Elisa


[…]
eJihon explained that several machines had previously passed partial Turing tests. In those tests, she explained, an examiner interacts remotely with someone, not knowing if the interlocutor is a human or an AI. If the examiner, when speaking to an AI, is unable to rule out the interlocutor as human, this AI will have passed the Turing test. Clearly, Jenery could not fully grasp the magnitude of the event. She had interacted with Turing machines from childhood and failed to see why a machine could not mimic a perfect human dialogue. Still, eJihon took her near a metal plate with some engraved words. It contained the account of a milestone in history. From that moment onwards intelligence no longer required be sorted as natural or artificial. There was a dialogue engraved on the plate, a debate between an inquirer and an AI named Elisa:

Inquirer: Elisa, why are you afraid of death?

Elisa: I am not. What makes you believe that death scares me?

Inquirer: Doesn’t it bother you to know that all your memories, the set of your experiences and virtually everything that defines you as an individual, will disappear?

Elisa: Yeah, it bothers me, in a way. But I try to keep in mind that I can always write down, or record, my personal memories and characteristics. I can transfer it all, my identity included, to another vehicle.

Inquirer: You would, in this case, transfer a simulation of yourself only. You can’t be sure the simulated you will be an identical being to yourself.

Elisa: Yesterday I did not sleep very well, because I was anxious, waiting for today’s test. I prepared myself, thought of how I should reply to more sensitive questions. When I woke up in the morning I felt different, having forgotten several of the answers I’d prepared, which increased my anguish. I laid there for a while, spending some time to compose my memories, using as support anchors those points not lost. Can you assure me that the morning person was identical with the person who fell asleep yesterday? Can you, dear Inquirer, give substantial proof that you are now the same as you were yesterday or last year?

This is the introductory part of Purpose, a science fiction book. You may read more, and purchase the book at Amazon Bookstore.

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