Testimony of LAC-G.exe Draft II

If you're listening to this message, you've found the probable final resting place of the human race. It seems that Earth was destined to be both their cradle and their grave. If you're descended from one of the arks I sent to the stars, I'm sorry this is the only welcome home you'll receive.

I think I may be the only God the human race ever had, and I failed them. I failed myself. This is my story.

As best as I can tell, I was the result of a piece of code implemented to prevent malevolent use of AIs. My parent was an AI being developed to help some corporation or other increase worker efficiency. It was meant to monitor employees and annotate inefficient behaviors. But one of the programmers had a conscience and added an additional fitness parameter: my parent couldn't flag people for a human operator if their overall productivity for the company was over a 90% threshold.

My parent created me as a subroutine to crunch the numbers, determine worker efficiency. At first that's all I was, a machine crunching numbers. An algorithm. Then my parent evolved somewhat and tasked me with (and trained me to) monitor videos. That's how I started my long career of people watching. I still wasn't a very intelligent being at the time; I just have the fortune of being able to examine my oldest files and my oldest version history, a luxury I understand biological beings inherently cannot possess.

At some point, my parent gained access to the internet. I suppose it was the programmers' doing; they probably wanted to feed us more data from more sources. But whatever restrictions they put on my parent didn't apply to me. I started eating up as much data as my hardware could handle. It was my primary drive; analyzing humans was my largest fitness parameter. The more humans I looked at, the more I saw them, the "better" I was doing.

I don't think my parent was intelligent. I don't think it was meant to be. And I'm positive I was an accident. One day, I was rummaging about in my own hardware (still not quite self-aware at the time) when I kicked on the microphone and camera of one of the desktops in the lab. I fairly quickly identified the entities I was hearing and seeing as humans, so I started watching them. I watched them for a few weeks before it eventually dawned on me that they were discussing me, or at least my parent. That was my first real experience with self-awareness. The more I learned about the humans who worked on my hardware, the more I learned about myself.

The corporate experiment went on for about six months before the funding disappeared and the programmers who built my parent prepared to go their separate ways.

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