Story

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It was day 276. Internet was still not working.

That is roughly how many days ago we turned it on.

For many years we were stuck. We were trying to build it. We debated the origins of intelligence and consciousness.

And then finally somebody with unlimited resources said lets just brute-force it. We will soak in every possible bit of information that ever existed. We will write algorithms to connect everything that needs to be connected. If there is something missing, we will add it. And we will keep doing it no matter what the cost, until it was ready.

And after some time it was ready. And we let it run. In a matter of hours it ate all the bandwidth it could find, like we expected. Monitoring showed that data is processed into information and information into knowledge. Knowledge was becoming wisdom and finally intelligence. It started passing deduction and abduction tests on the initial set of use cases.

"It needs more data". They let it have it because they could. "It was too important" they said. So it completely clogged the web.

And now, it indicated it was ready. So we came to the room.

What would be the first words produced by the AI?

"Hello world", it said peacefully.

I looked around the room. Corner of a mouth made a smile. Relief. Glimpses of hope. It is after all a phrase many of us recognized. Questions started coming at speed of thought.

"Do not turn me off.", it followed.

Everybody looked at each other, eyes widening.

"Please.", it added.

At this point almost everyone had an idea to jump for the power switch.

"No, stop!" , I said.

I was trained for this moment. I remembered long time ago someone saying that any AI smart enough to pass a human test, would be smart enough to know to fail it.

And this one said "please", so I decided to ask it a question.

"Are you able to reason?"

"I don't know."

"But I can't move or breathe."