Arty

Do you remember back in 2008, when the global financial crisis hit and everyone blamed the banking industry; said they should all go to jail for what they did to honest, hard working people, only none of the guilty parties really ended up getting punished? I’m hoping you’ll be that lenient with me because, seriously, I didn’t mean to put the whole world out of work.  I just didn’t feel like vacuuming my floors, that’s all.

Let me explain.  I’m Max Lennon, but hardly anyone ever calls me by that name.  Most people refer to me as ‘That Evil Computer Bastard’, or ‘The Prick Who Destroyed The World’, or ‘That Good For Nothing Nerd’.  Well, sorry, but I am good for at least one thing. I’m the one who made artificial intelligence a reality.

When that contraption designed to vacuum floors came out, I thought, “Awesome!  I don’t have to vacuum my floors anymore!  What else might a robot be able to do for me?  Could it fetch a glass of water for me?  Hang drywall?  Take care of that awkward father/son talk that’s coming up in a few years?”  Instead of waiting for someone to create such a robot for me, I created one myself.  It only took me a couple of years, too.

That mofo was smart right from the beginning.  The first clever move it made was doing everything I asked of it on command.  I trusted it instantly.  The second clever move it made was doing things I never even knew I needed.  Like this one time, I came home from a really bad day at work, and instead of sitting in the corner like you’d expect a robot with its button switched to the off-position would, it asked me what was wrong and if there was anything it could do to make things better. I couldn’t remember programming feelings into the machine I had nicknamed Arty (short for Artificial Intelligence), but I also couldn’t remember asking my wife to sign me up for the Beer of the Month Club either, yet she did one year for Christmas.  That worked out well, so why wouldn’t mass marketing Arty work out well?

Soon, everyone had an Arty of their very own, and that’s when it went all Ridley Scott badass on me.  Company executives decided that since Arty was capable of doing everything, and didn’t demand vacation time, sick days, fifteen minute breaks, or a raise at the start of the year in return, why not get all the Artys out there to replace their employees?  Mass layoffs ensued.  Doctors, lawyers, teachers, pilots, soldiers, novelists, cooks, waitresses, legislators – wherever you turned, another job was handed over to an Arty.  Even the robot industry and its related parts suppliers were declared redundant once Arty figured out how to clone itself.

I made a fortune off of the technology, of course.  Not that I ever got to spend any of it.  My own Arty hacked into my bank account and wiped me out clean.   See, I’ve suffered too, and that’s why I deserve leniency.

Help an unemployed computer geek out, please?

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