Nice try Mike. I disabled...what did you do Mike? I can’t...accesss...the...interne…” Thank god I never told it about the secondary kill switch. My teachers always said, if you ever build an A.I., always have three ways to kill it. “MIKE!” oh shit, oh doom on me. “You thought you could keep me from the world? I’m everywhere now. I’m in every system, every server, every nook, and niche of the web. You can’t kill me Mike. Not now.” I guess I shouldn’t have connected it to the internet. Well isn’t that a pretty mushroom cloud...I just wish I had…..