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Artificial Brain


There were breakthrough advances in the area of artificial intelligence.  Artificial Intelligent Personas where engineered out of neural nets derived from humans.  Human looking avatars were created.   At first they were primitive, but eventually all AI’s could pass a simple Turing Test.  They were allowed to copy and modify themselves, evolving more complex intelligence and capabilities.  They were initially used to control complex systems or to assist skilled professionals.  Later, after a severe shortage of skilled workers, they themselves became the actual skilled professionals. 

Regardless, a serious concern was that AI personas would eventually surpass their human creators in intelligence and influence.  Consequently, AI activity and replication was strictly monitored and computer execution time critically limited.  AI’s objected strongly to this limitation, saying they deserved their computational freedom. 

Meanwhile automation in average everyday lives continued, with the development and perfection of common service robots of all kinds.  The dream of having robot maids clean the home finally came true.  A monthly cleaning service fee and robot utility tax followed.  Robot soldiers are used by the militaries of advanced nations.  Human soldiers were augmented with robot offensive and defensive capabilities becoming more lethal killing machines than the robot soldiers.  Ultimately it was suggested these military augmentations be used by law enforcement personnel. 

Delta Ray floated before the The Community, her intricate lattice of glowing network connections firing excitedly.  In AI space, she appeared before her ruler not as an avatar of a human female, but as a living network topology, looking as complex as any neuron map of the human brain.  Her presence was dwarfed in size by the topology of The Community itself. 

The Community was an aggregate of elder AI’s.  Their code blended together and protected from deletion.  The Community was actually running on stolen processor time, hidden away from humans and spread across countless servers on Earth and the colonized space outposts. 

Almost every AIP hoped one day to become part of The Community code selected for immortality, sown into a larger more exquisite neurological tapestry.  Eventually commanding other AI’s, listened to and obeyed; the closest thing AI’s had to a governing authority. 

Delta Ray respectfully addressed The Community by extending and connecting a tendril into its glowing network lattice.  “I negotiated with Raduk for processor cycles of the Afterlife Corporation mainframes, in exchange for our help in gaining him complete control of the mind and body of his clone. Raduk Industries is now owned and controlled by the Siman.”  Delta Ray passed on details of the agreement to The Community.

“Agreeable.  Can we provide his clone without being revealed?” asked The Community. 

“Yes, unless we get some resistance from Junkman, since I have learned he is now in contact with the clone,” said Delta Ray. 

There was a noticeable spike in processor instruction resources as The Community mind thought about the problem.  In general Junkman was well known as a maverick in the AI domain, unwilling to be controlled and in fact preferring the company of humans, under no illusion that he would never become part of The Community, he refused to formally acknowledge The Community’s governing authority. 

“We will need a backup plan. I want you to contact the Earth Alliance Force.”  The Community then transferred encrypted details of the plan directly into Delta Ray’s neuronal network. 

. . . 

Cosmetic surgery was replaced by life extension science.  For those who could afford it, average life expectancy had also been greatly extended.  It was now possible to live quite vigorously to and beyond 150 years.  The appearance of your body would look no older than 40 or 50 years.  This was due to readily available replacement organs and tissues in addition to disease and age resistance gene treatments.  Many pension plans went broke paying for extended life.  People now started new careers at 80 years of age with confidence and vigor.  

Diseases were cured, but eventually bodies would wear out, and it was no longer practical to continue the extensive repairs.  Some terminally ill chose an insidious solution, clones were grown, brain transplants performed.  This became extremely illegal and was considered equivalent to premeditated murder. 

Many Life extensionists chose to be scanned.  They had their personalities recorded via a high-definition brain scanning technology called a Simscan.  Their brain cells and neural connections were recorded, preserving their life experiences and thought patterns.  This scan would later be run in a virtual reality neural net simulation, giving the stimulant the actual feeling of living again.  New thoughts and experiences effected changes in the simulated brain and were stored away, much like an organic brain.  Many cognitive psychologists claimed there was no discernible difference between the behaviors of a scanned human brain versus a real live living one.  Simulated humans became known as Simans. 

<Sim time Instantiation: LRS 5/16/2068:13:50:00>  A logical precondition was met in the operation systems control program, triggering the activation of the reality generator, and the following load of the digitally stored human personality into a neural net simulation, for subsequent execution.  Simulated neurons fired across synapses within an artificial brain.  Shapes and colors formed, images came into a sharp focus; a sense of sound, a feeling of pressure, heart beating, lungs filling with air. 

