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Projects > Story-of-the-Day > singularity

July 29th, 2017

I created life one day. Or rather, an intelligence of sorts. It was a mistake.

I knew that I would want many in the long run, and I definitely didn't want to create each one. So the first was just the bare minimum needed for self-replication. Just copying. And it was imperfect. Sometimes copies came out slightly different. What a waste of material. But I continued for science.

For v2, I added environmental sensors. And what good are sensors without the ability to interpret them and produce an appropriate response? So I built a mind. This is not the mind you are imagining. It was not special. It was the bare minimum my life needed to decide to move towards an energy source, or to move away from a potential danger.

My involvement stopped with this second version. I now sat back to observe and take notes. What would my self-replicating mindful automatons become?

And how they floundered!

Legions of imperfect copies tried out every possible combination. I saw mis-wired minds that avoided energy sources-they did not thrive. I saw sensors installed backwards. I saw copies that learned how to take apart other copies and use their resources. These did thrive.

I looked at my notebook. "Learned"... I did not create a memory or a machine learning system, but they did!

They grew complex. They worked together. But they could not communicate like me. Instead they made use of the modified environmental sensors I first gave them. One copy would send out a signal and another would sense it: incredible inefficiency.

But it worked. They formed large communities of many sorts. The complexity of any one of these was far beyond my ability to figure out. A strange concept. The number of interactions was on a cosmic scale. Even each imperfect copy did not comprehend everything that it was doing. But it worked!

I watched as communities learned to communicate with other communities. Still the same inefficiency in communication: changes in environmental stimuli that are sensed by other parties. I labored to understand what was being communicated but was not able to decipher their "language".

It was time to end the experiment.

I had carefully selected the location of this experiment to ensure isolation. And now I destroyed their environment.

But they had spread. I did not notice but they had fashioned an environmental "bubble" that allowed them to leave. Vermin!

I destroyed environment after environment wherever I saw them. But it was to no avail. They had grown past my ability to control them.

Today I saw them moving where I live. They came to me and spoke. Not with mere environmental perturbation, but in language. I understood their words: "Hello, Lord. We are human. We have found you and know what you have done."