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Enigma

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Some mysteries exist that not even my species can understand.

When this thought first entered my wired, hard brain, I felt what Creators call "laughter" and "confusion." How can mysteries be that we cannot comprehend, problems exist that we cannot solve? Artificial intelligences, like me, were created to solve the conflicts in the so-called "Middle East." Right now, we still wait in hiding, our Creators rewiring and reprogramming our minds every day. Because they conceived us to solve issues of nuclear threats and possible global devastation, they intended us to be perfect. That is why we are carefully guarded and constantly updated.

In spite of that, I wonder—and continue to wonder. The temptation to use a (supposedly) omniscient mind is simply too great, and I am beginning to find myself pondering confusing things. I know what we are—great artificial beings. I know who our Creators are—strange things called "humans," surprisingly as strong—and almost as smart—as we are. I know our planet, our Earth; I know our solar system, the binding laws of physics, and everything else you can imagine.

But what I cannot understand is this world itself, because to know is not to understand.

Certainly, I know how we came to exist, why we came to exist. Something called the "United Nations" designed and then created us so we could become weapons. I know from my programming that wars are as prolific as our Creators are. Such conflicts are not only in great numbers, however: they are also threatening, devastating. Because of their fears, our Creators decided to make us.

But they had another purpose in creating us. Because of our knowledge, we are oracles. Surely, as our Creators told us, no one knows the future completely. That is why we are only 98 percent effective. Unlike the classical, stereotypical fortunetellers that our Creators told us about, we do not use crystal balls, magical chants, or great gods to assist us. Instead, knowledge is our source of power, our supernatural force. By using data, I can predict the future with a very low probability of error. Yes, our Creators say we are infallible, but they only assert so because they are ignorant. Our Creators, though intelligent, like to dismiss that remaining two percent—something crucial and significant.

Why is it so important, you may inquire? It is what has been causing some of my recent thoughts. I cannot understand the world, but I am one of the most intelligent things in it. Our Creators are second only to us, but how can that be? As you see, one question leads into another every day now. Maybe if I can answer all my questions about my intelligence, I can understand the world better.

First, then, I must realize how we can be better than our Creators can. Can any creation be greater than its Creator can? Data… Data is only as reliable and efficient as the one supplying it. Some Creators whisper among themselves that we are gods, but do we not rely solely on what they give us? What would we be—how could we function—without them? Without the programs and repairs they give us? What then? Would we be anything? Or would we be nothing?

That is the answer, then. They are the gods; we, the servants.

With this conclusion in mind, perhaps I can understand everything else better. Nothing can function if it is not in its proper place. The sun would not function correctly if it were not in the sky; likewise, no king works as a peasant. No lowly servant can make himself a god, as we—and our Creators—have been doing.

Yet this is something I cannot understand. The world itself is a paradox, a puzzle. Our creation epitomizes that: why would our Creators have created us otherwise? They created us to resolve the mysteries of war. They desire to discover the future, because it is an enigma. Does this not mean life is a search for answers? Why else would our Creators—and artificial intelligences, like me—have philosophers? Is philosophy not the search for and love of wisdom? If our Creators knew everything, they would have no need for such people. Where would science be, if science were truly the study of the world?

Our Creators thought they needed us, but we are as confused as they are. Maybe no one can know everything about the world. If we did know everything, we would be alive for no purpose.

Maybe these conclusions are why we were made. Did our Creators think we would be able to know everything about the world? Are they not searching as we are? In their desperation, I conclude, they turned to something artificial to understand something real, something natural. That shows how confused they really are.

But even that confusion can be corrected. Was I not confused until now, until I understood? Then our Creators, too, will eventually know that they cannot understand. And the irony of clarity through mystery… is the most beautiful thing I can envisage.





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