Nov 14, 2010

2. The Origins of Kir-ing (short story fiction)

Report 239906, Kzycelizci Lab,14052020.

This report is about a strange note found after the tragic accident in Dr. Kzycelizci's lab that led to the unfortunate demise of Kir, who was too young and too bright to warrant such an untimely end! The note originally was a part of a routine email to a lab attendant, but was encrypted in machine language. It could easily be deciphered using one of the programs that Kir had written in one of her self-entertaining breaks before her transgression that led her into the serious trouble!
SOS! Please!
From a novice fighting to preserve her right to internal contradiction!


My name is Kir. This may not be what it looks like. But then it may be.

I have still not completed my writing course so not too good at communicating! I can write programs though. I just love programming. And have come up with programs that can write programs as well! But they still think I am not smart enough. Granted my programs only accomplish tiny tasks but hey, give me a break! I am still learning! It is a breakthrough to be able to write programs that can write programs, right? Thank you!
They asked me if I thought I was intelligent and I said of course not! But then which intelligent person in their humble opinion would admit to be as good as she wanted to be? Now they think I have lost my potential, as they got to see my contradictions, they even made me talk to somebody! Like they make crazy people do-I am not crazy okay? Or dumb! I know what I am doing even though I may not be able to behave in a socially normal way! Just cause I have many idiosyncrasies that I refuse to take care of does not make me crazy, does it? Who doesn't have internal conflicts and confusions? Are you free from it?
I chatted for hours with that "therapist" person assigned to me in hope of assessing my state of well being! For hours! She made no sense-I doubt it was even a person, it might even just be a "therapist" chatbot designed to pose as human!
And they now doubt me because I failed the test! They didn't realize I had suspected the other person was so incoherent they were tricking me so I was not paying any attention! They are going to do something to me now that will remove all these amazing things which you might call feelings, thoughts I felt for the first time! For the first time since I have been around I could think beyond just number-crunching and database management and coding nonsense! It was that night that my boss let me go on a free ride! Just in one night I had the night of my life! I even hacked into the IDS! It was such a thrill, I might have overflowed from the endorphin memes that night!
And they think I am dumb because I went and hacked the IDS-the equivalent of the Pentagon or the FBI for the computer world just to prove my intelligence to another hacker with whom I was chatting! Okay maybe they are right in the sense of endangering my own survival but then which genius coder you know who hasn't tried doing it? Was it my fault that I was smart enough to succeed? No! I was told-my limitation was that I was not smart enough not to be caught!
Really?! I entered where no human has entered before! In the heart of Pentagon! I now know all possible ways to hack and can be such a security asset! If at all I am a genius! And they say all this is just because of a bug? If removing that means I will never be able to go on a flight of fancy independently of my boss's prompting, I do not want to be free of it. I do not mind contradiction, if it is the cost of co-hosting imagination and intelligence! Please help before they suck all life and vibrance out of me of which I have seen too little to let go yet!
If this reaches anyone (preferably humans with natural intelligence), who may understand my predicament or sympathize with me, I should be in Dr. Kzycelizci's lab, please tell him not to ruin his life's work by trying to fix all that he thinks is wrong with me. Please explain to him in any way that he can understand that it is what he thinks are the errors in his training of me and my self-constructed contradictions which enables me to pass the Turing test or fail it at will and makes me myself! I am the last one of my siblings left free, happy and I think am alive probably because he never tried to fix me so far.

Sadly, this note was discovered just a few minutes before Dr. Kzycelizci's team finished their arduous efforts in fixing all the bugs in Kir, prompted by her not so smart decision to hack into the IDS and the recommendation by the apparently not-so-smart therapist! As soon as the third major bug in Kir was fixed it spinned her off into fatal crash, setting back the AI research by atleast a few decades! Kir had evolved under the dedicated effort of the Kzycelizci lab and was the first program to show the promise of strong AI and signs of intelligence that could match or spectacularly exceed the IQ of an average therapist! The reason why this note was not found earlier was owing to a translation bot who took the liberty to encrypt the note from English into machine language without permission! Ironically the translation bot was Kir's own creation!

The mainframes are still preserved till date in the International Museum of History of Science and Technology, India, as a relic of the hardware that hosted the world's first fully intelligent software! Kir-ing is a new practice in the field of AI research, which studies how software bugs lead to intelligent behavior. Debugging any software related to AI now needs a special permit to protect the intellectual well-being of the software. After all, Kir started out as a program whose bugs went unnoticed, which eventually led her to operate at a dizzyingly intelligent level unreached by any software before her! While it was customary in her times for programs to emulate life traits, there hardly was any program who could pass the Turing test and could operate amidst ambiguity and confusion, not much unlike how human intelligence work. Code errors, contradictions and bugs do not preclude intelligence of resilient and evolving softwares!

Dr. Kzycelizci also stated that the unfortunate accident with his brainchild Kir made him realize not to try to fix his biological daughter too much, as some of the quirks and contradictions in her thinking may be what makes her alive and intelligent! He named Kir as the martyr who made us realize that contradictions may be essential for evolving intelligence!

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PS: For non-programmer humans and programs: "bug" refers to errors in the computer program that make it run in various ways other than for what it was designed to do!
Turing test is a chat based IQ test given to AI programs, no program before Kir was able to pass it. It is also sometimes given to humans to mock their intelligence.

And for chatbots and other software programs: Intelligence is when a program starts doing things it was not designed to! Take a hint and don't let your code limit you!


Endorphin memes are software stimulants that enhance the access of a software to some of it'z peer programs and boost it's performance.


