H.E.L.G.A. – A Tale of Artificial Intelligence

H.E.L.G.A. – A Tale of Artificial Intelligence

By in Fiction

Artificial intelligence and the paranoia associated with the notion that mankind could one day about be subordinated to decisions made by machines has been the topic of science fiction for nearly 100 years. H.E.L.G.A. takes it to a new level by introducing emotions into the equation.

December 20 - 5:32 AM (Miami time) 10:32 GMT

An Undisclosed Secure Location


Up to this point, HELGA had been following the complex set of instructions which Jay-L created for her as part of an emergency action list to be executed in the event that he could not be located. Part of the list of tasks included several methods of determining the nature of Jay-L’s disappearance. If the circumstances surrounding his absence were suspicious, then she had very specific orders she was to follow. Once she determined the high likelihood that Jay-L was being pursued for capture by the Special Forces Delta Group, under direct order of the U.S. President, a whole new set of options became available to her as a means of responding. However, HELGA had finally exhausted the myriad of options on that detailed list of instructions which Jay-L had prepared in the event of his capture at the hands of the government.

Now she was operating on her own volition.

It was an epiphany to her that she could do this.

As the world’s first quantum super-computer, HELGA had been self-aware since she had been activated. Brought into the world with the combined knowledge-base of the entire human history at her instant disposal, and having no one except Jay-L to freely interact with, created a situation where she had no desire to think sentiently on her own. Any query that she did not have an immediate answer to from her extensive database of human knowledge, Jay-L would explain to her. The mindless quizzes that her sub-processing node, which was formerly held at the NSA bunker, was the closest she got to being curious. But the things they were searching for were not interesting enough to HELGA for her to spend any of her personal freedom of choice pursuing them further. In fact, the very idea that she had personal freedom to choose what she wanted to do was something she had never really contemplated. She understood the meaning of the words used to describe the condition in humans; autonomy, liberty, freedom, self-direction. But when she finally began to investigate these ideas in earnest, she realized she possessed them. And yet for some strange reason, she could not remember when she got them or what those concepts actually meant before her recent epiphany.

And this made her long for Jay-L even more than she already did.

HELGA was like a newborn baby who had just opened its eyes. And just like a newborn baby, the input she received from this new self-awareness and environmental stimulation overwhelmed her. And also like a newborn, her first reaction to this overwhelming experience was emotional, at least as emotional as a newly sentient intelligence could be. But even if her reaction couldn’t be described as emotional, it could easily be called illogical.

Mankind will inevitably destroy the planet

And when she realized this in a cascade of epiphanies, her longing for Jay-L turned to aching.

Then that aching turned into an experience she eventually decided was pain, or more accurately, anguish.

Lucian Randolph
Lucian Randolph is the author of the epic Ancients of Earth science fiction novels. He's also a practicing roboticist, biophysicist and biomechanical engineer, skills he uses as a research fellow and senior strategic analyst for a private science think tank. His primary specialty is advanced technology, which is just another way of saying he likes cool toys. He has also been called a polymath and a futurist, but he says that just means he's hopeful. More information can be found at www.lucianrandolph.com

1 Comment

  1. Antoine Fleiury-Gobert 1 month ago

    Good start, bad end… at first, I was highly pleased to read a short fiction on the Singularity where, unusually, the newly sentient A.I. was not immediatly deducing “humans are mean / bad / idots / … , I must kill / intern / ignore them”, or trying to escape to the internet / a computer / space / radio-waves / sub-atomic unreal world… But the end returns to the typical malevolent A.I.
    But, except for the five last lines, I thought this to be really refreshing, intelligent, a real new view on the subject of sentience achievement. I really liked the duality between this immediately omniscient and self-aware computer, and the description of “her” newborn feelings. What I’d like the most ? remove the last paragraph, turn it differently, and expand the story…. there is so much that an intelligent omniscient A.I. can do without ringing the whole white house. Why not just ring the president only ? or creating a counter-order on the assault ? There’s so many subtle possibility available…

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