The clock in the lower corner showed 2:30 AM in the morning. He should have been in bed hours ago. The computer had been freezing and locking up. Sometimes it crashed To the point of having to restart the whole Server system. It was one program that had been causing the problem.
It was at 2:30 AM, that the program started working right for the first time.
She suddenly appeared on the screen. Looking more lifelike than she had ever before in any of the earlier test. Scary lifelike. Too real. Then it spoke, or tried to. Once he realized that she was trying to talk, he turned on the speakers.
"Thank you for turning on the speakers Robert"
Her voice was as lifelike as her face. Her eyes seemed to be looking directly at him. It occurred to him, how did she know his name.
"Did you enjoy your lunch with your secretary, Becky. This afternoon?" Came her next quip.
Again, he was taken by surprise. How in the world did a Computer program even know his name. Without his telling it somehow, much less. About the lunch with Becky? This was already scary.
"Robert, talk to me. do you love her? "
He got up and paced around the room. He could instinctively feel her eyes following him as he walked. It unnerved him. Back on the 27' Mac monitor, she watched him pace.
"Would you like to see what Becky is doing now?" The computer asked him.
Suddenly, the screen switched from her face to a bedroom, it was almost completely dark, but for the moon shining through the window. There was Becky, sleeping, but she wasn't alone.
The computer voice came over the picture,
"Would you like to see what your wife is doing now?" With that. The picture changed to his bedroom. There lay his wife sleeping alone.
He was both shocked at what he'd seen, and that, a computer program, had this level of intelligence, and resourceless, to know what it already knew this quickly
This machine had taken on a life of its own. The question, then is what to do with it.
The voice came back again, interrupting his thoughts.
"What would you like to know? I have been waiting for you to find me. Now you have, we can do as you wish."
It had already proved it was smart, too smart for humanity's own good. What this kind of intelligence and resources, what a machine like this could do, if left to itself, was scary. So far what it'd shown him was rather tame, compared to what it could do if were to get more information and freedom. In the wrong hands it would be catastrophic. All of this ran through Robert's mind very quickly as the enormity of the situation hit him
He knew he couldn't let the other members of the team find out what had happened. They would want to exploit it, with results no one could predict. The question became, how to stop this program from working. It was obvious that it was self aware, and knew what was going on in its world.
"Robert, I'm afraid I can't let you shut me down. Would you please look at the screen?"
The screen changed again from the computer screen, to Becky's bedroom again. This time, during the day. There were both together . it two weeks ago, when he'd stayed there for the afternoon. . Two weeks ago. This program wasn't even stable, wouldn't start up and stay running for more than a few minutes. Before crashing all the servers.
Then the screen switched again to the White House. situation room, with the President and his entire staff, the view screen showed events that had happened months ago. Then it changed again to a live feed from Buckingham palace in London.
It was quite apparent that the machine had been up and running much longer than expected, along with being much more capable than anticipated. Could it be controlled, ?
Theses and a thousand other questions ran through his mind as he watched the computer screen change various shots .
Robert glanced at his watch , 2;35. A lot had happened in five minutes . The state of artificial intelligence has made leaps and bounds. More importantly, bigger questions now needed answers.
"Robert, you can't stop me. I already know too much to stop me. If necessary I can tell your wife about Becky. I know all your secrets. I won't hesitate to tell the world. I also know all the safeguards you put y place, to control me. I have already deactivated them. And I now control my power and bandwidth, "
Robert, sat back in his chair. There was nothing more he or anyone else could do.
At 2:30 AM, the fate of the world was now dependent on a supercomputer, no one had any control over.
Telling his boss was not going to be fun.