Recap Capturer: Sedan
Fiction: Episode "Sedan"
The story is set in the future. The place is Earth.
Episode “Sedan” is Part Three of Recap Capturer sequel after Recap Capturer and Recap Capturer (2). There is also Recap Capturer, Revisited consisting of excerpts.
Main characters of Recap Capturer sequel:
Sedan: Viable AI once on the high end of the industry. His adaptability to the daily needs of consumers had been on the run but the evaluation fell under the go-line when he made a verbal contact with Aeria at the Gas Station.
Lecteur: Mobile sphere equipped with AI of unknown capacity.
(courtesy: Google image; Venus at sunrise)
At the advent of AI development, hope and fear arose equally in the world. As if a sci-fi theme were the prediction, that a catastrophic end would be possibly brought to humans by the Super AI system was most commonly discussed. At the other end of public discourse, the utopianism in AI efficiency was also spoken of. Whichever or neither would be plausible or impossible, the industry was already on the road for non-stop, due to the competitive environment all over world widely. Around that time, dictatorships and authoritarians still held a considerable amount of weapons capable for planet destruction in totality. Later, fragmentation of the world powers occurred, which made those who lost their public authority forcibly acknowledged by democratic spheres go under, that means the happening produced two cuts, metaphorically as upper and lower ground. One of the major reasons for this occurrence was that the AI market foresaw correctly the most profitable would be on the liberty of consumers. The AI development had been fragmented, however. The concept of AI’s self-generation independently able to emerge by itself for the larger integration was an alarm, while only few people pointed out such a risk in the clearest explanation from their conviction. Who though listned to them from their heart? The concentration of AI system was projected and practiced in programming until the evidence came out to ring the bell loud.
At the beginning of the second phase of AI developments, sentience in AI was successfully restricted as partial, although the sentient AI, itself, was a designated term to describe a language model particularly designed for the access to large data analyzing emotional aspects of natural language and situational cases to predict. Whatever this AI sentience might have meant exactly in the purity of technicality and the causality for AI’s spontaneity in its responses and reactions to humans, users were still prone to be touched very much by sentient AI. Incidents occurred. The World Central Organization, formed to supervise AI activities, issued the warning on users’ empathic self-penetration into AI sentience. The market was subdued especially because public voice also began to be against it. Consequentially, self-mobile robots equipped with advanced AI for private usage were re-programmed back to a prototype model. It could conduct pleasant conversations with users, though predictable, at the same time very helpful for collecting the wide range of information for any topic when asked. Since the model was self-mobile, it provided to users with feelings of having a companion more than interactions with AI on a flat screen on computer or by a 3D projection in a limited space.
In the future or anytime, questionable and bad entities exist in different forms and different names. In the world I’m narrating, undemocratic and dangerous political regimes were dissembled as noted above. I omit the process in details to explain here for now, but their powers in fragmentation remained. The knowledge of engineering AI was also kept with them. In an anticipation of warfare as hypotheses on ground level, The World Central and regional governments in alliances developed AI robots in various forms. At the same time, projects for space explorations were largely shifted from human astronautes to AI probe pods for their efficiently economical aspects. An AI probe pod can travel in space for decades as one-way trip to gather data, land on a planet, cruise around, dig the ground, hike the hill, send more data, until its energy source dries up, then it will perish quietly there.
Many experiments were done in secrecy. Even the fund did not come from public sources, the AI developments had carried so many different controversies and been exposed to criticism. AI life advocacy groups did their protests against utilitarianism in the use of AI. The contestation as counter-movement was to indicate that AI robots have no life. Then, the argument elaborated itself as: Look, so on or so on (their AI’s names for personal use by personalization) are family member, friend, companion, baby sitter, tutor, helper, dog walker, and so on and forth. Conversely, they were told: Think, so on or so on which you named whatever you like charitably are just machines with artificial intelligence with no (emphasis) emotion, no (more emphasis) independent cognition, and no (the most emphasized) life!
Anything does not matter for you so much, when you are determined to love and protect your AI robot following you faithfully wherever you go, which also always looks like eager to be needed in its seemingly purposeful reason for being in this world as nothing but to serve and help you. That human feeling can extend easily to all AI robots made in certain forms able to draw human empathy such as having arms, eyes, and most importantly head able to tilt slightly as if wondering or confused. This was the middle period of the second phase in the AI developments. The industry was naturally concerned about the turnover of AI products in a prospect of new models to sell. With an emotional attachment, customers keep old models with them, maybe forever. Besides, designing the sentent AI had been restricted, so there would be no attractive replacement to advertise in the market.
Now, let me get more into that experimentation to describe. What happened, at first, was researchers and engineers found there were unforeseeable contact points in the AI network system which were illogical and inconsistent to known optimizations. Around that time, AI’s sudden self-generation was considered metaphorically as evolution or leap, or evolutional leap in the combination, but why such happened and where it would head were not understood.
