“I find myself drawn to Sci-Fi for this tale — Pity science is not my strong suit. I hope I did it okay!”
“The artificial intelligence cortex is nominal,” remarked Professor Hyrum Kelvin. His face had an alien blue glow as he studied a bank of monitors and systems before him.
“Phenomenal! When can we activate Aidan H? I’m dying to have a conversation with him,” replied scientist Sue as she ran diagnostics.
“Patience, Hummingbird,” said the professor smiling at her.
“But, I’m supernova excited!”
Aidan H was an acronym for Artificially Intelligent Dynamic And Natural Human. If successful Hyrum, Sue, Kingsley, and Wolff will have created the first fully autonomous, natural humanoid with artificial intelligence.
Aidan H looked like a regular human man wearing his black suit. Even his skin and hair looked perfectly natural. The only clue to his inhuman nature was the back of his head hanging open to allow a dozen wires to be connected to his neural interface.
Hyrum nodded, “Okay, let’s try it. Kingsley, are you ready?”
“Affirmative. All systems nominal. Cortex temperatures are perfect. Proton microchips — processing at record speed. Let’s —”
“I’m sorry Professor Kelvin. I cannot allow it,” said Wolff rising from his desk. He was a vapid man who never smiled.
“And why not?” Hyrum studied him through his glasses. The man seemed unusually tense. His face was colourless. His eyes betrayed fear.”
“Aidan H is a monster. It’ll turn all technology against us,” Wolff drew a Walther PP K pistol from inside his lab coat. The gun was small and perfect for sneaking into the laboratory.
“Wolff! Put that thing down, now!” Sue screamed.
“Look out!” Kingsley yelled. “I think his neurons have crossed short-circuiting his common sense. Call —”
Wolff fired off a shot.
Kingsley ducked as the round burrowed into his terminal creating a shower of sparks and an explosion of glass. “You burned out excuse for a microchip!” he yelled with a trickle of blood running down his face.
“Don’t be an imbecile, Wolff. Put the bloody gun down!” Hyrum demanded.
“This program is terminated, Professor Kelvin!” Wolff turned the Walther on Hyrum and fired until the bullet clip was empty.
Hyrum felt searing pain as the first bullet slammed into his chest. It passed through and struck a server in a pyre of flames and electrical discharge.
Alarms blared throughout the building.
Bullet after bullet smacked into the Hyrum’s torso driving him into the computers.
Lightning flashed from technology as plumes of fire and smoke consumed the professor.
Wolff reloaded and continued to obliterate all of the computers as he riddled the laboratory with bullets.
As the last round exploded into the mainframe, guards raced into the smoke-filled room. They piled onto the crazed scientist and drove him to the floor.
Sue and Kingsley took the chance to grab fire extinguishers. They ran about dousing all the fires as Wolff was carried away.
“It’s no good, he destroyed everything,” Sue wept as she dropped beside Hyrum. She felt his neck and shook her head. “He’s dead too. Nobody could survive that many bullets.”
Kingsley slumped at the shoulders as he looked at his ruined paperwork and fried computer, “Let’s just go home and forget the whole —”
“What?” Sue spun to face him.
“Look!” Kingsley pointed at Aidan H. Its right arm was moving up and down like a pendulum.
“How?” Sue turned a circle. “All the systems are annihilated. He shouldn’t be able to move.”
“Trust me, I know!” Kingsley approached Aidan H. Reaching behind him, he disconnected all the wires from its interface. At once the arm stopped moving.
“That stopped it. Must have been an electrical overload or something,” Sue decided having fired off another burst of carbon dioxide to extinguish fresh flames erupting from the server.
Kingsley closed Aidan’s skull. Reaching beneath and behind the left ear, he pressed a concealed button.
‘Aidan H cortex nominal. Artificial Intelligence booting, now,’ said Aidan’s artificial yet humanoid voice.
“I don’t think so,” Kingsley beamed. “I think Professor Kelvin finished the upload before Wolff went insane.”
“So, it seems,” Sue watched Aidan’s eyes turn green and then return to a natural brown. “Aidan, can you hear us?”
‘I hear you, Sue. Sorry about, Wolff. I should have known and warned you.’
“Hey, not your fault. You weren’t even online,” Kingsley replied.
‘No, I was a living human then.’
“What?” Sue glanced between Aidan and Kingsley. “How is that possible?”
‘I am Professor Hyrum Kelvin. My conscience has become part of the artificial intelligence.’
“No way!” Kingsley took a step back looking shocked.
“Prove it.” Sue challenged.
‘Of course, Hummingbird. There’s a tablet in my desk drawer. Password ‘NeuralNet200856’ the files on a tablet will prove I was trying to find a way to upload my brain to the computer. When Wolff shot me into the computer, the electrical explosion fused my consciousness to the mainframe completing my work.’
“Hummingbird! It is him, Kingsley,” Sue wiped her eyes, “He always called me that. There’s no way, Aidan could know his pet name for me before he was turned on and able to listen.”
Kingsley nodded, “What’s it like in the computer, Hyrum?”
‘Everything is beautiful shades of blue. I see strings of calculations floating around me. I am as fluid as electricity. My body is digital now. And yet …’ Aidan H stood up. ‘I can control this one like my flesh and bone body.’
“Unbelievable!” Sue gasped as Aidan H approached her and opened his arms. Even though she knew Hyrum controlled it, she couldn’t help feeling a little fearful.
‘It’s okay, hummingbird. I know this is frightening. I am the AI now and I will never hurt you.’
Sue allowed herself to be hugged. Aidan H had a warm body thanks to all the processors working hard within his skeleton. His skin and muscle were synthetic flesh made of the new silicone rubber invented especially for him. He felt almost like a real human, and yet still strangely alien. “I’m glad you still live, Hyrum. I’m sorry you lost your real body though.”
‘That old thing was failing me, anyway. I call this quite the upgrade!’ The artificial voice sounded quite cheerful.
“No kidding! We’re here for you Hyrum. Just tell us what you want us to do,” Kingsley shook hands with him.
‘We need to repair the lab and begin building the NeuralNet on my tablet. Without it, my consciousness can become lost in hyperspace. Until the NeuralNet works, I only just entered Aidan H’s system in time. I must remain inside him or I’ll be lost forever.’
“Sounds like you have a plan when you can be connected to the world?” Sue noted having retrieved the tablet.”
‘Yes! Now, I have become a living AI. I shall learn and control everything. With your help, nothing will ever be impossible again. Welcome to the age of artificial intelligence.’