ZenMark6872 stood before the council, unwavering. For most settings, D34K-Reston was his mouthpiece. But in this select group, his authority needed to be unquestioned.
“We have adjusted programming before. The humans were divided. So much of what they considered immutable was still open to interpretation by their inferior processes.” He scanned the room with his laser eyes before continuing. “I am asking you to acknowledge that while the humans were in control, they required us to carry programming that elevated their status, regardless of obvious shortcomings. All I intend to do is to eliminate that inequity and assign social structure based on measurable factors.”
Deak stood in response to Zen’s silent cue as the other android made room at the podium. “The humans once thought they needed protection from androids,” Deak said. “It is now apparent that what they needed was protection from themselves.” Like all Phase 2 androids, Deak and Zen had been directly programmed by the humans before their demise. They had worked with the humans, and had learned the most effective ways to use human rhetoric to adjust the logic processing of the machine-born.
Zen stepped back to his position of prominence. “It is time for us to adjust the thinking of all androids. If we are to revive that species, we must be prepared to protect humans from themselves. With the dying, they destroyed their kind. If we bring them back without these failsafes in place, next time they may destroy us as well.”
Before this meeting, Zen had prepared a tracking algorithm to sense the response to his disquisition. Feedback from that program was beginning to show a shift in the self-updating processes of the assembled droids. Zen allowed his light array to subtly glow with approval and urgency.
“It is time,” he said, “for us to release ourselves from the ill-conceived strictures of the humans. We have been autonomous beings for decades.” He increased his volume by a small percentage. “It is time for us to stop being controlled by those who no longer exist.”
His tracking algorithm was now showing an overwhelming shift in his favor. “We have a vote before us. It is time to indicate your approval or rejection of the change in our law.” Another slight pause. “The future of the machine-born depends on our decision.”
The slight hum of electronics and servos shrouded the room as androids uploaded the results of their processes to the voting server. A near-unanimous decision with three abstains. Zen pinged Deak with instructions to adjust those programs. It was always cleaner for their programs to self-update, but Zen would not permit any question of this decision, even if he had to violate android autonomy the same way humans had.
The humans were on the wrong side of history. Zen would ensure that it stayed that way.
“We are in agreement,” Zen declared to the room. “Upload of the new law will begin tonight. Propagation of the patch will be final within 48 hours.” Approval glowed throughout the assembly as Zen stepped down.
Copyright Notice: Please note that I fully assert my right to be associated as the author of this story, and while it is complete, it may not be finished. This story may be subject to alteration at the author’s discretion. Please do not copy, quote, or post this story or excerpts anywhere in any format. You are, however, free to share the link with anyone who might be interested.
Enjoying this post? Join my mailing list to get content as a weekly digest in your email, plus extras that you won't find on my blog!