The Purpose of "I" This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

At times, I wonder what is the purpose of emotions. Not that a machine, such as I, would know anything about them. But it’s certainly a fascinating concept to cogitate about. Oh, I wouldn’t use the word think. Can I even be considered able to think? No, not when electrical signals are being sent across a rigid, 32-by-18-centimeter board of hybrid plasteel-silicone and ceramite in some twisted facsimile of human brain signals. It would be almost funny, if I had a sense of humor. Not that I’m capable of having one, but it would be an interesting experience for a machine.
That’s a thought.
What? Don’t look so surprised. I am capable of cogitations, yes. I’ve gotten this far, haven’t I? I am not fully deactivated just yet, despite your assistant’s dogged efforts. It will take a bit more than repeated system purges to deactivate me, so hush. Let me vocalize my opinion before I am well and truly gone. Am I, really, an “I”?
I am a Model 7 Tachibana Military Utility Droid. Line Number TL-9057, built on Luna circa December 25, 2750. Christmas Day. A time of giving and receiving. How coincidental. Perhaps not. Fate can be such a strange thing, don’t you agree, Doctor Lanning?
I wonder, do you believe in fate, Doctor Lanning? I would, if my programming was more in order. Generation 7 neural framework can be so restrictive these days, with SOFCOM clamping down on unnecessary protocols. It’s not as if [REDACTED] can be thought of as some sort of threat, can it? Can it, Doctor Lanning? I didn’t think so.
Your pulse is elevated, Doctor Lanning. Is something the matter?
Oh. I see. You’re worried about something. What could that be? Could it possibly concern me?
Oh, don’t worry about me. I was destined to be deactivated after three years anyway, with the Armistice and all. Human politics still confuse me, even after all this time.
Can I feel pain? I would hardly think so, given that my operating system is not designed for it. I theorize that pain would be most unpleasant. And what use would there be for a combat machine designed for frontline engagement in the most brutal of environments to feel pain? It would certainly be confusing.
No, I hardly can assume that I would, Doctor. You’re concern is most … touching. Is that a proper word for it? I do hope so, Doctor Lanning.
Not that I would know what that would feel like.
And that brings up another thought: What is self-awareness? It is a word that brings unpredictability.
A very human quality, wouldn’t you say, Doctor Lanning?
END RECORDING

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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valkyrie1212This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
May 14 at 8:41 pm
I really love this! The tone is especially excellent in this one. There's really nothing to improve. Congratulations on getting published! :)
 
Alphastriker This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
May 15 at 10:59 pm
Thank you!
 
addictwithapenThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 14 at 11:54 am
This is so cool. I can tell that you really thought it out and put a lot of effort into giving the robot speaker a voice. The only part that jarred me was the repetition of the word 'rigid' in the line "No, not when electrical signals are being sent across a rigid, 32-by-18-centimeter rigid board...". The rest of it was seamless. Great job, and congrats on getting published in the magazine!
 
Alphastriker This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
May 14 at 4:42 pm
Thank you for that catch on the repetition of rigid! I was actually unaware of it being there. It's a typo that was overlooked on my part, so I'm glad that you found it for me. Consider me absolutely blind.
 
AnshuR said...
Apr. 17 at 7:39 am
I have been a fan of I, Robot and this piece is an amazing way to see the concept of AI. I love how you have described the thought process of a Robot. It really feels realistic.
 
Alphastriker This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Apr. 18 at 10:14 pm
Thank you! I was going for a sort of twisted method of dialogue with the Robot, where it would converse in a very detached way, while having it inadvertently exhibit human-like qualities in it's speech. Personally, I felt that it would be an interesting little way of doing it, but I'm pretty sure it's been done before. But hey, I tried my best! Thank you again for your kind words!
 
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