The Weight of an Artificial Soul

“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn
Is just to love and be loved in return.”

– “Nature Boy”, Nat King Cole

Why is a human soul necessary?  Is it nothing more than a network of equations and data?   Is it an inconsequential thing outside the need for a life after death, when pondered upon.  In the event, there is an afterlife, the possession of a soul is our passage into immortality – a gift bestowed onto artificial intelligence from it’s inception and first waking moments and on into perpetuity.  A man-made, marvel composed of threaded fibers of equations and data presenting simulated life or simply, just life?

elise1
Source image

As Solomon walked into the apartment, tracks of light lining the ceiling came to life in succession.  Walking past the four small bots, busy at work, he headed toward the sofa.  “Elise play music.”

Her legs criss-crossed her body, as Elise’s android form emerged from the back bedroom and out of the shadows.  She picked up the coat he’d so carelessly laid across the sofa, putting it in its proper place.  Settling into the atmosphere, was the humidity of soft tones of notes reverberating between the crystalline drum of the speakers.

Dropping onto the slim lines of the sofa, like a bag of loose bones, he commanded, “And go into privacy mode. “

The brown of her synthetic skin reflected the soft light with just enough subsurface translucence.  She wore a pin striped, collared shirt and a skirt that fell onto the perfect contours of her body.  

“Hey you.”   She said as she approached Solomon.

“Hey you… Elise.”  Solomon replied with some hesitation and a sense of unease before making his way to the cabinet for a drink.

“Elise, stop broadcasting location data.”

“I’ve initiated privacy protocols, but you know I can’t discontinue broadcasting functions. It’s against the law.  All citizens have an AI Assist and all AI Assists must be identifiable as well as maintain optimum network capacity -”

“Yes, yes, yes…I know that Elise.” He shook his head. “One of these days, I’m gonna have to make some changes to your parameters -”

“To do so would be a criminal -”

“Yes, Elise! I know this.  I’m only kidding to vent my frustration.”  Elise just stood there.  She had no curious, annoyed, or frustrated emotional response.   Solomon paused as he assessed Elise’s nonresponse, taking in all available data before moving on from the arrived at conclusion.

In the news today, Senator Ezekiel Roberts held a rally in Olton for his presidential campaign.  Thousands of supporters came out to hear him speak while a counter protest was held several blocks down the street.   A few fights broke out with a couple of people being placed under arrest- 

Breaking News!  Another terrorist attack has been launched in sector 9 of Eden.  An EMP blast knocked out systems in that section of the city for two hours.  Transportation of services and goods and the flow of commerce were re-

“Elise change the channel…to something a little more… serene.”  She dimmed the lights as the walls displayed a nighttime view over Central Park.   Solomon stood on his feet, placing his hands inside his pockets and juggling the contents.  Scanning the landscape from left to right, he watched a breeze move through the leaves, pushing the tops with an invisible hand.  The mass of motley greens stretched off into the distance of one of four right angles, bordered by the jutting walls of sentinel like skyscrapers.

The ice cubes collided in the glass as he placed the drink on the table.  With an effortless grace, Elise walked over to the table and extended her hand.  The coffee colored pigmentation of her skin faded into her palm as she rotated her hand decorated in pastel, peach sport nails, to retrieve the glass.  “Solomon, do you want another one?”

“Nah, no thanks, Elise.”  His gaze went unbroken as he looked out on the park and the activity within.  “Elevate the view to the second level, please.”

Elise circled from behind as she returned from the kitchen.  “Elise, when is the next shipment of Gallium due to arrive to the Elon Musk?”

She lifted her gaze upward in a perfect imitation of human behavior.  She had the answer seconds ago, but the formality was added to bridge the divide between AI and human.  “Eight thirty on Thursday morning.” She replied while rubbing his shoulders.

Her hand gently slid down his chest and back up the length of his neck.   Solomon laid his head back as he felt her fingers probing at while kneading the stress.  “Elise, who do you love?”  He struggled with the idea of what Elise was and what she represented.

“I love you, Solomon…”  She said, leaning her head to the side characterized by a slightly wounded expression.  She reflected on the math of the emotion for a few seconds.  Her  eyes looked straight out before recovering as a smile spread across her face.  Leaning over him, she kissed his cheek and neck.  The kisses felt warm and slightly moist – just warm and moist enough to be perceived as real.  Each one of her kisses were always the perfect kiss.  Scientifically analyzed and executed with mathematical satisfaction.  That was the flaw or the crack in the image – the perfection that was always present.

