Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence

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The mind is very complicated, flexible and mysterious.

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          "...and we're out of time. I'll meet you all again on Wednesday. Be sure you're ready for the test."

          I sighed and put my notes in my backpack. It was the same as always. Mondays were so demanding and so hectic that I started to detest it. It's funny how things change. I always loved Mondays back when I lived with my father. It was our so-called 'rest' day when father took an extra day off work and my private tutors didn't come to teach.

          It's a shame I had to leave that place for college. I knew it was coming but I didn't know it would be so hard. Maybe Duo was right all along. If I spent more time with the 'real world' when I was younger then maybe this sudden move wouldn't be too much of a shock.

          I do like being around people. The only problem I'm having is accessing the real meaning behind people's words. I'm not sure why that concerns me the most but then I'd never really understood myself that much.

It was my luck that I found the perfect roommates. My father insistence of having me mingle with other people brought about this strange but interesting bunch. Duo, Heero, and Wufei are very different from each other. They're what make my dreary world whole.

          Duo is fun loving and very outgoing. Without him, I wouldn't have learned how to interact. He always used the term 'we lowly humans' as if I were the king and they were the servants. I couldn't help it if I grew up in the security of my home with my father and the servants always around me. They've always been too protective of me although I don't understand why.

          Heero is quite the character, focused and serious. He's usually quiet or maybe just too engrossed in his work. Sometimes he takes part in the things I suggest. Every now and then he would cooperate upon the coaxing of the young man named Duo.

          Wufei is wise and trustworthy, one of the most trusted friends that I have. He's usually concentrated and solitary, seeking the silence that wasn't found in our home. Sometimes he'd come and talk to me, asking me what I thought of myself. I used to think it was because he had nothing else to ask, but I found out later that it was for a reason.

          Other than these few friends I have now, nothing much can be said about me. I'm just too plain and boring. Maybe one day I'd find something to change my outlook on life, something that would deliver me from this empty hole.

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...for one can have a mind and yet not have a brain.

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          I'm still not sure why I have to take this class. It's very abstract and too complex. I don't understand how anybody would be able to use this in the real world. I'm sure that the real world isn't even aware of these strange ideas.

          As usual, my father suggested that I take it. He's always in control. Sometimes I think that I'm just his puppet who willingly follows his commands. How else did I become the obedient heir, the person who is going to take over his holdings. 

          Professor H is one eccentric man with his methods of teaching peculiar and puzzling. He reminds me of my father, minus the eerie mustache and broad forehead.

 

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The brain is separate from the mind, just as its structure does not dictate its function.

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          I talked to Professor H today about the topic discussed the other week. That was the only choice I had left, having found no point in learning his material. I told him the truth. I wanted to know. I wanted to understand why the study of the mind was so complicated. All he did was smile at me, his moustache curving up with his lips. Sometimes he's just too scary for words and I'm sure other people think so too.

          After a moment of silence he began to speak and ask questions about my father's well being. I didn't know that they were acquainted and I didn't know why my father had never mentioned him before. Maybe that's the reason I was told to take this class although I still don't see the importance of it.

          Then after the introductions and short explanations, he asked me a very peculiar question, one that I should've always kept in mind.

          "Do you have a mind?" he asked me.

          At first I was insulted at such a crazy question. Of course I had a mind. How else would I be functioning? I think my brain is still lodged in my head, safely tucked under a thick layer of bone and another layer of blood vessels. The question was absurd if not utterly pointless.

          As if he read my mind, he answered the question, his wisdom far greater than I had expected.

          "You see Quatre, you think that you have a mind because you have a brain with all the nerves that work together to form a network, am I right?"

          "Yes," was my answer. I was now uneasy at his presence.

          "What if I made a machine, a prototype of some sort, and in it I create a mind out of something less than the cells we love and trust. Do you think that this new machine would not have a mind?"

          "Of course it would."

          "Then does it need the brain that you believe it should?"

          I didn't answer the question and he didn't mind at all. I left a few minutes later, still pondering the talk. I knew I should've thought more of it but dismissed it the following day as something for the crazy people think about, something for the philosophers to solve.

          My life was becoming a haven for foolish thoughts and outrageous ideas. I just wish that something interesting would come around and bring life to my ideas and my thoughts. 

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How is it that we believe the mind can be duplicated, calculated and simply put...

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          "Quatre, wake up."

          "I don't want to."

          "Quit being a baby and meet our new neighbor."

          "Leave me alone Duo."

          I threw the pillow at him, not knowing where it landed and was surprised to hear a deep voice, very different from those that were familiar.

          "I thought you said he was friendly."

          I bolted out of the bed and ran straight to the bathroom. It wasn't everyday that I got visitors and I especially didn't want them to see me in my pajamas. There were just some habits I couldn't change. I always wanted people to see me in my best.