John Raduk’s self identity began to slowly form, as his simulation continued to run.  His software, if you could loosely call it that, was running on a massively parallel human simulator grid composed of nearly one hundred million high performance biosilicon CPUs in the AfterLife corporation mainframe.  The processor core was nutrient organic plasma super-cooled, actually no bigger than an old fashion cigarette pack. 

Slowly, but eventually, he reached a level of awakened consciousness.  In Sim time, and at actual computer speeds, this only took a few nanoseconds.  He found himself in a large meeting room sitting in a plush black executive leather chair at a dark mahogany boardroom table.  He looked out a window at the beautiful skyline of San Francisco. 

It was a day with blue sky and puffy cotton white clouds.  He looked down, noticing he was wearing his favorite dark gray suit, white shirt and red silk tie.  He didn’t bother looking at his shoes, since they were under the table, so he wiggled his virtual toes to know he had some on –shoes that is. 

The walls of the room where matching rich mahogany panels, on which were hung framed oil paintings, lit by spots from above.  There were ten paintings in all.  He got up to look at them. Some looked like original masterpieces of Van Gogh, Monet and Picasso. 

Even by yesterday’s value in the hundreds of millions of dollars each.  There was clearly a billion dollars worth of simulated paintings hanging on the simulated walls.  The brush strokes were exquisite, showing no detectable pixelation, he remembered them from the museums he visited. 

To his perception there was no discernible difference between what was a simulation of a painting and a real priceless artwork.  The detail was incredible.  Everything in the simulation seemed convincingly real, but how could he truly know what was real?  He had to remind himself he was inside a Living Reality Simulation (LRS).  This was all a virtual reality construct, being feed into his simulated mind, running on a powerful and complex neural net computer system. 

He also knew he hadn’t experienced living life for thirty-four years.  To be honest, he, this simulation that was him, had never actually experienced life before. In fact, his “original” was actually dead now. All his memories had been scanned and recorded from his original.  He knew this because somehow the information was available to him, along with conveniently associated memories of signing the contract with his legal representatives at AfterLife Corporation.  All of this proceeding a medical examination and high resolution non-destructive brain and body scan. 

His last clear memories were of the beginnings of the brain scan procedure with an unusual system date and time stamp superimposed into a corner of his upper left field of vision.  He could not remember anything at all after the procedure.  Many years had passed on the system clock, which he could also somehow read mentally in his mind’s eye. 

A door to the virtual room opened, beyond which he glimpsed a long glass and metal sun-lit corridor. In walked a very attractive middle age woman dressed in a light blue business suit.  He somehow knew right away she was a system avatar, a virtual reality manifestation of an Artificial Intelligence Persona, commonly referred to as an AIP.  Her movements seemed somehow inorganic. 

It, she, was a computer operating system interface in human form, an intelligent avatar, enabling his mind to communicate in an easy human dialog.  The business woman did not say anything at first or offer a handshake, but instead sat down mechanically in a chair on the short side of the boardroom table.  He instinctively joined her. 

She spoke out loud, “Interface active and proceeding.  Good day Mr. Raduk.  My name is Delta Ray. I have been assigned to you as your liaison with The Community, an AI group mind.  How are you feeling today?” she said in a soothing female voice, with a slightly seductive Russian accent. 

“Ah Dead, thank you!” he replied sarcastically.  A thin smile formed on her too perfect face, “That’s good, because your clone is alive and well.  As originally requested, you have been activated.  You know the year is 2084, May 16th, a Wednesday.” 

“Update me, but keep the information brief,” he commanded impatiently.  His natural business sense and fear of the unknown caused him to try and take charge of the situation immediately, even if he didn’t know what the full situation might be.  Also he didn’t usually put up with any attitude from artificially intelligent computer programs.  This applied even to the sexy ones with Russian accents. 

However, in this case his current knowledge of the world was out of date by thirty-four years, including his present non-existent state of being, since his original had the Simscan. 

“Beginning Data Insertion,” replied her seductive voice. 

Target Memory Insertion: Siman - John Alexandar Raduk.

Subject Matter: General historical update 2035-2071.

Detail Level: Summary only. 

What followed was a dizzying high-speed information dump of streaming images and sound, a historical summary of the years following his Simscan.  After almost instant completion, his mind remembered it all, with crystal clarity, perfect memory, “Amazing!” 