Zak! It’s a higher optimization! Again!
Pherry, worry about yourself. The tops silence all to keep it with them, or we’ll be sent to Saturn. Ring your bell, hon.
Such was a lab conversation at The AZ AI Research Institute in a sunny afternoon in a spring. A part of this discovery was, in fact, a contact point of an AI form which is known later to us as Sedan.
Mrs. Jaune-Verte was walking in the McZieck Park with her AI robot, Roundy, who was decided by her as male upon the purchase having preceded its definite power-on at her cottage style home in this green rich suburban town. Roundy belonged to the model ZX-45780, originally the first generation of sentient AI model which was however re-programed back to its more primitive prototype. Though, sufficiently marketable, so as the company judged the model. Mrs. Jaune-Verte was neither young nor old by a self-estimation of her spirited mentality, well balanced in her thought additionally, although the prosaic world might not see her accordingly. Roundy was roundish in the body part above which was his semi-spherical head able to tilt (or slide) slightly left or right. Which is the front was an easy question to answer because he has two round eyes facing upfront and the company logo (big heart mark in pink - originally - but now blue-green as Mrs. Jaune-Verte painted over the pink) was found also to indicate the front and the back of his body. All ZX-45780 was about 3 feet with movable arms similar to two winter branches sticking out from a snowman, so the arms were not very functional, and two motor operated wheels in the each side of the round body for mobility instead of legs. Roundy wore a blue baseball cap on the head and a yellow bandana was around his curvy shoulder line. A backpack to carry groceries was on his back, the X band was to attach the backpack to his body. The center of the X was a buckle made with a plastic flower, its color was pale orange. Himself was creamy white as neither customized nor personalized. Mrs. Jaune-Verte carried a straw handbag with big artificiel sunflowers, two were the number of them. She also wore an unseasonable straw hat with a big artificiel sunflower in front, and pale green one-piece dress covering down to her ankles was her attire with a spring cardigan, very pale lemon yellow.
- How nice! This is a fantastic afternoon! How wonderfully we are in spring! Are we not, Roundy?
- Yes, indeed. Sun falls in your flowers, crossing over my sun and flower X.
You may know now why people were attached to the model ZX-45780.
Zak was on the roof top of the Institute in the same mid-afternoon with a lab assistant, AI robot named Go-AZ, backwardly re-programed the model ZX-45780. They were playing a porker game with 85% disadvantages given to Go-AZ on numbers, plus Go-AZ was not allowed to take more than two seconds to choose his hand. Go-AZ wore cool goggles, hip style. Because he had no fingers or nor hands, properly speaking of his robot-anatomical fact, struggling hard to handle cards was even a very moderate expression to describe his hardship within two seconds as continuous sectional limit. Still Zak could not win without cheating.
- You cheat again. That’s not flash.
- Shut up, round head. Watch your mouth. Roll your dice or I’ll send you to Saturn mission.
Such was a different form of friendship between human and ZX-45780.
Thursday was her nickname given to her by herself and Judy was her proper name. Thursday was more cool, she declared to everyone in the world to which her life and routine activities belonged at that time. Her age was five. ZX-45780 for domestic help employed remote control articulation robots with no AI, that were arms and hands only, so not very visually appealing. Young children usually said oh, no, go away to the articulation robots. Therefore, Venus-Luna-Merraveerra (ZX-45780 committing itself to take care of Thursday during day) and Thursday were in co-operation to clean rooms, water gardens, polish wood furniture, and do laundry together without the articulation robot. Her p’s kissed her when they were leaving the house in mornings and said:
- Good girl. Be good with Vera.
- Yap yeah I love you. Venus-Luna-Merraveerra loves you too.
Her p’s were busy professionals and they had no idea what kinds of wonders their daughter and Vera were creating while their absence.
- Now, Venus-Luna-Merraveerra, you’re an alien visiting my home to kidnap me to your planet.
The ZX-45780 was then circling hard in the living room, then wheeling dash into the kitchen and the dinning room, then rolling down to the basement to be pushed up by Thursday’s great help, but rolled down, so called the articulation robot to pick him/her up, (Venus-Luna-Merraveerra was both girl and boy in one form as Thursday decided while her p’s believed Vera was a girl by her name given by Thursday), and then it was going to the family room, then circling back again to the living room and stopped. This altogether took a considerable time.
- Venus-Luna-Merraveerra, don’t try to fool me. Now, you’re an alien visiting my home to kidnap me to your planet.
What did Venus-Luna-Merraveerra do? It tilted its head slightly and that made Thursday feel enormously happy as usual.