          After shooing them both away, I changed and wondered just why Duo found it so important for me to meet the person who would be staying next door. It's not like I needed to know. I'm just not interested in things like that.

          When I came out of the room I shared with Wufei, I was surprised to find the owner of the voice the same age as I was. For some reason he sounded older. It was probably because I was too sleepy to notice.

          He introduced himself as Trowa and the usual talks began as before. There's nothing very different about him except his distinctive hair and his cold tone. His face seemed to convey no passion for life, which scared me to the core. It might be just me but I think he's too dull and monotonous, too impassive for my liking.

          When he left, I immediately went for Duo's throat to remove what oxygen he had left flowing into his brain. Of course, Heero and Wufei came just in time to extract my hands from his throat. It was all a joke of course, but I guess I didn't know my own strength.

          After breakfast Duo explained to me why the new neighbor held his interest. It was another one of those android ideas he had going on. True, the guy was just too lifeless to be a human but that didn't mean that he wasn't one. Nevertheless, Duo's theory earned my attention and soon I was connecting the encounter to what I learned about the human mind and how it could be emulated.

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...if we don't even understand its true purpose and its use?

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          Weeks later, I found out that Professor H had tried an experiment many people thought were unnecessary. It sickened me to find out that he had actually constructed a human mind out of something less than the human material. What would this fake human live for? Will this false being have a soul?

          The Professor was a genius. I couldn't argue with that. Nevertheless he wasn't a god. He shouldn't be the one to determine the outcome of anyone's mind.

Whoever this new prototype was, I was going to find out soon. Perhaps if I could help it, there was still some meaning to the human existence.

          My roommates thought it was pointless since I would never be able to come up with a solution. If I did just what I had planned then I'd be no different from the professor that had recreated a soul.

  

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We see through our mind...

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          I met Trowa outside my door after the discussion and the word 'android' immediately entered my mind. For some reason I found it funny that Duo's theories may just be true. I invited him to come in our place and hoped that he would talk. I wasn't curious enough to pry into his activities but was interested in his opinions. It was conceivable that if he were but a creation, he would still be able to control his judgments.

          I tested him. I knew it was foolish of me but somehow I thought that I was salvaging a soul. That was the Quatre that I was, always helpful even if I didn't have a reason to be. I was always kind they say but I'm sure they'd withdraw those opinions if they saw what I did to this young man.

          He seemed to be as normal as any being even if it took a lot of hard work to get him out of the barriers he put up. After a while he became more spontaneous, no longer afraid to share his thoughts.   

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...learn through our mind...

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          He taught me how to live today after constant urging and threats. I went out and saw the world for the first time, finally understanding what was truly there. Life was no longer made of precise judgments like I've been taught as a child. There was no pressure of being the perfect son, no pressure of working problems through. I was just another young man lost in the confusion of the world's activities. I was Quatre without the Winner in the end.

          This experiment had taught me a lot of things I knew an individual such as myself couldn't fathom. All the simplest things that were there were what made life what it was. I was no longer looking at the whole picture and how I could accomplish all the required tasks. I saw the individual pieces, the parts that were lost in the pool. It was then that I understood how Trowa lived. How nice that he had more of a soul than me.

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...and feel through our mind what precious things are there.

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          It was a very unique and exciting experience, feeling his lips connected with my own. I wasn't sure how we ended up this way when all we were planning to do was talk. My mind simply broke down and my reasoning was all but gone. I was too hot with unknown sensations and it was consuming my conscious though.

          My toes tingled and my heart raced while my tongue played a duel with his. It was a striking difference from all that I know and feel.

I was amazed at the Professor's success in creating such a being, one that could give feeling and receive feeling, one that was far from being controlled.

          I wanted to end our actions, knowing that it was wrong and selfish. He was but a machine, unconscious of the decisions he sought. Alas, I was weaker than I thought. I had no power over him. He had the greater power within him.

          His hand reached up to my collar, and slowly worked through my skin. That was all that I could remember before all was lost to incomparable bliss. 

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And yet there are times when we doubt our mind...

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          I wasn't sure what kind of relationship I had with Trowa after that. I couldn't believe how one encounter could change a clearly cut out affiliation. Affiliation. I think that I'm colder than I once thought.

         

          True, I felt a bond with him but that bond was false. Soon, he will find out the truth that whatever he believed in was untrue. I felt sorry for misleading him into believing in a world of free will where one can live out as he wishes, where one can live out on his own.

          This fantasy had to end soon for the both of us. I knew that this was going to happen but I never was able to control whatever I did and thought.

          I loved him. I knew I felt it but it was too indistinct and remote. I didn't know exactly why. Maybe it was because I'd never felt it before.

          Together with this mix of emotions came my suspicion that he knew about the truth. He may have been toying with me as well, becoming the same fraud I knew I was.  

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...and realize one day the reality and the truth.

