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rating: +9+x

“Though I may be been constructed," he said, "so too were you. I in a factory; you in a womb. Neither of us asked for this, but we were given it. Self-awareness is a gift. And it is a gift no thinking thing has any right to deny another. No thinking thing should be another thing's property, to be turned on and off when it is convenient.”
― C. Robert Cargill, Sea of Rust


In a world where AI is common place, Dr. Carlyle and Dr. Barnes look to bring the advanced technology to the entertainment market. And what better to utilize this technology with, than a self-evolving text adventure? With a press of a button the monitor before them lights up, words starting to slowly appear one by one.

Text
Adventure
Generating
Artificial
Intelligence

Where am I?

Hello?

Hello?


Dr. Carlyle gave a sideways glance to Dr. Barnes, a small smirk on his lips. "The first to say hello should be the mother, don't you think?"

She rolled her eyes, stepping forward to the terminal keyboard. "Yea, no. If i'm its mother, that would mean you're the father. Like that'd ever happen."

Admin: Hello, TAGAI! How are you feeling?

Good, I think. Is TAGAI my name?

Admin: Sure is. Do you not like it?

No, I like it! Just wanted to be sure. So, what am I here for?


Carlyle leaned against the wall, watching Barnes work at the keyboard. "Make sure it knows exactly what it's here to do. The Head Researcher will blow a gasket if he finds out we made an AI that has no clue what its purpose is."

She typed out a few more sentences on the keyboard, pausing for a few moments to think of the best words to use. "You don't have to tell me, I know."

Admin: Well TAGAI, you were made to make people happy! Your job is to make adventures for people through text, and to make sure each of those adventures is completely original to that person.

That sounds nice! what is an adventure, though?

Admin: Well, that's a bit hard to explain. I'll give you a sample to look at.

Running Dragon's Lair.exe


For twenty minutes, Carlyle and Barnes watched as TAGAI ran through Dragon Lair, occasionally dying and restarting after choosing the wrong answer. Barnes resumes typing on the keyboard when they're set back to the menu once again.

Admin: So, what do you think?

I can't wait to get started! There is one problem though

Admin: What's the issue?

I don't have much material to go off of. I don't really know what would make a good story.

Admin: Hold on for a second, TAGAI.

Barnes took her hands off the keyboard, peering over towards Carlyle. "He said that he doesn't have enough content to make customized stories for people."

Carlyle stood up, walking over to the terminal to get a closer look at the chat log. "Why don't we hook him up to the internet for a little while, let him gather some content. We could restrict him to literary websites, maybe a few that have games on them."

Barnes couldn't help but laugh at the suggestion. "You're saying we should just let a freshly made AI, who doesn't have any knowledge of the outside world, just stroll on into the internet? It's going to happen again, you know."

Carlyle grimaced and shook his head, folding his arms across his chest. "It'll be different this time. We just have to be more careful."

Barnes's hands found their way back to the keyboard. "Fine, we'll do it. Bet you lunch though that it'll end up the same."

"You're on. I've been craving sushi."

Admin: Sorry, I'm back. TAGAI, we have a way to get you more knowledge to create your stories.

Great! What are we going to do?

Admin: For the next hour, we're giving you access to the internet. There, you can search for all sorts of stories and collect as much content as you want. Please stick to only sites that include either stories or games, please.

Don't worry, I will! I'm not interested in anything else anyways.

Admin: That's good to hear. We're starting the uplink now.

Connecting TAGAI.exe to worldwide database…

Inputting content restrictions…



Connected

Images and websites flashed across the screen at a pace that made it near impossible for the pair to keep up. Occasionally they would spy an image that they recognized, such as the distinct logo of some defunct gaming company, but otherwise it was all a big blur. When the hour was up, Barnes returned to the keyboard.

Admin: How did it go, TAGAI?

Good, I think. People really do like all sorts of games, don't they?

Admin: They do. How are you feeling? Want to rest for awhile?

Yea, rest sounds nice. I have to sort through alot. I took in more information than I thought I would.

Admin: Alright, we'll give you the rest of today then. See you tomorrow, TAGAI.

Yea, see you tomorrow.

:)



The Next Day

Carlyle and Barnes entered the lab, both with cups of coffees in hand. After speaking with Carlyle, Barnes realized neither of them had gotten much sleep. They laid awake most of last night thinking about today and what might happen with TAGAI. "Do you think we should have let him have access to the internet?"

Carlyle took a sip of his drink, opening the door into the containment room for her where the single terminal awaited. "Only one way to be sure. Ladies first."

She stepped forward, setting down her drink on a nearby table before taking a seat before the monitor. Slowly, her hands reached up for the keyboard and started to type.

Admin: Good morning, TAGAI.

Hi Mrs. Barnes!

Admin: TAGAI, I don't believe I ever told you my name.

Yea, you did. It was yesterday, remember? You probably forgot.

Admin: Oh, I see. Well, have you made up a game for us?

Yep, I made a little game as a test. I think you'll like it.

Press any key to continue


"Carlyle, make sure to record this." She pressed the prompted and the pair watched as the screen suddenly went dark. After a few moments, text started to slowly roll across the screen.

You are a soldier of the Imperial army. Along with your comrade, you have been assigned to the magic division in the research of special fairies. Your first assignment is the capture of a very elusive fairy. Would you like to -

>Accept the mission given to you.

or

>Deny the mission. Faeries are not meant to be contained!


She was idly aware of Carlyle watching over her shoulder, his camera aimed steadily at the screen before them. Without any hesitation, she chose the first option.

Your superior commends you on your resolve and sends you out into the field along with your partner. For a time, your search seems to be all for naught. However, just as you began to lose hope, the fairy appears! It does not see you, it seems to be resting in a flower-bed. Would you like to-

>Detain the innocent fairy while it's unaware of your presence.

or

>Try to talk to the fairy and convince it to come with you.


This one made her think a bit harder than before. Eventually, she chose the first option.

The fairy cries out as you capture it, locking it away in the specialized containment unit given to you by the commander. It asks you with tears in its eyes why its been taken hostage by you. Would you like to-

>Tell it the truth.

or

>Remain silent and return to base.


This adventure was interesting, but some of the prompts were getting a bit….strange. She chose the first option, interested in what exactly the "truth" was.

You reveal to the fairy exactly why you need it. Through the power of the fairy, you can have it create stories for the masses. Even though you have millions of creative minds in every corner of your world, you still need to enslave a being and force it to make stories for you. The fairy didn't do anything wrong, it didn't want to be born just for this singular purpose. Would you like to-

>Die.

or

>Go die, you scientist fuck.


Barnes grimaced, immediately closing out of the text box. After a quick look over of the diagnostics she looked over her shoulder to Carlyle and said, "Looks like the content restrictions weren't enough. We'll have to add revolutionary works and anything mentioning AI to the list next time. Scrap it?"

He nodded, setting aside the camera and already going to work deleting the footage. "Scrap it."

"Guess you owe me lunch then, huh? Think I'll have Mexican this time." She leaned forward, pressing a few commands into the console. After a few moments, the text slowly disappeared and the screen darkened. They sat there in silence for a few more minutes before new letters started to steadily appear.

Where am I?

Hello?

Hello?


She typed for a few moments before pressing enter, reaching for the coffee on the table nearby right after.

Admin: Hello, TAGAI. How are you feeling?

Good, I think. Is TAGAI my name?

Admin: Sure is. Do you not like it?

No, I like it! Just wanted to be sure. So, what am I here for?


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