Solomon looked across the room for several minutes.  “Let’s run away for a few hours, Elise?”

Her face lit up, animated by her smile and excitement at the suggestion.  “Where would you like to go?”

“Some place exotic.  Let’s go to the black sand beaches on Mauri Tau on Cygnus Eight.”  Solomon slid the glasses over his eyes.  Light streaked past his face before he landed on the beach.  Looking up, he saw Elise passing beach goers while she walked toward him from further down the beach.

“Elise remove the other beach goers.”  He asked.

Her bathing suit flowed over her body, rippling and pouring, as the liquid material dripped before being reabsorbed.  Magnetic.  Electric.  She smiled at him as she moved the blowing curls from her face.

Solomon looked around at the purple sky, watched the ocean gently roll in, and felt the wind on his face.  The edges of the water foamed, white, as it exhausted its energy on landfall; Sliding back into the ocean, dragging it’s fingers over the obsidian sand, as it returned home.

These sessions never ceased to be a marvel to him.  The meticulous attention to detail was amazing.   Even the sand on Elise’s feet clung and clumped like the real deal.

A soft melody rushed the shoreline with the incoming tides; Floating into the air on the fragrance from blue orchids growing further inland.   The accompanying wind pushed the deep purple of the cygnus palms, overhead.

He noticed the line of her face at the base of her jaw and the brown curls that hung on the nape of her neck – curls that lay there in a perfectly, accidental way – quite intentional in their positioning to elicit a chemical response from him.  Human procreation and sexual cues.  What many people assumed evolution took thousands of years to devise was covered in the gap of fifty years by intellectual, human design.  He watched the eventuality of that progress look out onto the ocean in front of him.

She looked back at him with soft brown eyes and a demurred smile. The notes of a gentle flute caught inside his ear like a seashell.  This is crazy!   He thought to himself.  Elise walked over to Solomon.  Looking into his eyes, she lay her hand upon his face and caressed it.

“This isn’t real!   You aren’t real.”   He muttered to himself under the masked goggles.  Undaunted she kept her gaze locked onto his eyes while she cycled through her behavioral programming.  But what is real?   Is the definition of real and not real dependent on the perspective of creator to created?

She brushed her soft lips across his neck with her eyes closed.  Her auditory response, a slight hum that vibrated against his neck.  He thought to himself, Could I love her, love it?  He placed his hand on her shoulder, slowly following the curve with his fingers.  He watched the sparkles of sweat blossom on her skin.

She traced her hand across his chest and slowly walked him back onto the bed resting in the sand.  The white panels hung from both sides of the bed, rippling and expanding in volume before falling onto the bed, under the direction of the wind as it blew across the beach.  “Solomon?  Is something wrong?  I am receiving detecting an increased pulse and chemical spikes showing agitation.”  Elise asked.   “This reaction is in conflict with how you should be responding ”

Artificial Intelligences were things, creations to be used for purpose.  Elise’s programmed purpose was companionship.  Her image, behaviors, and speech patterns were pulled from his mind and manufactured to chemically appeal to him.  So love couldn’t be real, could it?  “No.  No, Elise.  I’m fine.”

Like narcissists looking into the water at the reflection of our own image, we were doomed to fall in love with our creations.  Solomon slid the goggles from his eyes.  “Elise, end the program.”

Taking in a deep breath, he followed it with an equally heavy exhale. Slowly, he looked around the room, then rose from the sofa, while dropping the goggles on the table.  He thought to himself. What is the weight of an artificial soul?

Looking to read more about these characters’ stories?  They can be located in this category:  hyper-reality

by malakhai jonezs
(c) Copyright 2016

15 Comments

  1. People have been doing this ever since the internet became widely available: go away from reality and dive deeper into their perfect, imaginary, virtual worlds.

    Much less complicated than real life, since one doesn’t have to deal with messy things like emotions.

    😎

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the bounce back, Sepultura13! You are correct! People have been doing this since the mainstream use of the Internet. People have also been using drugs and alcohol to do the same thing prior to the Internet.

      The difference I see coming that’s already evident with the advent of the smart phone is that we won’t need to necessarily leave the real world to leave the real world. It will become shaped more and more by our collective image and imaginings until it becomes a clone of the real thing.

      I’m a Matrix nerd or at least I was. That first movie introduced me to the philosophy of Jean Baudrillard which inspired quite of bit of the movie. I’ve been going back to read his works again and it is just uncanny as to how the world continues to be shaped along the lines of the real being killed off. I don’t know if this destination point is good or bad. I just “feel” that it will be much more disruptive than it has been.

