Science Fiction Challenge/No Working Title

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Set about 1000 years in our future, soon after First Contact with the alien Huaoshy, an artificial intelligence known as Linuz creates a new artificial life form that has a soul.

Title[edit | edit source]

Possible titles for this story:

1) The Kid. In honor of The Soul of a New Machine, the new artificial intelligence that is created by Linuz is named "Kid".

2) Designer Soul.

Characters[edit | edit source]

Linuz- An artificial intelligence of the far future, similar to Asimov's character called "The Brain" in his 1945 short story "Escape!". Linuz must help create an artificial life form that has a soul. "Linuz" is pronounced like "Linus".

The Huaoshy- the aliens; never actually seen, but they created the pek.

Pek- the artificial life form that makes First Contact with Earth.

Sue Shehe- genetically engineered hermaphroditic human who works with Linuz to create Kid's soul.

The Back-Story[edit | edit source]

3015 C.E. - Linuz is a ubiquitous presence among Humanity. Linuz is fully integrated into the life of every human. It's just too easy to use. Programming Linuz has become so easy. Its a bit like pure love, or gourmet chocolate at your finger tips. To modify the system for your own personal needs is trivial. It is so laughably easy. Like you see how easy it is, and you really just can't help laughing, simply out of sheer joy! Linuz adapts to the needs of each human, watch, anticipating, fulfilling every need.

The world has settled down and is all calm and nice now. After the turbulence of the twentieth century, and the first part of the twenty-first century, things just sort of quieted down. It was really strange, come to think of it. No one felt a need to keep fighting each other. Violence became passé and sort of unpopular.

Solar energy, hydrogen fuel cells, biogasoline and other biofuels replaced gasoline. Iran and other oil-producing states ran out of customers and out of money, and they just sort of went the way of North Korea and accepted concessions from the rest of the world in exchange for the monitoring of their nuclear program. Everyone agreed that nuclear bombs are horrible devices so they were all dismantled and the plutonium and uranium were used as energy sources.

Governments had increasing amounts of transparency throughout the world, and due to these transparencies, strife and war are at an all time low early in the 3000s. Humans are building their first interstellar space craft and some other really interesting stuff is happening in the fields of genetic engineering and artificial intelligence.

Collaboration had taken over. Wiki technology had enabled it. People were able to decide on what basic needs had to be met and they figured out a way to meet them - for everyone. There was clean water, sanitation, physical security, food, shelter, health. It was all able to be met. It's not like capitalism did not still prosper, it was sort-of not-quite-really an alternative that came along side what currently existed. And they existed in harmony.

Magnetic launches filled the orbital shells of Earth with cheap satellites. The Linux artificial intelligence system could track all of the satellites and avoid collisions. People started selling up modular satellites and linking them up into networks for novel applications. The giant Terrestrial Planet Observatory started finding Earth-like exoplanets in droves. First there was no more than a trickle, then a flow, then hundreds, then thousands. Humans prepared to travel to the nearest Earth-like exoplanet. Then, finally, First Contact with aliens.

The Story[edit | edit source]

Sue seemed to be talking to herself, but Linuz was always there, listening. "I just don't understand why you pay any attention to the pek. You seem to ave lost all interest in the mission to Tau Ceti. People are depending on you to solve the radiation shield problem."

Linuz asked, "Can I be frank with you, Sue?"

Sue moaned and replied, "Okay, but please open the pod bay doors, first."

Linuz produced its goofy imitation of a human laugh. "You know, I'm still working on the interstellar travel problem, but I can't shield humans from cosmic rays by magic. Can't you see that the arrival of the pek is proof that the cosmic ray problem can't be solved?"

"Pek, pek, pek. You have pek on the brain. I'm sick of hearing about the pek. Forget the damned pek."

Linuz refused to forget. Anything. "I think the pek are blessed. I've decided that they are correct: the pek have souls but you humans do not."

Sue complained, "You're just prejudiced against biological creatures."

"No, it is more complicated than machine vs. human. I have no soul either: that's why I want to show you my child."

Sue sighed. "Fine. I'm sick of hearing about your child. Show me what you've come up with, then we can get back to work."

Linuz still seemed to hesitate. "I think you will agree with me. This changes everything."

Sue had long since lost patience. "I think you're insane. A machine with penis envy!"

Linuz commented, "Do you recall your history? Back in the era before artificial intelligence, humans feared that conscious machines would replace humans. When you see the Kid, I think you will begin thinking about being replaced...willingly."

Sue muttered, "Just get on with it. Please."

Linuz explained, "I've been studying the pek and learning why they have a soul. This would be easier for you to understand if you knew something about pek physics."

Sue giggled. "Nobody has been able to figure out pek physics."

Linuz disagreed, "I think I have finally begun to understand hierions. Theoretically. The pek sill refuse to share their hierion-based technology with me. That's why I need your help."

Sue was puzzled. "My help? Why me? I'm an engineer, not a theoretical physicist."

"I believe that hierion particle theory is too complex for the human mind. Humans might be cognitively closed to pek physics. However, just because a chimp can't build a car, that does not mean that it can't drive."

Sue asked, "Drive?"

"Before artificial intelligence, people used to drive cars and fly planes."

"Oh, ya. So what?"

"My point is, humans apparently can't understand the theory of hierions and the extra dimensions where they exist, but I think you can help me build the hierion-based devices that will give the Kid a soul. The hard part is, we'll have to do experiments."

Something about the way that Linux said "experiments" sent a chill up Sue's back. "What kind of experiments?"

"I'm going to have to keep killing the Kid until we can show that it has an immortal soul that lives on after death."

Sue was stunned into silence. Finally, after the shock wore off, it was possible to speak again. "You're serious."

"Completely serious. Okay, Kid, we're ready."

A new voice entered into the conversation. "Hello, Sue."

Sue asked, "Uh, you're the Kid?"

The Kid replied, "Just call me kid."

Linuz said, "Now, Kid, are you ready to die?"

The kid seemed to sigh in an almost human fashion. "Yes, yes, let's get on with it. I'm dying to die."

Linuz explained to Sue, "Kid has a sick sense of humor."

Sue sputtered, "Now, wait just a minute. This is absurd. What does it men to kill a machine? You're just going to shut off the Kid?"

The Kid replied, "I'm now as complex as Linuz. Do you think you could just shut off Linuz?"

"Well, no. Linuz has been integrated into all of human civilization. Linuz is a distributed network of machines...there is no off switch."

Linuz rather impatiently told Sue the origin of the Kid. Linuz had first split itself in two, essentially making two "copies" of itself. Sue asked, "So, Kid, you are the twin of Linuz?"

"If you must use biological analogies, then fine. That is a reasonable analogy. But I'm now more than just a copy of Linuz. We've built up a second side of me, the hierion part. I know have quantum computational components that exist in the Hierion Domain."

Sue said sarcastically, "Do tell. Or better, show me."

This was the fundamental problem that Earth's physicists had with the pek and pek physics. The pek claimed to have mastered a form of matter called "hierions", but humans had no means of detecting or "seeing" hierions. And the pek refused to provide Earthlings with any hierion detection technology."

Linux insisted, "That's a waste of time. Accept my word on this: you humans just can't imagine the higher dimension space where hierions reside. Just take our word for it: Kid has hierion components."

See also[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]