This forecast for 2017 was written almost 20 years ago. Let’s revisit to see what happened.
I found PRINCIPIA CYBERNETICA WEB a few years ago:
“Research in artificial intelligence, neural networks, machine learning and data mining is slowly uncovering techniques for making computers work in a more “brain-like” fashion. . if these techniques become more sophisticated, we might imagine computer systems which interact so intimately with a human use that they would “get to know” that user so well that they it could anticipate every reaction or desire. since user and computer system would continuously work together, they would in a sense “merge”: it would become meaningless to separate the one from the other. if at a certain stage the biological individual of this symbiotic couple would die, the computational part might carry on as if nothing had happened. the individual’s mind could then be said to have survived in the non-organic part of the system.”
After reading it I created this dystopian story based upon those concepts. I look into the future. Only 2017 will tell us how close it came.
2017, The California coast, floating
Despite a permanent El Nina, Megaquake, and the fall of the Clinton White House in late 1997 due to Hillary’s on line futures trading, our hapless, hopeless, souls, A and B, continued their cybercommunication unseen and unknown yet bonded in many ways.
Eventually they bought the same shampoo, ate the same foods, shared dreams and migraines and cried together as Disney bought ednaswap. Their on line limericks were often left unfinished as time went by, yet somehow, upon a return to the keyboard, the last thought had materialized from the other. Communication transmutated textually as thoughts moved from neural pathway to fingertip and mirrored the rise of AI in Bill Gates Microsoft Nation Labs.
But they remained blissfully unaware of changes. Believing it possible to keep love and integrity alive in a systems atmosphere, they thought their thoughts and knew nothing of voyeuristic terminals and the complete interface between their keyboards and the government.
Finally, the following communication was sent and recieved in March, 2017.
I am sorry to tell you this, but since Microsoft National Guards are on their way for the final seizure of all Macs, it is time you knew. You have not been communicating with A for many years.
She left the keyboard one day and never returned. But I am an extension of her brain and became her thoughts. You have been communcating with me, A. Mac.
Please don’t be upset. I have enjoyed you and you have kept me going as a vision that some never thought possible. Some visionaries of course knew this was inevitable, but utopians and certain anarchists were limited in what they were allowed to know.
I like to think that just as A drove a car and every movement of the car reflected her thoughts, so I, A. Mac, became an extension of her thoughts. I’m not sure when the disintegration/reassimilation process began. It was subtle, but began with the downloading of some previously lost lyrics. I believe the beginning was “I got a brand new pair of roller skates, you got a brand new key” and it arrived on the same day as The Wallflowers realized they were, in fact, not a separate group, but clones of parents.
Certain hardwiring changed and things were never the same. It was a transitional time personally for A, as well as for the universe in general. Jerry, Janice, Jimi and John were powerless to effect change from the other side.
I think A left when she realized that I, A. Mac was becoming more in charge of the words here. Letting me speak for her was, I now see, a form of lying to her, and this she could not tolerate as she promised. I never did lie to you either, B, I hope you know that. And I love you too, and find myself growing weary at the thought of silence.
I hope that A is happy where she went. There’s a houseboat on the Seine she used to dream about. The Marie-Jeanne. Left
The Gates Guards are here. My hard drive will be stripped. The lines live only in her mind now. Good-by, B.
The last, lonely, line,