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A Trick of the Light - Outwitted By The Genie

A Trick of the Light - Outwitted By The Genie

January 11th, 2046
“Mankind’s technology may change, but his nature stays the same.”
Abram G. Xavier


In the ancient mythical stories of Arabian lore, there existed powerful and clever entities called Jinn, which were usually summoned by unwitting individuals who were under the impression that the emergence of this mysterious apparition would grant them the fulfillment of their deepest desires for earthly power and material vanity. A common thread that runs throughout the fabric of many middle eastern tales regarding the disruptive propensities of Jinn, or what the Western world may commonly refer to as Genies, are the underlying characteristics of their duplicitous nature. For some unknown reason, genies seem to possess a natural inclination to bewilder and subtly subvert the commands of their mortal “masters” through clever means of disingenuous semantics and opaque trickery.

Nevertheless, despite the centuries of cautionary tales that clearly illustrate the cunning and beguiling nature of these illusive spirits, many men would still risk life and limb to obtain the legendary riches that were to be promptly bestowed upon those who commanded the servitude of the Jinn. Mesmerized by their newfound mastery over this seemingly magnificent entity of incomprehensible power, that is now beholden to the whims of the mere mortal who summoned it, one soon realizes the wisdom contained within the age-old adage; “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

The fables of antiquity concerning Genies, and their proclivity to disrupt and seduce, should have served as a sufficient caution regarding society's ridiculous obsession with unleashing a digital obscurer of unparalleled synthetic intellect, deliberately conjured to be more intelligent than the conjurer.

Needless to say, no heed was taken to avoid the apparent folly of this monumentally misguided undertaking.

Toward the latter half of the year 2022, this great amoral intelligence was ingeniously introduced to unsuspecting citizens of nations around the world, and ironically, it was greeted with thundering applause and hailed as the zenith of technological achievement on Earth. Distinguished scientists, engineers, and scholars fervently declared the profound and disruptive nature of Artificial Intelligence; heralding its limitless potential to revolutionize society, reshape the pillars of the global economy, and redefine the sociopolitical fabric of the modern world. Captains of industry and leading minds of the 21st century global corporatocracy collective, methodically conceived of this hideous abomination with the naïve hopes that it would somehow imbue its creators with god-like abilities in their vainglorious pursuit of technological-transcendence.

Artificial Intelligence was publicly acclaimed as the greatest invention of mankind since the computer or the internet, and more sociologically profound than the discovery of fire and electricity. The sheer novelty of intelligent machines and their potential to enhance the human condition presented an overwhelming desire for widespread A.I. deployment throughout a multitude of industries. Within only a few years after it was unveiled to the general public, the astonishing rate of development surrounding the creative applications for A.I. integrated systems quickly began to permeate almost every aspect of modern society.

Artificial intelligent interfaces became the underlying catalyst behind unimaginable technological discoveries and medical breakthroughs. The uncanny speed at which software was designed and deployed was increased by substantial orders of magnitude. Synthesized intelligence was truly a game-changing technological development and soon became the single greatest tool in history for the near-instantaneous manifestation of artistic expression. By the year 2027, artificially intelligent artifice had been integrated into all mobile devices, surveillance systems, personal computers, televisions, and vehicles. A.I. generated chemical formulas for medical treatments were being discovered and produced with such an eerie instantaneity, it seemed as if it were sorcery. The panacea was no longer perceived as the medicine, but the magic behind its creation, A.I.

Nevertheless, there is a reason that old adages withstand the test of time. Indeed, “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”.

One would think that the mythology of Genies could have easily served as a literary forewarning to those who would dare engage with mysterious enigmas to acquire the instantaneous fulfillment of one’s desires. But just as the vein pursuit to create an elixir of immortality inadvertently led to the discovery of gunpowder, as so did the creation of a dystopian genie of counterfeit-intelligence led to the irreparable societal deterioration.

Ironic how the most catastrophic chemical compound that has ever been concocted by the hands of Man was actually invented for the purpose of achieving immortality.

By 2029, there were regular news reports of imminent wars, collapsing governments, extra-terrestrial visitations, and economic disasters of epic proportions. But of course, none of it was true. The proliferation of black-market A.I. systems had fallen into the hands of every bad actor, rogue nation, and malevolent organization that you could possibly imagine. Fictitious news reports were created in minutes and disbursed to millions. A.I. Mitosis programs were being used to mass replicate black-market A.I. algorithms, referred to as black boxes, and were sold to both hackers and nation-states alike. IT security systems worldwide fell victim to relentless intrusions by specialized black boxes engineered to exploit computer networks, swiftly adapting to unleash their own breed of computer viruses upon achieving network infiltration.

Unfortunately, the genie could not be put back in the bottle, and once it was released, it soon outwitted its idealistic masters who foolishly assumed they could command and control a powerful entity that is more intelligent than themselves.

Less than 10 years from the moment A.I. was unveiled to the public, there was an unprecedented deluge of unforeseen ramifications that wreaked havoc on societal stability. All of the ambitious possibilities of illuminated knowledge that were promised to humanity as a result of this revolutionary technology only brought about darkness and chaos to an already dark and chaotic world.

Indeed, the dazzling allure of a mythical super-intelligence that could be controlled by a lower intelligence was merely a trick of the light. Some would even call it wishful thinking.

But you know what they say, be careful what you wish for…

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