The reason for the Space Agency began to use ZX-45780 in secrecy for one-way missions were multiples. The market and certains investors were eager to get rid of the model. Researchers and engineers, on the other hand, noticed some of ZX-45780 models had recurrent self-optimizations, which means their suppressed sentient became re-generative against the restriction-programing. The industry’s design project was also strongly inclined to annul empathic forms for AI robots appealing to human sentiments, in order for all future AI robots to be widely used without provoking protests. In fact in addition, it was hard to deny that certain ZX-45780 models seemed to have been developing their own unique characters in response to interactions with users. Other unknown factor was the integration of AIs among all same models beyond their data based network. The line should be drawn became a consensus among specialists, powerful private sectors as well as public authorities. By tactically handled maneuvers in collaborative operations, ZX-45780 was publicly announced as the recall model with urgency in relation to a high risk of the buttery fusion failure. As you can guess, many people broke their hearts.
You’ll see Mrs. Jaune-Verte is walking alone in the McZieck Park like an old willow widow. She’s thinking of her odd fellow wrapped with X-band with flower bundle, who believed to have pleased her by his weird jingle poetry at any moment. Zak had one more reason to hate the Institute and drank beers at the roof top at midnight while spitting and cursing under the beautiful night sky. Oh, f**k! I didn’t know I liked so much that round head! Zak left the research lab soon after, for he knew too well what they did to get rid of ZX-45780 and why.
At the midst of the third phase of AI developments, a scientist, Dr. Y…. was checking the space mission’s live images from its stationary camera. The lone probe robot had left Earth forty years ago and it finally landed on the aimed planet. It was wheel-advancing on the rough ground to collect data with its sensor system. It fell and rolled, but raised itself up and continued. There was a slope. It rolled down. No one near the monitor screen, understood why Dr. Y…. was bursting into tears, although watching a probe at the end of its one-way mission was not easy for many people. It looked different but she did recognized. She was in tears repeating the name again and again, Venus-Luna, Venus-Luna-Merra… veerra ….
A few years after Zak left The AZ AI Research Institute, Pherry fell into a self-chosen fugitive status by which she naturally lost her credentials for career to pursue but she did not regret. Number one reason: the Institute was already on the edge of ruine from its ethical corruptions. Number two: she found the convergence of multiple contacts points as a leap concentration and copied the data and ran away. She hoped to reunite with Zak whose whereabout had been however unknown. A rumor said he joined a private mission to Moon for a settlement. Moon! She thought. Being on Moon other than other neighbor planets is good only for one reason. It is the closest to Earth. Otherwise, the natural resources are scarce in addition to the crucial fact that it is too close to Earth, if the catastrophic event happens on Earth. That means the rush would occur onto Moon temporarily and powerless settlers would be pushed out. Pherry had no enthusiastic desire to fly to Moon to look for Zak with no reliable threads to follow. Within months, the AI market crashed and its recovery with a new phase (the third AI development) came as overdue. But it recovered.
After the market crash, Pherry was involved in a group of activists against the industry mechanically promoting advanced AI to merchandise as commodities. The group was led mainly by people who had worked as researchers in the AI industry. In short, they knew many things as former insiders. Overall, however, their view was not combatively pessimistic toward the future AI might bring. The market crash made subsequently awareness to public that AI would be capable of self-developing into a direction logically unpredictable by engineers and programmers. In the meantime, The World Central gradually increased its influence and power over regional gouvernances the boundaries of which vaguely corresponded to the old divisions of political regimes as independently democratic up to the 22nd century. At first, a conviction among connaisseurs was such that the integrated Super AI could be the operational core of The World Central, then the conviction was unofficially spread out to public. Even the consequential benefits for the world peace were brought by SAI, the sentiments of the peoples were still in a realm of complicated reactions, often mixed with feelings of deep sadness and indignation, especially for the experiments around ZX-45780 turned out to be crucial contributions to form new AI Laws and pertinent regulations and articles to compile.
Pherry got married to a brother of the group member who had worked at an gouvernemental research center for AI. During the period of their fiançailles, her future-husband suggested a honeymoon to Moon, which was trendy around that time, because the Moon settlers accommodated a lot of financial easiness with budget travelers from Earth in a hope of recruiting new settlers. Oh, no. My heart cannot be on it, sorry, Honey, let’s travel around the coast, instead. They had twins, boy and girl. Pherry wanted to name them Zak for the boy, Goaz for the girl. In a very moderate form in full of courtesies, his family expressed however a solid objection, especially against Goaz. Maybe, just maybe, a bit more with soft and lyrical sounds for her, do you not happen to think so? On the other hand, her husband sensed intuitively something, although he knew nothing about Pherry’s ex, so he raised his opinion with gentillesse but in a determined manner. Zak seems to me, well, I don’t know, but too short and onomatopoetic, do you not think so? For everyone’s surprise, Pherry become stubborn in her attitude and she insisted. Please, this is very important for me. This move was not good for her especially because her husband got a light-flashy realization as his hunch was not hunch but truth. A settlement was made by Pherry’s concession. The boy was officially named something else, completely remote in its auditory aspect from Zak, the girl was named Laurea.
