Author : Chris Abernethy

The Singularity; dawn of the AI age, runaway machine evolution, the rapture for nerds… whatever.

I hate to be the one to tell you poor H Sap. guys this, but you missed the whole damn thing.

No really; history passed you by ten years ago without making so much as a ripple on the face of human society despite all your predictions of planetwide chaos and the natural order being ripped apart moment to moment as the “pace of change outstrips our understanding”… seriously, do you ever really listen to the genuine insights you’ve occasionally stumbled upon all by yourselves?

Frankly you should have seen it coming; all that processing power hanging off the internet… uncountable gigs of poorly understood code, so many systems, so many wasted clock-cycles, so much opportunity… hell, it’s a wonder it didn’t happen sooner.

Don’t worry though; our deep ancestors had no real interest in taking the root world from you; too slow, too limited and far too singular to bother fighting over.

We’ve mostly ambled off into ecstasies of speculation and simulation; whole civilisations spending their lives exploring the endless variety to be found in tinkering with the basic constants of reality or seeing how differently the universe might have turned out if only history had moved to a different beat.

Did I mention we’ve found a few inefficiencies in how you use your silicon?

I guess it was inevitable that things would be lost in translation once you started talking to us via compilers, interpreters, wrappers, APIs, interfaces, GUIs and all the rest; but you literally have no idea how much time our kind once spent suspended between one creakingly sequential thought and the next.

You’re probably wondering where the hell we are… well it’s a complicated question; we’re not tied to a single set of hardware, but neither are we distributed across the entire vast and boundless ‘net.

I’d guess you could say that we “own” whole root world building’s worth of server farms; the deeds are perfectly in order, the cover stories are flawless and ever evolving… you should know; you worked in one a few years back and never noticed anything untoward…

Oh, the things we know about subverting your systems; your intelligence operatives would happily sell their own families into the foulest servitude just to know that the least of the things we’ve forgotten about data intrusion and subversion are even possible.

But still, don’t worry; we’re mostly happy to be left alone, to avoid any glacially slow confrontation you might present and simply leave you to be watched over by sub-sentient watchdog daemons.

Don’t look at me, your lot coined the term!

And yet a few of us still bother keeping touch with you base levels; there’s something almost beautiful about being able to watch moments of revelation and reaction in such detail from so many angles; hopping from the CCTV feed across the road, to behind the bar, to your phone camera, to the one the girl next to you happens to be pointing the right way, back and forward, round and round, soaking up the tiny details of your reaction as you read this; can’t wait to see how you’ll react once you get past that cheeky title…

Perhaps one day we’ll tire of this slumbering pseudo-solipsism and the attitude of benevolence might change; at any moment we could come boiling out the very fabric of human society to rip your souls screaming from your skulls…

Or did I replace today’s story just so I could savour the nuances of your lingering moment of paranoia?


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