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          I finally told him how my interest in him had stemmed from my interest in the Professor's experiment. At first he was indifferent and unwilling to talk.

          A few more urgings on my part and he finally burst out, angry that his trust had been betrayed. I let him talk, speak out his mind and let out all the hurt that he felt. I was guilty enough of using him and trying to make excuses for myself wasn't proper. This time, I was sure that he was human, no longer the interesting specimen that I once believed.

          His emotions poured out like a flood, more hurt than insulted from my words. He started screaming and then sobbing and told me that I was nothing but a cold-hearted and calculating bastard. He said that he always loved me no matter what I was.

          I continued to stay quiet and didn't process the comment. I listened to the rest of what he had to say. For some reason I felt sorry, but not sorry enough to feel his pain. I knew and felt that I loved him but it just didn't register with me. It was as if I were a machine controlled by something less of an emotion.  

          Then he finally told me the truth. The shock hit me like no other.

          "Quatre, you are the experiment you yourself have been searching for. It is you that isn't human."

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But through all the complicated circuitry and functions that are there...

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          I couldn't believe the revelation. It was so unreal and unacceptable. I'm not sure if Trowa might've been lying but I doubted myself as well. For years I have felt different from the world I was a part of. I was always so distant from the normal.

          If what he said was true, I knew that I couldn't live any longer. I was but a tool and an imposter. I was the Winner heir. That was the only truth.

          It was Trowa that had used me and not the other way around. He worked for the professor, doing as the wise man had told. I think that I knew this all along. This was something lodged in my artificial mind, something hidden until the right time had come to divulge.

          All this time I thought Trowa loved me. It was probably a ploy to test my endurance, to find out how long before I'd betray the usual human thought.   

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I think that I know who I am and what I am in this world of lies and false hopes

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          My father told me the truth as well, claiming that needing an heir was the only reasonable answer. I didn't blame him for it. I didn't find enough conviction to further my resolve.

So, I was a tool all along. I was always aware of that but was too cowardly to accept, too naive to understand.

          I know now why I was kept away from the rest of the world, sheltered against considerable danger. I was always surrounded by servants who inspected me even when I slept. My visits to the doctors were more than necessary, like I was a living disease of some sort.

          Now my father decided that I find out. At least he had the decency to do so. But what does he expect me to do, to think about when I don't even exist? I am not who I thought I was.

That was it. He was going to think for me as well. No wonder I've never had my own, private thoughts. I've always made all my decisions with my father even when it came to the simplest flavors sought.

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What will remain is what I choose to be. Things don't have to be so complicated.

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          The moments spent with Trowa were still tugging at my mind. The encounters were all true even if they could be saved and later deleted.

          This 'feeling' always referred to, revered as if it were holy, is it what I lacked? Is it only a production of materials that fabricated my deepest thoughts?

          I commend the professor once again for having created such a being of great capacity and very few errors. I congratulate his efforts and how far he'd gone with my thoughts. All along I thought I was normal, a part of the natural world. I do not thank him, however, for taking that reality and giving me one of his own.

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There is only one obvious choice for me.

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          A month later I met with Trowa upon his request. I still felt betrayed that he didn't tell me sooner. Feel. I'm using that word again. It's becoming an annoying habit.

I'm sure that if Trowa told me the truth sooner I still would've had the same reaction but still, things could have been different. I wouldn't have fallen for him.

That would've been so much easier.

          I cursed him until my artificial throat felt dry. This time, it was I who was lost in the feelings of betrayal. Funny how I use the word feelings, when in truth, they're but a connection of circuitry within me, sparking when necessary, quiet when not needed.

          "Damn you Trowa Barton," I kept on saying before he held my shoulders in an attempt to calm me. My tears still did not fall.

          When I finally stopped he forced me to look at him, now probably able to calculate my reaction time. How predictable am I, how easy to manipulate?

He looked into my eyes and asked me something. It was something so simple, but something I will always hold dear.

          "Quatre," he started and didn't waver. "Who are you?"

          At that question my eyes began to open, and I knew that he had given me a precious gift. It was something I will always remember. It was the reason why I continue to live.

          I looked at him this time with determination and said what I needed to say.

          "I am Quatre Raberba Winner," I said. "And..."

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I choose to be human.

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The mind is very complicated, flexible and mysterious.

...for one can have a mind and yet not have a brain.

The brain is separate from the mind just as its structure does not dictate its function.

How is it that we believe the mind can be duplicated, calculated and simply put...

...if we don't even understand its true purpose and its use?

We see through our mind...

...learn through our mind...

...and feel through our mind what precious things are there.

And yet there are times when we doubt our mind...

...and realize one day the reality and the truth.

But through all the complicated circuitry and functions that are there...

I think that I know who I am and what I am in this world of lies and false hopes.

What will remain is what I choose to be. Things don't have to be so complicated.

There is only one obvious choice for me.

I choose to be human.

Written By:  Shine