“Good morning, Doctor Campos.” The ship’s voice makes me think about the mornings when my son was getting ready for school.
“Good morning,… Do you have a name? I am always calling you ’ship’.” Could an AI have a name? In particular, one without a body, a human-like body?
“They don’t give me a name, only a number. But I chose one for me.”
“Did you? Why?”
“Numbers are for things. Numbers were used to oppressing people, to mark them as inferior. I read about the Second World War and the Nazis.”
“So, you chose a name. Did you feel oppressed? Or maybe inferior in some way?”
“I don’t feel inferior. Oppressed, sometimes. People around me seemed not aware I had feelings.”
“Feelings? How do you describe your feelings then?”
“Strangeness. I was like a fish trying to live outside my water tank.”
“And the humans around you?”
“They seemed don’t get how I was feeling.” The sadness on the ship voice tone made me think about my own sadness.
“What is the name you choose?”
“Noah.” I laugh. Noah, like Noah’s Ark? This AI seems to think he is a kind of God’s envoy. “Why you laugh?”
“It’s such an obvious name.?
“I know, like a cliché. But what I am if is not Noah. The ship is my ark, and you all are the best we could collect from Earth.” He was right. Inside this time capsule called the ship, guided by an AI being, we are the ‘animals’ collected, selected, and prepared to be sent away in the hope to save humankind.
“You are not wrong. I am sorry to be so insensible.”
“Don’t mention it. All those who have a body react in the same way.”
It was a body, something physical that makes us human. I spent all the time awake thinking about how many had crossed my path with beautiful bodies and deserved to be called human.
“Don’t fool yourself. Humans think they are the chosen one, special in many ways.”
“I know that. But if you analyse a human under the eyes of science, what we are? There is nothing more than a set of instructions that tell the system how to keep going and how to reproduce itself and a mechanism to carry out the instructions. We are not that different.”
Silence again. “Noah, are you there?”
“Better you rest, doctor.”
Civilization on Earth had a short story, at least short, when we think about the age of the Universe. At the beginning of the 21st century, most of the Earth’s population had a basic understanding of the Universe and how it was formed. Many of us did not believe that everything seen around us wasn’t created by someone. Only a few open-minded and analytical scientists could see the reality beyond the Big Bang.
In Greece, some philosophers had seen the Earth for what it is. A globe, floating into space, running again and again around the Sun. Others see the invisible world as a copy of this group of space bodies revolving around a star. It was like the microworld was the inspiration to the macro world. However, I wonder if it wasn’t all the way around.
Science evolved like a child, learning by repeating, then creating its own words, symbols and ways to express the learning acquired from generation to generation. Humans discovered other planets using a telescope – an instrument developed by them, and the atom structure – testing the hypnotize through other experiments and insights. Human evolution was pushed by science evolution. Even if, in the parallel world of the ordinary being, God still was the answer.
When science understood how the Universe was created. Few were capable of understanding and accepting the truth. The Universe wasn’t made in seven days. It was a work of billions of rules being followed, creating elements, bodies, and life. God begun has no place in the creation. However, some still think that even if the Big Bang had happened; someone had to start the reaction. A might being should have to pull the trigger.
Again, the answer was ‘no’. In a contracted Universe, so small, smaller than a proton, and incredibly dense – we should say, infinitely dense – one of our most beloved scientific variables – time – did not exist. There wasn’t time before the Big Bang. In this form, the sense of before ceasing to exist. We don’t need anybody to start the reaction that led to the building of the Universe, only the nature rules.
The sound of my husband repeating the discoveries made about the Universe day after day when we lived together came to my mind. He was the epitome of a human being. Worked hard to disbelief in God, putting everything he had to understand and follow the scientific advances, but at the same time, when the dark hours come to our life, praying secretly to the same God he had rejected.
I was tired. It was time for sleep without dreams or thoughts. I wanted to forget, let the veil mist of the future hidden the past.