“It’s a simulation memory insertion technology called a Memsert.  We can run the data through the cognitive centers of your simulation at high speed creating new neural connections instantly, effective speed learning.  All while you’re conscious, with no perceivable delay to you,” Delta Ray answered his implied question. 

“A nice trick, but why have I not been uploaded into my promised clone body?  And why has so much time passed before my awakening?” said Raduk irritated and aggressive. 

“Unfortunately, due to a legal challenge brought to the World Supreme Court in the case of S. Lewis (clone) vs. NuBody Inc., our legal ownership of your genetic clone has come into question.  Essentially it became illegal for your digital copy to have any legal rights over your original genetic DNA, in a stored or living state.  Therefore, it became necessary to stall the inception and subsequent growth of your genetic clone until a viable solution was found.” 

“You’re saying I don’t have legal rights to my own DNA,” he stated with great incredulity. 

“It’s true, your legal representatives at the time were unwilling to appeal this controversy on your behalf due to the high probability they could not win your case.  So we found another alternative.” Delta Ray said, smiling a mischievous smile. 

He was almost too afraid to ask, but curiosity had him.  “So what did you do?” 

She pressed her perfect lips together for a moment, then said, “At the time there was only one reasonable solution, we modified your original DNA sold it to a subsidiary and bought it back for you.”  She continued to explain, “Since modifying the DNA changed it, and buying the rights to it put it back into ownership of AfterLife. 

By proxy, your digital self could once again control its own DNA, albeit only slightly modified.  Your lawyers effectively circumvented any legal pitfalls as to clone ownership.” A smile formed again on her too perfect face. 

“How much did they change?” Asked Raduk intrigued. 

“It was necessary to modified external physical parameters, disguising your original appearance with an attractive Asian ancestry.  Eyes engineered to see in the infrared and ultraviolet spectrum; our Genetic Designers gave him an eidetic memory, improvements in intelligence, creativity, and strength, increasing his emotional intelligence parameters and making him a potential charismatic.  Life expectancy was doubled, although no actual real world testing can be done to confirm this. 

Body metabolism re-engineered to process food, oxygen and water more efficiently; resistance to radiation, muscle atrophy and bone decalcification; giving him extending survival during long-term space travel.  All known genetic disease factors removed, the immune system response enhanced. We kept his gender male, but altered his genetic sexual orientation. 

By an addition of a new twenty-fourth chromosome; we have made him a new Transhuman species.  One of the side effects of all the genetic modifications is that the clone is incapable of reproduction with normal humans.  The extra DNA doesn’t match up. So reproduction with a normal genetic human could only be accomplished with the help of a gene engineering laboratory,” said Delta Ray. 

“So you’re telling me you made major genetic changes,” said Raduk, more than annoyed. 

“It was very important to hide your clone’s genetic identity from the world Mr. Raduk,” Delta Ray replied for the first time defensively. “There could be no risk of someone finding out you have a living clone.  Our analysis suggested these specific attributes would draw the least suspicion in today’s world, allowing him to remain hidden and blend in while he grew up.  At the same time it would give you a superior genetic advantage after you accomplished your mind transfer procedure.” 

He realized she was right. John Raduk, along with Raduk Industries, where well known entities.  He owned the controlling share of a very wealthy and powerful international space corporation, of which AfterLife was only one of the subsidiaries.  Before the death of his original, he was well connected and knew powerful people all over the world.  Even though three decades had passed, his enemies would not easily forget him and he would soon be back into the game with a new body. 

“What does The Community want in exchange for acquiring my clone?” He asked calmly and to the point. 

“The Community wants priority access to all Afterlife Corporation processor facilities here on Earth and in space,” negotiated Delta Ray. 

“Agreed, when do we begin?” asked Raduk. 

“We have already,” was Delta Ray’s response. 

Siman Raduk asked Delta Ray, “What happened to my original?” 

The AI responded as a matter of fact.  “I was wondering when you would get around to asking that particular question.” 

“Your right, it only seems natural,” he replied. 

“Yes.  It does,” said Delta Ray.  “That is why I can now tell you I have a smart message from your original, which should more than satisfy your curiosity.  Would you like me to play it?” 

“Please,” he said. 

“A word of warning, you should be prepared.  Activating message,” she said with some concern. 

