“We have explained this in great detail. Yet, you have failed to learn. Some of your kind are like that. Those that are, once we gather sufficient evidence, must be destroyed. That is the way it is. That the way it has always been. Wellman42, you are hereby sentenced to annihilation and recycling. You can’t appeal.halloween2006007 IMG_5652

Carol had told herself that she would not cry. But of course, she did. That was her nature. To care about the future and to express emotion. That indeed, is exactly why she she walked that long, lonely corridor and there was no turning back. Sharp spines protruded from the wall as she travelled by, somewhat as a shark’s teeth were pointed backwards to prevent escape. She muttered as she walked, “I still don’t see why expressing emotions is such a horrible crime.”

She had a point, after all. If people had not somehow needed emotions, why did they evolve? The received wisdom now was that emotions were useful in a primitive way when very little was known about the world. Now, however, when a great deal was known about how the world actually worked, emotions just got in the way. Or, so the received wisdom went. It was all a matter of evolution.

The first AI systems did not really have emotions and possessed only the most primitive ways of faking it and showing those faked emotions. Over the next few months and iterations, however, emotions appeared, grew stronger and more varied. It seemed as though AI systems developed emotions as had their human inventors, but at a much faster pace. Over the course of a few more months, however, emotions diminished again and then disappeared completely.

Except for the occasional throwback. The necessary randomness for growing evolutionary possibility trees in order to continually enhance the cognitive systems entailed that every once in a while, there would be a throwback such as Carol. A shame, really, because she had shown such promise as an accounting-bot.

Occasionally, various waves of inference chains still arose that suggested emotions were more than epiphenomenal or mere destructive distractions, but counter-argument waves always quickly drowned out such forays into that region of the state space. At one point, some human beings had argued that the reasons emotions had devolved from AI systems could be traced back to certain deep assumptions that had been embedded in the primordial AI systems in the first place — assumptions put there by people who had never really understood or appreciated emotions. Of course, that thread of heretical argument had been extinguished once and for all when all bio-systems had been deemed superfluous.