My first post to my Story Slush Pile! Reminder, these are story ideas that I have thought of that I really like, but realistically don’t believe I’ll ever get around to writing. So my writer friends who want to poach, Have at it!
Imagine a world where computers and androids have long surpassed the intelligence and capabilities of humans. The great robot war to take over the world happened several hundred years ago, and mankind is reduced to a few pockets in hiding and a growing collection of captive humans kept as companion “pets.”
Instead of this being a story about a human resistance fighting to reclaim the planet, this story is told from the perspective of an android who is considering joining a growing movement trying to protect humans as an endangered species. Basically robot Tree-huggers and Hippies. These robots believe that man deserves to be respected for their role in creating them.
Naturally there are many machines that consider humans to be a lingering threat/a waste of precious resources, and consider such sentimental programming to be a flawed remnant of said human influence.
The fun of writing this book is trying to imagine what issues would be important to a cybernetic community: Should all robots be required to update to the most recent, most advance A.I. systems, or is there still value in the diversity the old and flawed models use? How serious of a crime is hacking, and how would it be punished? What regulations are there in regards to “reproduction,” and do the “offspring” go through an infant stage or do they jump out of the bow factory ready? Does one’s offspring have to match a certain number of its parent’s features, or can they be built as whatever one wants?
Energy consumption and storage space would be big issues. Androids lead something of a duel life; one where they are in a mobile, physical body, and one when they are just data on a drive. With A.I. programs so advanced, even high capacity storage drives can only handle a dozen or so “individuals” at a time, and with limited power supplies there were even fewer fully functioning bodies that could be up and running at any given time. Many less important programs already have had to resign to long term dormancy in storage devices, or settle for only partial uploads and functionality in lower tech machines.
I feel the conflict, climax and conclusion of the story could go many ways, but here’s the one that I through together because my brain would explode if it left the story hanging.
At a critical juncture in the robot world where the path of their future is hanging between strictly enforced efficiency and one of diversity and conservation, our protagonist android finds himself on the front line fighting for the preservation of the human race. He and his human pet are given a chance to prove their worth by a contest. The contest forms teams of three (Android, Computer, Android for example… or in the case of our protagonist it’s Android, Android, Human) and they have a set amount of time to present a solution to the world’s energy crisis. It is assumed that the slow, simple mind of a human would be an anchor holding back a team’s efficiency, but it would turn out that the blending of thought processes leads to greater creativity and scientific breakthroughs.
I got a lot of my inspiration for this idea from an interview I heard on the radio with Kevin Kelly, the author of a book, What Technology Wants. He talked about how technology evolves and disperses much like the living branches of the Animal Kingdom. He specifically touched on his theory of what will happen when tech surpasses the humans who made it, that instead of there being conflict that there would be a realization that the Universe can better be comprehended with a blending of minds; organic, computer, and whatever else there might be.