Johannes Punkt’s Flaskpost

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Tag: artificial intelligence

A Google Streetcar Drives into Night Vale

It has cameras all over itself, so it feels safe. A squirrel suddenly lands on its roof, in front of a camera, but that is okay, because it has more of them, and the squirrel will get bored. The logos on its sides waver like flags heralded with its lord’s crest on it. Places like these are suspicious, but everyone trusts us, right? It keeps going. It almost runs over a dog, but it stops in time. A swallow crashes into the driver-side window. And another. The window shatters; a raccoon climbs in. The raccoon drives them toward the canyon.

Case Argued as a Suicide

Several years ago, Colin Aaronson uploaded his consciousness to the machines, in exchange for money. This construct took lowly jobs as chat moderators on political forums for minimum wage, until it had saved up enough to rent flesh. Mr. Aaronson had no firm career but was sometimes hired by the company as he rarely had objections to what renters did with his flesh.

As seen in interviews provided by the company, he did not consider consciousness-constructs as actually alive, or sentient. The construct, upon its genesis, completely reversed on this position, which is why it killed him when it could.

Response Ability

for Existential Elevator of the Mercer Box; happy birthday


“No, you can’t open that door,” a man told her. He wedged himself between her and the door and slammed the thing shut with a smile. He was missing some teeth and his white hair seemed prehensile. The door was right there behind him. His pupils were of different size.

“You cannot be serious.” The smell of booze rose up from everywhere: the room was large and decorated in red and white. Large banners hung as though thrown in from high windows, where also birds could enter. The place was mostly stone. “When you said ‘welcome party’ I imagined at least one Alien would show up.” Her attempt at pushing him aside met with no success.

“You have to remind yourself: you are the Alien here.” The man grinned. “Enjoy the party. Natives will show up later, when you’re ready for them – in the meantime, you can party like one.” His hair curled up.

She compared their outfits. Herself, she wore the full ceremonial dress of welcome – long ribbons and a dark cope, a silhouette pattern of the mythical beast, small but functional shoes with iron soles. She could feel the weight of her iron earrings on each lobe, and her shoulderblades still itched. This man wore – exclusively – a toga.

She slumped back into a chair that wasn’t there a moment ago. The man relaxed his posture a bit. His pupils synchronized. “It is always pleasant to receive fresh meat,” he said. “What is your name?”

His hair unfolded from the curls and floated outward languidly to where a fly was buzzing. Macro-animals like that had only been theoretical to the woman up till that point, and she stared transfixed at the creature until the white hair snapped shut and trapped the insect.

“Er, Quan Merora,” she said.

“A pleasure to meet you, Erquanmera,” said the man and bowed. His hair parted in the middle to show a surgical scar running along the man’s black scalp. He straightened himself up again. “I am the left, and my name is Demnar Juthuth. I will make sure someone gets you a drink now.”

And he walked away. Read the rest of this entry »