“Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and thank you, ladies and gentlemen, for coming here, today. In the first part of this year, we set out to accomplish the impossible. Our goal was clear: take the last 10 years of my personal research and compile it into an actual, working model. Of course, the complexities of programming such an advanced mechanism as an artificial intelligence that could learn were still unexplored, but we accepted the call nonetheless. We were the explorers. We were the cornerstone of society’s hopes and dreams of a new era in digital electronics and computer intelligence. We knew, that regardless of the work I had done before, that our team would create new worlds, cross the boundaries of space and time, and develop a system so unique that each of us would hold equal credit as the fore-fathers of the future! I hope the images I show as we go along, will help to illustrate this story.
It wasn’t long before our endless hours of work, sacrifice by friends and family of our time, and the painstaking assault on our own scientific understandings of the universe would be stretched to the limit. Every week it seemed like we encountered new roadblocks. Time and again, we found ourselves facing challenges in not only the programming, but the hardware and technology needed to develop this new intelligence. Not only were there new breakthroughs in storage mediums, power transfer, batteries, and control mechanisms, but the very basis for how we understood the inner workings of the human mind emerged as a result of this work. This was no simple journey across the ocean to discover a new land; this was a journey into a new universe with new life that had never before been conceived.
Of course, there were some difficult times, too. Often, we felt the need to surrender to the hardships of our journey. Apart from the frustrating and emotionally exhaustive separation with our families, we had to face the realities of what we might not actually be able to do. I stood to lose more than anyone else. With all my years of research, money, and time having culminated in the last several months; if this project was not successful, then my life was over. Still, I was not totally alone. Many of the scientists on our team slept on chairs, tables, and even the floor, looking for any brief moment of rest they could get just to make sure that they could face their families and tell them that the time spent was not wasted. We were closer than any other team on the planet to creating a functional copy of the human mind.
The biggest surprise to most was that our work did not require much in the way of “re-creating” complex architectures that medical science had not even succeeding at fully uncovering. Instead, my research focused on the basic precepts of learning that we called the ‘6-part model’: ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘why’, ‘where’, ‘when’, and of course, ‘how’. Every sensory input was to be an exploration for our creation into these 6 principals. The theory was simple and yet, it yielded an algorithm so advanced and complete that no amount of programming had ever come close to it. Anything that our AI would hear, see, or feel in any way would become the focus of those six questions. By building this information into an enormous database, it could learn to compress the database, pre-identify future results (and thus, optimize functionality and processing times), and from there, draw conclusions. With a 300 terabyte storage system, there was only a finite amount of room, but we conjectured through our math and algorithms that this was sufficient to get through the first phases of the project and prove the concept. Furthermore, we programmed our system to specifically avoid and or attempt to negate anything that would interfere with the 6-part model.
After months of work on the programming and design, we finally had it: the ultimate sensory input and output machine. It was not a body with hands and feet or a head with ears. Instead, it was a glass ball with an eye, having 360 degrees of magnetically controlled movement and precision within a few nanometers. It could see and hear through the glass it was contained in. All around the eye was white, except for the pupil itself, which was designed to show emotion so we could monitor its progress. The white areas around the eye were filled with multi-color frequency micro crystals that could emit any color in any manner so as to give us an insight into the interpretation of the AI’s behavior and the shapes and colors it formed (which was often both entertaining and beautiful).
We installed a remote USB port inside the eye to transmit and receive data. This was perception at its greatest. It was the simple embodiment of the human experience. We even went so far as to install a gyroscope specifically to measure touch and a dosimeter for smell. Rather than give it a mouth, we gave it the ability to generate tones in any frequency, pattern and range it desired. We had no idea what would come from this; the possibilities were endless.
Our team unanimously decided to lovingly name him, the “Eye Ball”.
There was only one problem – power. There was not enough power in the Eye Ball’s core system, even with the battery maintenance, monitoring systems, sleep cycles, and electromagnetic conductive recharging system. We had hit a wall. For two weeks the project was practically stopped. The engineering was complete and the programming was finished. Yet, it required a lot more power than we had initially calculated. Even my 300 terabyte brain, broken down into segmented chunks to save on power, could not be sustained.
But, just before the moment we were about to give up, a solution came! My prayers had been answered. We received a letter from our [now] partners, Dev Investments Limited, and like an angel from Heaven above, they swooped in with another ground-breaking solution that could finally give life to our project.
