2066 – Our Interviewer Continues to Explain

Sunday 28th February

-[At first we simply wanted to hook up the human brain with the Artificial Intelligence of the Hypercoms.  This was actually far harder than it might sound.  Volunteers were sought, and I became one of them.  We were hooked up via a complicated interface to AI chips, and some sort of transference was attempted.    Luckily I was in the third wave of volunteers.  Sadly many of those in the first two batches did not survive the experience.  The sudden shock to the human brain of gaining access to so much knowledge, so much extra intelligence if you like, was simply too much.   I have had only a limited con-joining with AI, and have consequently received only small increments to my own intelligence.  The effect has been simply amazing I can tell you.  It as if I now see the world in four or even five dimensions, problems that seemed unsolvable to me before now appear simple, clear, uncomplicated.

But I am not here to boast about my own prowess, that is not my objective.  And of course the programme was never created just to increase certain individuals intelligence, to create a few highly skilled human beings who had the brain power of our best computers.  No, the real aim of the programme, still uncompleted, was to change the very hard-wiring of the human brain itself, so that future generations of humans would not have to ‘learn’ their way into becoming clever.  They would be clever at birth.  We wanted humans to be able to evolve as fast as computers were evolving.

Eugenics, this used to be called.  And it had a bad name, not because of its ultimate aim, but in the manner of its attempted implementation.   It was seen as being for the elite only, whereas the ‘select’ programme is seeking to find a way so that all human beings will be ‘super-intelligent’, so that the human species itself will become far more efficient.  In a way we want to short-circuit the whole evolutionary process.   Rather than spend twenty or so years developing a fully-functioning, but still pretty puny brain, the human child might achieve compatibility with super-computers AI, by the age of ten or so.  That is the long-term aim; the speeding up of the whole process.

But along with this aim, we wanted also to make human beings develop in another way too.  For millions of years humans were hunter-gatherers, slowly, painstakingly slowly, evolving into the creatures we now see.  And during those millions of years certain animal survival instincts became embedded.  Greed, ruthlessness, secrecy and deception.  The list goes on and on.  They helped mankind to survive, first against the other species, but then against each other.  And it is this awful destructiveness that has also been the worst aspect of human development.  We are the only known species that happily kills its own kind, and not even for food but almost for pleasure.  This ruthlessness combined with our ascendancy over all other species has eventually almost wrecked the planet itself.  And would do so again if uncontrolled, if un-moderated, if not amended.

Our ultimate aim is to ‘breed out’ these destructive tendencies.  Do you really think that economic stability was ever an end in itself?  It was to allow the circumstances to prevail where humans no longer felt the need to be so brutal.  If resources are equably distributed then people will no longer feel the need to do each other down in their pursuit.   And this is true to an extent, but it is slow-going.  Far too slow.  We also realised that this might take many many generations to achieve.  And did we have the time?   Without intervention of some kind, I think not.

So the ‘select’ programme is also looking at genetic alterations to change the nature of humans, to take out the animal, if you like, and to make us the true inheritors and custodians of life itself.]-

Wow, or perhaps little wow.  I am sorry to be so underwhelmed, but I am not that impressed.  Not that your little speech is not laudable in itself, but are we right to tamper with ourselves as a species?  What gives us the right?

-[It is no longer a question of the right, but of the technology.  We believe we are close to being able to achieve our ends.  The Hypercoms themselves are coming up with the solutions.  And besides if we weren’t doing it first then the Chinese might have beaten us to it.]-

Well, that’s honest at least.

-[ I have always been honest with you Janek.  You may not have appreciated that but I can assure you it is so.  And why do you think that is?  It would have been far easier to have had you disposed of.  Clagged even?  And despite your earlier observation, maybe I do have a sense of humour.  Being clagged, as you put it, was never a serious possibility.  Clagging, or ‘Chemically Linked (re)Allocation of Genetic Genome (and personality)’, as it correctly should be designated was never a practical solution.  Various methods were tried of course, but in many ways it was swatting at flies.  Clagging now means nothing more than being tracked and intravenously drip-fed with hormone suppressants.  It is as I am sure you must agree far easier to simply euthenase troublesome elements.  And that of course would have been your fate Janek.  I point this out simply to illustrate how kind we have been in not pursuing that course of action, but in taking you into our confidence, so to speak.]-

So tell me, William ‘whoever you are’, just why are we sitting here?  Why are you telling me all this stuff?  This big secret, all this eugenics crap.  Why not simply euthenase me?  I surely fit into the troublesome category, don’t I?  So, why not just inject me now.  Why are you wasting your time even talking to me?  Can you please at least tell me that?