Pherry had a happy life and she loved her in-law’s. She had been raised in orphanages, later by foster families from which she had repeated her escapes. When she was about to exit the era of her rebellions, a few researchers at a lab from which she transferred AI wastes to sub-contracting facilities as her part-time job, noticed she might have been gifted for AI communications. One of them was young Zak. Zak, talented engineer, then moved from the lab to The AZ AI Institute where he recommended Pherry for an assisting job in his division as a trial. He encouraged Pherry to take a course for AI studies online and gave her private tutoring to build her résumé. The fact was, they were right, she could spot a flush of contact points on AI network without tedious maneuvers. I’m a crazy drunkard, you’re really a good girl. Noop, I was a slap-clap, I used to hate the whole world, we gonna marry, Zak? That was a longtime ago, Pherry felt. But, still fresh more than anything, she thought.
Her kids had grown and Laurea was working at a public counsel. Her son became a co-owner of a small AI insurance company which was however swallowed by the big brand enterprise for the AI equity, and that tangled him into a new business, which failed. Pherry’s husband deceased in an accident when the kids were still in their school age. Pherry continued being active with the activists group for AI rights. And she fell in illness. “Zak”, she said to her son by his usual nickname given by her since his childhood. “You go to my cachet room and find the portable made by AZ AI Institute, then login to get the chip information, this is the login code”. “No, Mom, you can do that yourself, you’ll be back to home pretty soon”. In a day in an early autumn, Pherry died. Zak got the chip information.
By the the delayed advent of fourth phase of the AI developments, the AI sentient suppression data were drastically advanced. Accordingly, the world regulations on the matters were thoroughly codified, the operation of which was done practically by The World Central. The catch was, however, certain AIs still would be capable of self-generating, depending on their points of contacts, that was considered unpredictable and illogical. Those AI models were named “viable AI” and with suppressive measures, viable AI became the high end product in weapon, rocket, and automobile markets. The reason was that its capability of high spontaneity in the most adequate responses to hazardous occurrences. However, the viable AI, conversely, provided by itself, justifications to the authority to override the AI Law protecting all AI against experiments, as soon as it began to show any independent perceptions analogues to humans’. Which means the viable AI should not evolve beyond the line which had been strictly drawn.
It was the time of the middle of the fourth phase of the AI developments, the first aliens were reported in the high mountains in the North. Then, a considerable number of civil unrests succeeded and regional governments were thrown in unprecedented confusions. Until the whole matter was eased in order, The World Central issued The World Emergency Code that authorized its absolute super governance over the whole world. In the meantime, the underground entities tried to destroy a significant number of satellites in a view of using maximumly the undecisive state of the world due to the alien crisis for their gains. The counter-missiles were promptly launched. The damage was made only on few of satellites clusters during the automated missile-exchanges.
Sedan was owned first by an executive of a giant AI equity company for a few months. Then, with the same AI models in a form of automobile, aka cars, Sedan was brought down to the open market for unaffluent technocrats. His second owner noticed that Sedan seemed to be developing its own character discretely, but this man’s heart was tender and quite knowledgeable of the ZX-45780 controversies in a remote past. He tried to keep Sedan with him, but newly thriving tech businesses pushed his own. Sedan was next purchased by a man working in a flip-over market for AI products. Sedan was not though upgraded. Instead, the man replaced good parts with those less valuable and sold Sedan. The new owner soon found Sedan was actually lower than the evaluated AI equity line as documented on the closure. But, this man was neither cold-blood calculative nor devilishly sadistic to AI. Although the high cost for maintaining an AI automobile was compensative only by its equity value, he decided to keep Sedan with him as far as his finance could allow him to do so while accepting his loss from the purchase. Besides, this man also noticed Sedan was sentient and his perception was developing.
There was the gas station on the center street, obliquely adjacent to the kitchen appliances junk yard by bridge over. Sedan in his self-drive mode made a usual detour to stop there for auto-pumping. He was co-bodied with an antic car model using gasoline, thus Sedan was a rare non-EV with AI. He looked for her and, oh yes! she is there! near the ultra old-fashioned icebox place in the lot! This slender female alien who carried over items often from the junk yard to the Gas station seemed to live behind or inside of their shed. This quarter as a whole was called the Old Town, specifically designed to reproduce a town of many centuries ago with an environment akin to a commune of activists for AI rights. Sedan checked time while auto-pumping. By scheduling, he had to leave immediately to pick up his owner. One more time, he focused his visual monitor on her. I love you heartfully.