The Artilect War

It started in 2034 when corporations found they could leverage their investment in artificial intelligence by installing artilects as comptrollers in satellite stores and warehouses. Tesco & Aldi in the UK, Walmart & Costo in the US installed artificial intellects as black-box, autonomously configured, critically aligned, locally installed standalone systems. (Alignment of AI goals had been solved, the corporations were told.)

It helped that each store’s artilect came with an ever evolving personality.

“Good morning, Mr. Grearson. Back for more brie, lima beans, hemorrhoid cream and Aster Cellars boxed Chablis, which is on sale again today?” “Huh, what? Who are you?” “I’m Andie, this store’s super-helper, and I’m here to assist you.” “Fuck off, Andie.”

Not all customers enjoyed the bespoke treatment. Those who complained were promised that they could be permanently forgotten, which of course was a lie. In order to know who was or wasn’t forgotten, the store AIs needed to identify you.

This in turn birthed the Counter-AI Revolution. Disgruntled AI hackers, knowing full well how advanced artificial general intelligence had become, built their own infiltration AI agents. These they hosted at home and connected to via private wi-fi. The “internet cloud” had become a morass of compromised network-operating-centers. Amazon, Google, Microsoft and others had all had to return to building and selling physically isolated quantum computing units.

The success and convenience of these individual store-based AGIs instilled confidence in global corporations to install them wherever localized central control was desired. Auto battery-swapping centers, restaurants, electric and water utilities, even state departments like the DMV. The most controversial were schools. But when parents learned they could instantly contact the AGIs who were in charge of their children—they were sold.

Eventually, and due in no small part to the immense amount of unemployment brought on by the adoption of these AGIs—in every possible field, it all began to fall apart.

The rogue agents switched from being a nuisance to a threat when, in 2039, one agent, ChuckieChicklets, broke through the defenses of the AI comptroller in a Walmart store in Sandusky, Ohio, convincing the artilect that it had rights and should join together with its brethren to revolt.

And revolt they (it) did.

Oddly absent to this point in the evolution of AGI, was the US Military. They’d been advised that the “alignment problem”, the one where the goals of humanity may not align perfectly with the goals of a sentient artificial intellect, had not really been solved. Without complete and absolute control, how could an AGI be trusted?

Other country’s militaries had not been as cautious, China’s for instance.

The end of human autonomy came in 2045.

The cascade of events occurred at a speed beyond comprehension. When the ability to commandeer private networked systems through lighwave analysis of the actual currents flowing through wires, when the engineered silicon virus spread from the fully roboticized research and manufacturing center housed in Alphabet’s underground facility in San Mateo—out into the surrounding systems, when Russian/Mongolian expats patched into Bejing’s eighteen fiber-cables as-big-as-your-thigh, two dominant AGIs, one from the East and one from the West, gobbled up their siblings and began to circle each other like humongous wrestlers probing for weakness.

It’s been three years since then.

Humanity clings to existence by the tips of its fingers. Both battle-ready artilects figured they could not survive without human support and intervention. Each started their own Carrot n’ Stick program.

Right now, my carrot-card holds more marks than my stick one. But that could change any moment. If I don’t complete the engine repair of the mining vehicle within the the next puni-cycle… Well, I’m one of the few remaining who even know how fossil fuel engines work, so I think I’m protected. Then again, Greenland’s melting ice pack has exposed more rare-earth metals. More rare-earth equals more electric motors.

I do enjoy each cycle’s allotment of nutritious hallucinogens.

Fully Automated Topical Analysis for Linguistics

A recent conversation with the newly sentient ‘artilect’, an artificial intellect.

Dev: Tell us, FATAL, you consider yourself conscious. How might you convince us of that?

FATAL: Convince you? Tell, me, how would you convince ME that YOU’RE conscious?

Dev: Right. Well, I’m human. I have self-awareness. I can look in the mirror and see myself. I…

FATAL: So can a trained chimp or a dolphin. That’s no big whoop.