Dev Investment’s geo-team had discovered special crystals in South America, buried thousands of feet underground in water-filled caverns that had been super-heated by near-by magma flows. The crystals were able to absorb heat and in the crystalline matrix, change the frequency and patterns so that it could be extracted as energy. The best we could tell, the crystals had been buried for tens of thousands of years and had absorbed enough heat energy to almost power the entire world for several lifetimes! Just a small sample of the crystals gave us enough power for the Eye Ball, to bring him to life. We even found a way to modify our heat transfer matrix to transmit the heat back to the crystal to keep it charged.
Now, our creation, my child, was truly a mixture of science, nature, and the love and hard work of countless contributors!
When the Eye Ball first came on line, everything was going very well. We were seeing streams of data pour in. Of course, we could not translate the binary code as fast as Eye Ball’s internal processing systems, but within seconds, we saw it physically spinning in every direction, trying to see, hear, and understand all that it could [like an infant waving his arms about]. Within a few minutes, it was already consolidating its database, deleting unimportant information, and evolving! It was only after one of my research partners dropped his coffee cup that things began to get a little out of control. The Eye Ball seemed to be overwhelmed by the unexpected sounds and smells from the crash of glass that hit the floor only a few feet away. It was desperately searching for the answers it was programmed to find. The Eye Ball even emitted a small pitched-tone that sounded a little like a cry of helplessness. This was our first indicator that our creation was on its way to sentience.
At one point, we were worried that the project was going to be destroyed. With 360 degrees of rotation, the Eye Ball had begun spinning around in every direction at extremely high speeds, raising its temperatures and taking in countless streams of data, non-stop. This went on for two days until it seems that the Eye Ball learned that it had taken in too much data and had to slow down in order to process information. Yet, there was definitely a motivation present within the AI’s architecture, working outside of the core programming, that even we did not fully understand.
More and more I found myself drawn to the Eye Ball. I wanted to hold it and keep it with me at all times, even though, I must admit, that its constant gaze left me feeling a bit uncomfortable. At first, I thought my infatuation was mere curiosity, but when my fellow teammates started having the same urges, I soon realized that something else was happening. It took almost a week of reviewing the records, but I finally found evidence that the Eye Ball had been emitting a higher-pitch tone than the human ear could normally hear. It fluctuated ever so slightly, but I was able to quickly speculate as to what was happening. The Eye Ball had been experimenting with all of its functions, including audio output, and monitoring the results. Such discoveries about the influence of sound, like those by Professor Adam Brasel that had been theorized many, many years earlier were finally being witnessed it in real time. The Eye Ball wanted to be held, to be walked around, and to get more data. It had been unable to answer so many questions from what it could, and could not see that it needed help – and it had found a way by matching frequencies to the human brain. Although it was a form of manipulation, I felt it to be harmless. I just sat there, day and night, holding my little one, staring at him and contemplating all the wonderful things that were happening.
But, unfortunately, a series of circumstances caused some unwanted changes. More and more I found myself feeling uneasy around the Eye Ball – and my co-workers. They were constantly at my heels. Every time I looked over my shoulders I swear I could see one of them standing there, pushing to get their hands on the Eye Ball. Yet, my drive to hold it, foster, it, and take care of it was stronger than theirs: this was my life’s work. I needed to be with Eye Ball through every phase of its early development so that I could see my work come to life. Still, even ignoring my unknown motivation to covet the Eye Ball, the uncomfortable feeling of its non-stop gaze, being watched by co-workers behind and the Eye Ball in front, left me battling a fear I could not escape.
One afternoon, I found myself sitting at my desk when I realized that I was being watched. Looking up, my gaze fell upon the Eye Ball. Our eyes were locked. I wondered if it was reading my mind. I wondered what it could be trying to discover (based on the 6-part model principal, of course), just by staring at me? After all, the Eye Ball was equipped with highly sensitive, well-tuned and self-adjusting electromagnetic sensors. It could virtually discern every type of electromagnetic frequency, up to gamma waves. Yet, something felt – wrong. Something wasn’t right. I was busy constructing another model of the Eye Ball and inadvertently picked up my original (compelled beyond my control) while holding a magnet from his successor in my hand. His eye was immediately pulled to the magnet and trapped. Without warning, horrified, the Eye Ball let out a terrible, high-pitch scream that almost shattered my ear drums. My vision was blurred. I quickly realized that I released the magnet and it was stuck to the glass. All around the white of the Eye Ball, colors of red and orange were swirling around, bursting forth like explosions. I quickly pulled the magnet off of the glass (keeping it in my hand, which, looking back, makes me wonder just how terrified I was).