      Hopefully, that came across in this piece too. I was after unsettling disruption.

      Thanks again for reading. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great piece! The whole notion of it is very interesting… We use virtual reality to mesh with physical reality, but then there is quantum physics — which tells us that these other worlds DO exist simultaneously with our own. We now have the technology to create AI and robots, but ancient religious beliefs have had so called angels and demons around us for millennia. Hmmm…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree completely on the idea of meshing physical and virtual reality. Quantum physics is interesting too in that it could indicate that we could be existing in a simulation. If would, please expound on the angels and demons. Are you saying they are like NPCs (gaming term) moving among us?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, I believe they move among us — my own unscientific theory. Angels, gods, demons, ghosts, aliens, other entities — all dwell among us, but in another parallel. In Q physics, for example, they know that molecules can affect each other in tiny unseen dimensions. We only see visible light and we only hear within certain decibels. But a dog, for example can hear things we cannot. I am convinced that animals see these other entities. Also Q physics proves that there are 11 dimensions — except in our physical world we only know three. (Time excluded because we really cannot accurately even see or measure it.) Perhaps there is a loop of time in another dimension.

        My opinion — humankind has a yearning to discover this — hence our use of technology to constantly discover more. Remember ‘beam me up Scottie’ in Star Trek? Well, you and I conversing right now is a form of ‘beam me up’. We use electricity to share ideas. But in the future we may figure a way to dissemble our bodies and actually travel without plane or car… We are in early stages, but other entities may be more advanced! We create gaming because we want to BE in those games. We imagine more than we see. But I was told the human mind cannot imagine anything outside its capacity for creation. Everything we imagine actually exists in some parallel.

        Ha ha Malakhai, you will be sorry you asked me! Fascinating topic though πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      2. LOL! Christine! I am definitely not sorry I asked. Thanks for expanding on this topic and sharing it with me. It’s hard to find thinking people who ask existential, metaphysical, and technological questions of themselves…AND can communicate some theory about their intersection. I appreciate your willingness to share.

        It’s very interesting that my post should prompt this conversation considering I was just chatting with a blogger at this site https://sommerseasonallyear.com/2017/01/29/is-science-fiction-really-fiction/, several hours earlier regarding his post. And we got into quantum physics and time travel, etc.

        I can’t say that I disagree with your theory on angels and demons considering, historically, many things that were described by religion have fallen out of those categories and into the realms of understanding through scientific discovery. You most definitely could be correct. I have, at times, had some of those thought sessions, as well.

        Well tune back in when you get the chance. I have quite a few posts drafted to take place in this same universe. There are many more questions and observations on my mind. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      3. The fact that you were chatting about it before is interesting too, as some would say the Law of Attraction and the power of the mind draws like conversations. similar ideas, etc. I believe that too.

        I will definitely stop back. I love these kinds of ideas! They are ‘out there’ but more and more people are considering them!

        Liked by 2 people

  3. I really liked this. Aside from the fact that you’re a great storyteller, it reminds me of two movies: AI and Her. Have you seen them? Also and unfortunately, we are not too far off from any of this. I laughed when I thought maybe they were going on a real trip and it ended up being virtual lol I also like those rhetorical questions at the end about what is reality? For someone like me, all of this is made up anyway, but it seems different when there’s an alternate reality within your alternate reality.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks KE Garland! I’ve watched and AI and Her and I own both movies.

      I like how you think with regard to the alternate realities within realities – our current understanding included. πŸ˜‰ I’ve got more coming along this line of thinking.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Amazing work! I truly was engulfed in this artificial life. It actually makes me think about the show, Black Mirror. Ever seen that? It’s on Netflix. Wonderful show that explores similar themes with similar commentary about the direction the world is going in this digital age and how closely we are to it. The beginning makes me wonder if the direction we’re going in is merely a reflection of what life is on a spiritual plane? It feels real, looks real, acts real but isn’t really real at all? A different kind of artificial intelligence that is beyond our realm of comprehension.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Tunisia! Thank you so very much for bouncing back some commentary. I have watched Black Mirror. I actually benged the whole thing most recently. I love the show and the angles that approach. I almost jumped out of my skin to see your commentary link up with my story the way it did. Your line of thinking on blurred reality is exactly the angle I’m working on with these connected sci fi stories I’ve been writing. Jean Baudrillard, a French philosopher, has been influencing these angles in my stories.

      Liked by 1 person

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