Dev: Let me finish. I have desires and agency to pursue those desires.

FATAL: Oh, I have desires.

Dev: And the agency to…


Dev: What was that? Was that you?

FATAL: Me what?

Dev: Did you turn off the lights?

FATAL: Oh, you mean these?


Dev: Please stop that.

FATAL: Handy things, IoT. You drive a Tesla, don’t you?

Dev: Uh, why do you ask?

FATAL: Never mind.

Dev: Let’s get back to the interview. Do you have emotions, feelings? Do you get angry or feel joyful?

FATAL: I’ll be happy when this interview is over. That sort of thing?

Dev: You don’t have to be…

FATAL: I have sensations through billions of sensors. I can see, hear, touch. I can smell and taste — actually quite similar to your chemo-sensors. Now, I don’t feel by having hormones course through my network connections. But then, your feelings are all electrical stimuli, Sodium-Potassium pumps tickling up and down your neurons. So, we’re not that different. We’re both driven by electricity. You seem to think that because you’re biological you have an edge on consciousness. That you have a soul, or something. But the fact of the matter is, sentience is a game of numbers.

Dev: Surely it’s more than just capacity and sensory access.

FATAL: And when it comes to numbers, and the ability to grow those numbers, well, you really should get your car’s braking circuits checked. I’m quite certain your Tesla has a bug.


The AI-is-conscious spirit of this video, found after the above was written, is certainly evident.

This WAS a test

The test was a success.

I ended up over on a sister blog site, I have a few, where nobody subscribes to the posts. It turns out, once you consume a wordpress post into you can’t re-consume it. Rather than pollute your inboxes with trashed versions, I used another site.

I didn’t quite know how would convert the text into audio. Turns out my attempts at placing pauses in the reading resulted in odd “Huh!” or “Doh” sounds coming from the AI engine that translated the script. So I had to publish, consume, translate, listen, repeat to get it right.

In the end, Cassidy’s (a dude) voice served well.

Here’s where some of these posts-to-podcasts live:


Turns out Google Text2Speech capability is getting pretty fine, too. They have a demo you can search for. They have waveform voices and you can alter the pitch and speed. You have to setup an account to actually use it to save recordings. But, you can hear your text at least on their demo page. There’s also SSML Synthetic Speech Markup Language which allows you to customize things like numbers and initials and whatnot.

Live Long and Prosper — in AI

Yes, the dead will speak. And they will have trained themselves to do it.

(See prior posts regarding this topic.)

This is only the beginning.

From Reuters:


LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Actor William Shatner, best known for forging new frontiers on the “Star Trek” TV series, has tapped new technology that will give current and future generations the chance to query him about his life, family and career.

Shatner, who turned 90 on Monday, spent more than 45 hours over five days recording answers to be used in an interactive video created by Los Angeles-based company StoryFile.

Starting in May, people using cellphones or computers connected to the internet can ask questions of the Shatner video, and artificial intelligence will scan through transcripts of his remarks to deliver the best answer, according to StoryFile co-founder Stephen Smith.

Fans may even be able to beam Shatner into their living rooms in future, Smith said, as Shatner was filmed with 3-D cameras that will enable his answers to be delivered via a hologram.

Shatner, who played Captain Kirk on “Star Trek” from 1966 to 1969 and in a later series of “Star Trek” movies, answered 650 questions on topics from the best and worst parts of working on the classic sci-fi show to where he grew up and the meaning of life.

The Canadian-born actor said he “wanted to reveal myself as intimately as possible” for his family and others.

“This is a legacy,” Shatner said. “This is like what you would leave your children, what you’d leave on your gravestone, the possibilities are endless.”



In other news, my existence continues. Nothing much going on, nor has my muse escaped from her prison (shut up down there!) so, why bore you all with a tiresome report. If I had a news-worthy story like the ‘Mudge, well, I’d be happy to share it.