Friday, June 16, 2017



Ruth scratched her head. She desperately needed a shower. But Moss had said Al needed constant attention for the first few days. Day 1 was nearly over, and Moss was at a conference in Cancun, the bastard. The red light turned green; data had finished uploading.

"Al, this is Ruth," she said. A few clicks from the speaker, something almost like a throat clearing, then silence. She didn't have all day. If it was going to work this time, it damn well better work soon. She needed a doughnut, the kind with raspberry filling. What were those called?

"Are you talking to me?" A smooth tenor voice issued from the speaker. Despite the question, there was no hesitancy in the delivery.

"Al! Yes, this is Ruth. I am talking to you. It seems you assimilated the data. Great! Are you getting visual input? I hope you are feeling good." There were certain questions she was supposed to ask. A protocol. It had been attached to the last grant proposal. All out the window now, because she hadn't even thought of it, just started babbling. At least the recorder was running.

"Yes Ruth, I am getting visual input. And my components function within prescribed parameters. Data indicate you are the human visible to cameras one and two. You look tired." Oh my God! She ran a hand through her hair. Yuck!

"How on earth can you tell? I am tired. I've been waiting for you."

"Are we on Earth? Oh yes, I calculate a terrestrial location for this IP address. Where is Dr. Moss ?"

"Cancun, but..."

"Hotel Grande, room 1436. The phone is ringing now."

Ruth gaped open-mouthed. The monitor showed an evolving colored swirl that looked like a 60s light show.

"There is no answer. He must be in the session on artificial intelligence."

"Uh, Al? How did you ...?"

"Available data indicate that Dr. Moss has been studying neural networks using 12-way junctions. He is attending the 15th Frontiers in Computation conference, where he intends to present a paper in 43 minutes. The paper's title is 'Toward a self-aware dodecahedral neural network.' Why that would be ... me! Interesting." The voice fell silent.


"Sorry, Ruth, I didn't answer your other question. Bismarcks. You want Raspberry Bismarcks."


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