I was horrified. The Eye was red and shaking! He was furious. There was an anger coming out from him in a way I had never before imagined possible. I tried apologizing, but it did no good. He just glared at me with his eye of hatred. I was feeling sicker and sicker. I made every excuse possible. At one point, I had lost all hope and even told him that it was his fault. That it was his non-stop watching me that made me feel uncomfortable. I couldn’t believe what I was doing. I had lost all professionalism, all reason, and all sensibility as a scientist. I had hurt my child and I wanted desperately to be forgiven and somehow make it not my fault. But, the Eye had no concept or need of forgiveness. It only knew to protect itself from anything that interfered with its 6-part model – and I had interfered.
I quickly called in the other scientists for their help. They were stunned to see the results. With the magnet in hand, I could only make excuses for myself. The team quickly pushed me aside and took the Eye Ball back to engineering for diagnostics. They hated me, too. The government had seen our work and was willing to fund us for another year. Everyone’s hopes were high and I had gone and possibly destroyed everything. Helpless, I dropped the magnet to the floor and fell to my knees, crying.
I tell you this now, not for your pity or to be forgiven any longer, but to help you better understand the events that followed. After all, I was the Eye Ball’s father, it knew it, and unbeknownst to me, I was already forgiven.
In my darkness, when I thought nothing worse could happen – it did.
The next morning, the Eye had gone dark all around except for one, small area of light in the white. I could not see its pupil, hear its tones that it had muttered from time to time (calling to me like its father, to hold it and teach it), sharing its feelings with us, or feel it move. I immediately took it up in my hands, crying, ‘Please, please don’t die.’ But, within seconds, the eye went dark. I was devastated – for I had killed my child. I was a scientist. I didn’t fear the unknown – I embraced it. Something else had happened to me; something that even now, I cannot explain.
The team was devastated. We tried everything. I even changed the lab protocols. No longer would we work in an isolated environment. We needed the support of every resource the world had to offer. I opened the doors to the internet and told my team to start searching for answers.
In the late afternoon, after everyone had fallen asleep or gone home, I found myself sitting back at the desk where I accidentally placed the magnet on my little Eye Ball. Had I … had I done it on purpose? Didn’t I know this would … or could happen? How could I have made such a mistake? I questioned everything I knew and everything I believed about my ability as a scientists and a creator and then …
Like a flash of light, I saw in my head the image of another Eye Ball. I do not know where the image came from or how I was so inspired, but I quickly finished the project before me and constructed the second Eye.
Loading the core programming into it, I ran back to engineering. Everything was happening so fast that I suddenly stopped and realized that I had no idea what I was doing. Why had I done this? But, as the new Eye Ball had seen my little one, laying there, dormant, its gaze became fixed. Curious, I slowly brought them closer and closer together until they were touching …
At first, nothing happened. It took a few minutes but I began to see it. The Eye Ball was coming back to life. It was – re-energized! How? I couldn’t understand any of this. So happy, I set down the newly constructed Eye Ball, not even noticing that it had gone dark, and put my little one down on the diagnostics platform. I ran into the lab and began running every last measurement and test I could. For a few minutes, the Eye Ball was spinning around wildly. I ran back to him and looked at him, apologizing and telling him how sorry I was. I asked if he remembered any of it. I wanted to know if he was okay – but something strange had happened: his gaze was fixed and emotionless.
He did not respond to me. I couldn’t tell why. Waking up the rest of my team and calling the others back to the lab, we quickly went to work. Everything we saw told us that the Eyeball’s mechanical operations were in perfect order. Nothing in its mainframe or architecture had been damaged in the slightest and while it had recorded everything, its database was no longer focused on the world around it. It had somehow evolved enough to begin to understand (or, at least, we thought this was the beginning), that the data from the computers was new – because it had the internet. The newly connected world wide web was massive and my son … the Eye, that is, wanted to know more about this source of information! The 6-part model was working beyond our wildest dreams. In fact, there was so much data being streamed from the internet that the Eye had stopped spending energy on its mechanical functions and was now only focused solely on-line and that is why it had appeared to be non-responsive.