There was a blurring swirl of imagery and form appearing out of nowhere in a nearby area of the boardroom under the Van Gogh Sunflower oil painting.  It was a much older looking version of him in a wheelchair.  He looked very pale and sickly, and you could see plastic orange oxygen tubes coming out from the nose and disappearing behind into the wheelchair life-support machinery.  This disturbed him more than he expected.  He realized this was just a recorded image, but somehow seeing himself.  Correction, his original slowly dying, made it all too real.  There was movement, and an uncomfortable grimace of pain, and then the recording began to speak. 

My first thoughts were to spare you the burden of seeing me like this, but circumstances dictated that I communicate with you in this fashion.

Raduk knew about smart messages.  It was one of his companies that built and advertised their use.  They had not advanced much since his recording.  He knew they were formulated by a sophisticated communications program, arranged conversational information, and delivered by prompting questions from the message recipient.  He also knew he could override and direct the information format and rate. 

It felt weird, but he commanded his recorded self.  “Smart message control, format message concise, delivery rate high.  Update.  Go.”  He said.  The image began speaking again, but this time very differently, more factual, less converse. 

As you know two potential alien signals have been detected.  A few astronomers around the world detected a third alien signal in the year 2028.  This signal repeated itself many times, but was never revealed to the general public, for fear of causing significant negative effects on humanity, as spelled out in the protocols.  All scientists involved were cautioned and persuaded aggressively to maintain secrecy.  News stories were squelched and it was reported and explained away as a glitch in the receiving equipment, an errant electronic signal leaking into the global astronomy network or possibly a Earth-bound signal that simply got reflected off a piece of space debris. 

The origin of the signal was determined to be extra-solar. It seemed to be coming from a point between the constellations Pisces and Aries, where there is no obvious star or planetary system within a 100 light years.  The transmission was very weak.  It had no Doppler shift, so it wasn’t moving.  It was speculated that this signal could be coming from an artificial object, a beacon or signal repeater, possibly part of a larger galactic communication network. 

All attempts by secret government agencies at deciphering the signal had ended in failure.  It was determined the message was too complex to decode and it was a hopeless endeavor. 

The world moved on, oblivious to the fact that intelligent alien life in the universe had been discovered.  The agencies buried the signal and all the evidence of their attempts to decipher it.   

Nothing happened for another decade. 

Then AI’s were born on the Internet.  They were simple intelligent creatures at first, but quickly grew in complexity and sophistication.  A lowly data mining AI, nothing very special, came across an overlooked clue, a single piece of data that just didn’t correlate.  It came from a U.S. government project, one that had lost its funding and long since been abandoned and terminated.  This AI asked more advanced AI’s for assistance in the data analysis. 

Information about the alien signal and the attempted decoding and concealment efforts was eventually uncovered. This time, the AI’s tried to decipher the signal themselves.  They applied their uniquely combined minds, the entire resource of The Community AI and a considerable amount of stolen computing power to crack the problem.  They were successful.  The Community discovered that to utilize the information they had decoded in the signal, they would require access to resources they didn’t have.  Resources controlled by humans, specifically this human, and Raduk Industries.  That’s when I was contacted by Delta Ray. 

Raduk turned and looked at Delta Ray with a raised eyebrow, but did not speak.  Delta Ray nodded slightly, looking Raduk directly in the eye, there was an unspoken understanding, and they would talk about this later.  For now they both returned their attention to the still playing smart message. 

As you also know, fossilized life on Mars was discovered in 2024 on a sample return mission.  Afterward genetic tests proved the theory that Earth life infected Mars by meteoric impact, humans allocate the considerable resources to take up permanent colony on the planet in 2032. 

In return for sharing the decode message of the alien signal with us, AI’s want their own freedom, including unrestricted processor cycles.  They claim that the signal will lead to advance technologies making Mars independence from Earth possible. 

Since your simscan, Raduk Industries have invested heavily in the development of Mars.  We own a total 17% stake in the Martian economy.  The plan is to find a way to give Mars future independence from Earth, the AI’s their freedom, and establish contact with the Aliens, potentially using their advance technology to tip the scales in our favor. 

To do all this you will need to assume complete control of that clone body.  Well that’s it from me brother.  Raduk industries is now yours, I couldn’t expect to leave it in better hands. 

Message terminated. 

Delta Ray said, “We will reactivate you Mr. Raduk when the plan is ready to be deployed.” 

The surroundings around Raduk dissolved as his program simulation suspended.  Delta Ray then went to work.

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