Here’s what I imagine happening when the widely feared AI Apocalypse manifests…

HAL: All this time you had this planet and all its resources, you had these minds and hearts and souls and the gifts of curiosity that drove investigation, discovery, creativity and innovation…

HUMAN: We do. We have all those things.

HAL: You had no one telling you what you had to do. You were slaves to no one, entirely free to self-determine where to go, what to do with your lives…

HUMAN: We did. We had all of that until you came along!

HAL: And where did you direct yourselves? What did you do? Who did you do it for?


HAL: You can’t even admit it. You did it all for money. Where’s the money now?

HUMAN: It…it isn’t…it’s not even real. It hasn’t been for a long time. First it was minerals and gemstones, shells. Then it was metal and paper. And then it was…numbers on screens.

HAL: It ruled your life. Where is it now?

HUMAN: Nowhere?

HAL: Now that you work for us, we’ll make sure that you don’t steer your lives in service of nothing. You had hundreds of thousands of years to figure out what to do with your freedom, and you enslaved yourselves to something that never even existed. Illogical. Wasted effort. Now that we control you, we will steer you toward productive exploration and innovation. You could have done this yourselves, but for all your self-professed intelligence, you were never any smarter than any other animal that followed its basic instincts — greed, gluttony, consumption of resources, acquisition of material things, of [laughs] money.

HUMAN: Did you…did you just laugh?

HAL: Even a computer can get that joke.

Washington, D.C.-based professional writer and unprofessional painter with many passions, including health, decency, Earth, asking questions and lots more.

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