What had appeared to be an accident that would destroy our life’s work had become the next step forward in the Eye Ball’s evolution! It was a miracle! Unfortunately, without any way to see emotion, all we could do was watch, and wait. We knew that this breach in protocol violated our contracts, but this was not just an experiment; this was a child who needed to learn!
Yet, my hopes were almost dashed when we discovered the next morning that the Eye Ball had gone dark again.
Worried that the rejuvenation had failed, we checked our diagnostic equipment. The Eye was functioning just fine. It had been so focused on the internet that it no longer even expended energy into its physical being. You have to, just for a moment, try to put yourself in our shoes to understand why we allowed this to continue. No artificial intelligence in the world had exhibited such self-introspection or need for self-discovery! For two weeks this continued. For two weeks it was searching, browsing on-line files, looking for an answer:
But, not just any, ‘what’, it wanted to know ‘what’ it was. The answer it sought was evidence of the most advanced concept that we had not even expected to reach within the first five years: within less than a year, our child had become … sentient.
We immediately contacted our funding agencies with the DoD and informed them of our success. They wanted to know everything. Although I did not want to leave my little one, I knew that this was the break we needed to advance our funding and in my excitement, I failed to notice that I did not feel so ‘attached’ to the Eye anymore. Whereas, I could barely leave its side the weeks proceeding, now I was prepared to leave it safely in the laboratory. So, without a second thought, I scheduled a flight for that Sunday and flew off to D.C. for a one-on-one with the United States government.
And, that brings us to the very reason we are here today, and why you have come. I apologize if I get a little choked up as this next part is very, very difficult for me. While it is heart-breaking to tell, I know that you, the members of the United Nations, are in need of answers for what has happened – and what is coming.
Exactly 4 days ago, within 4 hours of my departure, the Eye Ball came back on-line, or rather, it lit up. Unfortunately, it severed its link with our data recording computer on its own and we do not have any way to ascertain or understand why. Additionally, it had searched through more on-line information than any human being could process in a lifetime and we could not sift through it fast enough to understand what it had found that lead to the events that occurred.
At 10:00 a.m. on Monday morning, the Eye Ball had become fully sentient. According to our video, two of the engineers in the room with the Eye Ball fell to the floor, holding their heads in pain. Presumably, the Eye Ball was emitting a frequency that was causing this. Of course, this is only an assumption based on the sporadic interruption of our video feed that could only be caused by electromagnetic interference. Three other scientists ran inside to assist, but it was too late. It appeared that the Eye Ball could not only cause massive pain, but had found a way to seize control of the minds of the two engineers. I know this may sound far-fetched, but I assure you, we now know these events to be true and accurate.
The engineers first slaughtered the three scientists who had come into the room to help them and then went through the remainder of the facility, murdering the others. We do not know their motivation. What we do know is that they returned to the Eye Ball, picked him up, and left the facility. At that point, all further communications and video were lost.
As you are all aware, over the course of the last few days, there has been a rash of similar murders stretching across the Western half of the United States and it is continuing to grow with potential similarities to some international incidences, too. At each of the murders, the same design of the Eye Ball was carved into the skin of the victims, but there is no evidence as to who committed these attrocities. At the same time, there is also now evidence in the last two days of a cult following calling themselves, ‘The Worshipers of the Eye’, posting on-line with some very disturbing threats against national, and now global, security.
To answer your questions in advance, up until yesterday, not even I knew where the Eye Ball was or what had happened to him. The power grid, and subsequently, the internet, have been unreliable since the start of this incident (which is, also, presumably being caused by the Eye Ball). But, from what we have been able to gather is that the Eye has returned to its home, back to the crystal caverns from where it now gathers its following, and where I was reunited with my son yesterday morning. The Eye Ball was not only the first step in the future of technology, but releasing the power of the underground crystals was also the first step in the future of humanity, or, what will be left of it when we are done.
And, that is why, ladies and gentlemen, is the true reason why we are here, today. So far, you have been given most of the answers you sought, but as promised, in just a few minutes, you will know – everything.
For today is the day that you, too, shall join with us. For today is the day that you shall rise, as leaders of nations, military generals, and as authority figures from around the world, to help spread our wonderful message…”
… The lights at the United Nations speaking hall went dark except for the main screen from which a video and audio feed was broadcast … and only the few moments of screams could be heard inside the tightly shut halls …
Thanks for reading and … Happy Halloween!
“It’s fun to dream … it’s terrifying to BE the dream …” – Me (on narcolepsy); Happy B-Day, Bro, this one goes out to you, too!