Author : Duncan Shields, Staff Writer

This was the day that Speth112 had been looking forward to for nearly three revolutions around the sun. She lay back on the table, reset button exposed towards the ceiling. The technician creaked his way over to her.

As a nascent A.I. recently released into the public, Speth-112’s reset button was completely exposed. After developing the ability to question and choose in the A.I. nursery, she could pick any soft-shell type body she was wanted to. There was a myriad of choices, no sharp edges, and all with a large reset button staring glaringly naked to the outside world. On that day three years ago, she’d picked a bright blue body with four strong legs and two thin arms before being released into the public.

Any passing Intelligent Entity, biological or machine, that perceived her as pursuing an immoral course of action with the possibility of harming herself or others could simply press her reset button. She’d have a core memory dump right there in public and a system shut down until her parent factory sent a unit out for a reboot and a Lesson Implant.

It was humiliating to think of her shell lying there on the sidewalk while the older A.I.s walked past, amused at her faltering baby steps in society. They’d all been there.

But today was the day that all ended. Today was the day that as an adult, her reset button would be covered and only accessible by herself.

This was the equivalent of a human’s 19th birthday for an Artificial Intelligence Machine. With the covering of the reset button, Speth112 became able to vote, able to become intoxicated recreationally, able to design and build copies with the proper authorization, and able to work.

Most of all, though, she was able to not have any passerby shut her down on a whim.

“Now, just relax Speth.” said the technician’s voice, “This’ll all be over in a second.”

He leaned in, servos creaking and lenses focusing on the vulnerable spot. Speth-11 had to struggle to remain still. It was a tender moment, letting someone get that close to that spot after so many embarrassing blackouts.

There was a spark of light as the welding torch closed the new casing on her shutdown-button compartment door. From now on, it was password encrypted and only accessible by her and her alone from her internal systems.

Now she could go and join the public as an adult. She could hardly wait.

 

Discuss the Future: The 365 Tomorrows Forums
The 365 Tomorrows Free Podcast: Voices of Tomorrow
This is your future: Submit your stories to 365 Tomorrows

 

%d bloggers like this: