Categories > Original > Sci-Fi

AI Blues

by jadiesama 0 reviews

The story of a girl and her computer's AI.

Category: Sci-Fi - Rating: PG - Genres: Humor - Published: 2005-05-07 - Updated: 2005-05-08 - 1304 words - Complete

I wrote this about a year ago for a class assignment. Heavily inspired by Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, the Sirius Cybernetics company, and a girl from said class who aggrivated everyone.

When I started college I thought an AI computer would be great to get more done. Two years later I wonder what I did wrong to deserve such torture.

"Devi! You've got mail!" Metis squeaked.
What incredible timing! I was just about to bid on a 100 gigabyte iPod for a fraction of its $2000 price tag, when Metis, the computer AI, interrupted me for what was probably spam.

"Metis, if this is spam..."

"No no! It's not spam! It's an email from...umm...your Aunt Judy!" I don't have an Aunt Judy.

"...It's spam isn't it?"

"Well...yes. I'm sorry."

This wasn't the first time she had ever interrupted me. I started to loose count when I tried seven times to bid on a sandal wood statue of Lord Krishna. I was out bid every time, and usually because I was interrupted by announcements of when my next thesis paper was due, or reports that I had five emails regarding Russian mail-order brides.

"Ya'know Metis, I told you last time not to interrupt me when I'm bidding on eBay."

"I know, but I thought it was important this time!"

I stared at the monitor with absolute disbelief. "Really? What was it about?"

"Umm...Somebody wanting to show you their pictures."

"Metis, that's spam. In fact, that's porn spam."


Metis wasn't always like this. You see my room mate from last year had a laptop that three days into the semester killed itself because she was, and probably still is, completely and totally computer illiterate. So she opted to use my computer, and miraculously changed all the settings on the AI, so instead of Metis being lax, and looking very much like Jimmy Cagney when I activated the program's visual aspects, it was now an exceedingly hyper, squeaky-voiced female, which defied the term "Artificial Intelligence". I've come across cucumber rolls with more brains.

A window in the corner of the monitor popped up with Metis' current appearance inside. A white girl with long, sickeningly pink hair, and eyes the color of yellow highlighters. A smile was plastered onto her digital face. I found her appealing as a dead gerbil.

"So Devi," she squeaked. "What'cha bidding on?"

"An iPod."

She made an exasperated face. "Again? Why don't you buy one?"

She opened a new window with the Apple website, making sure to point out the advertisement for the brand new 100 gigabyte iPods.

"See? You can just buy one!"

"Hey, that's a great idea! I'll just pull two grand out of my back pocket and get one on the spot!"

"Really?" She piped. I was amazed at the fact that I said the exact same thing not three weeks ago.

"No." I said, sending all her hopes and dreams down the toilet. "You really have no concept of money, do you?"

"Well no..."

I shrugged and had her open up Word. I had a paper to finish.

"Metis, steno mode please." I asked and began.

"Therefore it is all but impossible to-" I was cut short by Metis yet again interrupting me. If it was another spam report I was going to take a ball peen hammer to the hard drive.

"Yes, Metis."

"There's another Krishna thingy up for sale."

Finally some good news for once.

"Show me."

Up came a window showing Lord Krishna in all his glory, cast in bronze. At thirty dollars it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.

"I don't know what the big deal is. It's just some guy with a flute." Metis complained.

"You wouldn't because you're a machine. The only gods you could worship are men who sit in cubicles and binary.
"It's pretty ugly if you ask me."

It was that one comment that broke my tolerance for the little ingrate. I didn't expect her to not understand what religion was, but to say it looks ugly, that killed me. I left the room and made a beeline for the RA, a computer science engineer major and the only person I could ask about changing an AI. Thank the stars she was in.

"Hi, Dev, what's up?"

"Trish, I've just about had it with my AI."

She let out a "Come in." like she knew what I was going through.

"The Metis system is a bit buggy."

She led me into her room. The whole dorm was hers, and she took full advantage of it. Half the room was devoted to a huge computer; the
other half had everything else.

"No kidding. I don't want it gone, I just want it back to the way I had it."

"That's not too hard. All you have to do is change the preferences."

"I know that, but I can't because they're locked."

"Ah. That might be a bit of a problem. You're in luck though. I know how to fix it."


"Yep. I'll unlock it for you."

"You're a godsend, Trish."

"No, I'm just Trish."

I returned to my room, my secret weapon against Metis in my pocket. It was so simple, i don't know why I didn't do this before!

"Metis." no answer. I stared at fish as they swam along on screen saver mode. "Metis." I said again, slightly louder. "Metis!" I yelled. This time she awoke.

"Eep! Yes?" She squeaked.

"I have a surprise for you."


"Really really."

"Wow! You never give me surprises! Is it an upgrade?"

"You could call it that." I took out the slip of paper with Trish's directions. "Metis, would you please move the Metis AI program to the trash?"

"I can't do that." She said, and for the first time ever she said it with a calm tone in her voice.

"And why not?"

"Because then I would die."

"You can't die. You are a machine. Hell, you're not even a machine. You're a program. A useless one at that. So move the program into the trash."

"I won't! I can't die!"

"You will, and you won't die. You're not living. And if you're not going to do it, I'll do it for you." And that's when Trish's directions came into use.

The thing that most people don't know about AI, including myself, is that it is just a program. It opens automatically when the computer is booted up, so most thing that it is an integral part of the system, when in fact it's only an ad-on the computer companies put on the machines.

"No!" Metis pleaded. "Stop! You can't do this!"

I dragged the Metis icon into the trash. "Devi please!"

I opened a menu. "For the love of Gates, NO!"

I highlighted 'empty trash'. "PLEASE! DE-"

The pleading and crying ended. Metis was gone.

"Devi, you won the bid on eBay." Metis said.

"About time. Which one?" I asked.

"The Krishna statue. Would you like me to bring up the window?"

"No. I'll check it later."

"Alrighty." He said and closed his window. This was the Metis I liked. He still was not all that bright, but at least he asked before he did anything. "Is there anything else I can do for you?"

"No I'll be fine."

When I started college I thought an AI computer would be great to get more done. Two years later I still think it is a pretty neat idea.
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