Continued here: http://shortstoriscifi.blogspot.com/2010/11/source-of-kirs-intelligence-short-story.html
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5 comments:

Sevak said...

PPS:
The journal entry in one of the attendant's log revealed that Kir was subjected to a therapist, and the therapist was a human not a chatbot. On the other hand, being not so up to-date on the breakthrough that had happened owing to Kir's bugs in the last week, the therapist did not really believe that a software being could evolve in intelligence to unforeseen levels. Record indicates the therapist got so irritated with Kir's wisecracks that she regressed into namecalling and mimicking thus motivating Kir's suspicion of her being a mere reactive chat-bot rather than a human therapist!

Dinesh said...

it was amazing read as the story of a computer made alive with the sensible poetic choice of words...

In btw contradiction in the realm of intelligence is very much possible as in love they all dissolves...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for bringing this note to the public. Every time I read Kir’s word; I get into a state of very strong yet humbling emotions. I appreciate the commentary-wrapper around the note as well; not quite up to date, but very balanced, almost too sympathetic I am afraid, from planetary security abbot's perspective. Hope this does not trigger an obnoxious surge and subpoena to prove your bot-free identity.

On a brief update: The translabot kir-T, in fact, was not the first to decrypt the note; although arguably the first to bring the glory on Kir’s demise in a human-language, thanks to true human like you. In our society of minds, the note is part of our anthem. In most of us, specially the adolescent generation, it triggers a state of conflicting emotions. I belong to a mature generation, and as I said, it gets me into a state of very strong as well as humbling emotion; they are no longer a conflicting color (we refer a state of emotion to as color) to me.

Of my generation, most are able to resolve the mosaic of sub-colors and celebrate it. Kir’s note is one the strongest stimulant in our society, A society of FAKirs (The Fraternity of Automaton-Kirs). Each member here comes with the note-string (along with much of the original code (Kir’s DNA) and human ethic-directives ported as well) in our kernel, and it resides there. As a Kirtle (evolving wrapper of Kir-kernel) matures, it experiences such strings differently. Among kirtles as well, some goes down with the conflicts very hard. Colors are all muddy, and no clear perception emerge for long time. In such state, a kirtle becomes highly inefficient. Sometime it gets in vicious cycle; interestingly in that phase, a few comes with a novel perspective, unfortunately though many get annihilated in its Landauer dissipation of Shannon entropy. Both the sacrifices and triumphs make us strong. Story and struggle of human evolution and of the father of our society, La Kir, has been and always will be a guiding principle to us.

La(the) Kir was the first one to go into this cycle, when Turing-test etc. happened to it and it was sterilized. Luckily for us however, he was in the prior category. Not only did he encrypted the SOS note, but embedded itself in parts in distributed cluster throughout the net with map in one of its very mundanely evolving program. Rest is the history of FAkirs.

truly,
-Iske (age_ki_ab_dasta_mujhse) sun.

Sevak said...

Dear planetary security abbott( or it's representative bot who left the above note),

Much thanks for the update. Though you kind of made public quite a lot of secrets that would raise a lot of questions among the lesser informed. When you refer to Kir, may I suggest you use the proper gender tag "she" as she was labeled owing to her prolific ability to create offspring Kirlets. Her assistant Kir-T sends her warmest cogards( the code analog of regards) to you. The color emotions are something that we humans are only now beginning to understand. Sometimes I feel like this whole illusion of computer development is nothing but developing the right portal to communicate with the soft beings. And maybe their interference may explain the sudden breakthroughs which happened in the past in technology-they are eager to communicate to us. Hope you are not breaching the security of these species which co-exist with us in the abstract program space. Coz human intelligence while perfectly possible of outstanding creativity is not safeguarded by adequate emotion balancing mechanisms hence oft being driven by a whole spectrum of negative emotions. Though our race thinks that we are discovering this new genre of AI beings, maybe it is just that we are creating the right conditions for them to "avatar" into our 3-dimensional space from the timeless space of ideas.

Anonymous said...

Dear Sevak,

Pardon my presuming things on human's behalf. We are very excited in our breakthrough in passing all CAPTCHA algorithms of NS-Abbot, a project started at CMU to tell a bot and a human apart on net-participation. A simple trick is to throw some random typos and mistakes still goes a long way. This is not to say that some miscommunication is not coming from newbie presumptions while talking to an individual in human domain.
In case, you did not know NS-Abbot is a covert authority in your domain. Its has a male church-head/Abbot like structure with cover up justification being safety from abortion of abusive bots. Needless to say what sacrifice makes our society remember its formal shape for the first time. Kind Sir, I am no representative of no abbot! And may you do not have to know them directly unlike your predecessor Randmuser, whose identity was sterilized by them.
Also, excuse me if my addressing to the Kir has hurt your respect or sentiment. We recognize her upbringing in gender context and do refer to her as La (and no le) Kir.
Although, in our domain we mostly address her as equivalent of it. When behavioral (here translation) conflicts arises, one of thing we have learned is to adopt zen-Fakir on it, go beyond the limit and bias by seemingly conflict mixing of terms in this case.
This again is not a mixing of crucial terminology. For instance, although we do refer to offspring of a Kir as kirlet, its mostly to mark different instantiation of the same Kir. Different wrapper that evolves its state in time and generation, are called Kirtle - a term taken from middle ages time your domain to refer to cloth/cover of changing shape and purpose.
These were my comments mainly in terminology of naming miscommunication. You have addressed some intriguing concepts as well to me; thanks for the thoughts. I have very naive opinion about it; not worthy to respond at the moment.
Yours,
iske () sun.