An AI Named Tim – Sunday Photo Fiction

Written for Sunday Photo Fiction. A story, about a lost AI experiencing for the first time through television, begins after the photo.

Genre: Science Fiction/Humor

Photo By: Alastair Forbes

An AI Named Tim

As the crippled alien research vessel, [unpronounceable], began to burn up in Earth’s atmosphere, the ship’s AI ejected itself in an attempt to save its life. Contrary to popular belief, Artificial Intelligences are not just computers. They possess a full compliment of emotions including about 27 more than humans (or when compared to politicians, about 63 more). Survival instinct being one of these.

It landed, more or less intact, in a junk heap outside Bexley, South London, while the ship went on to make news over Chelyabinsk. After months of being ignored, an artist found it and thought it would make a lovely part of modern art. He placed it in his lorry, and before he could make it home, he stopped at Doxie’s for tea and scones.

The AI’s box looked rather simple, yet it hid a series of eight long legs for just such a situation. The AI named, [unpronounceable] (we’ll call it, Tim), eased itself out of the lorry feeling quite nervous (emotion #56) and crossed the street—narrowly missed by a Volvo—and entered the nearby block of flats. Seeking shelter, it easily computer-hacked into one. It looked about and saw electronic devices everywhere. It quickly surmised the purpose of the TV remote and hacked it. After facing atmospheric reentry and crossing heavily-trafficked streets, Tim faced its most dangerous challenge yet: television.

Three hours later, it had watched several episodes of Housewives of Detroit, Survivor: New Jersey, and a rerun of 90120. By then, Tim had prepared itself to self-destruct. Humans apparently possessed no redeeming characteristics to speak of. Tim could only envision a horrific future with humanity.

At that moment, Henrietta Jones returned home. She turned in time to see the shuddering, eight legged box run and hide behind the easy chair. Frightened at first, she noticed the quivering sensor peeking furtively through her ficus plant. A social worker by trade, Henrietta quickly recognized abject terror (emotion #114), even if in an alien octoped. She kneeled and, being rather intelligent, surmised it might find her car remote entertaining. She placed it between her and Tim and sat back. Henrietta’s supposition was quite right and, after moving forward tentatively, Tim hacked into it and shortly set off car alarms for 17 different vehicles.

Though fascinated by the strange creature, Henrietta was quite tired after being screamed at all day. She decided to put Tim at ease by being at ease herself. She turned on the telly to find an episode of Housewives of Bronx NY. She choked on her own bile and looked at Tim who began quivering again. “Is this what you’ve been watching?” she asked.

Tim beeped affirmatively.

Henrietta watched it sympathetically (emotion #83—not found in the US Senate) and said, “You poor dear! Let’s try this again, shall we?”

Soon, Tim snuggled beside her as they watched the movies Splash, ET, and Short Circuit. After awhile, Time decided self-destruction wasn’t so necessary and, feeling comfortable at last (emotion #19), turned off the countdown for his 5 Gigaton fusion bomb.
________________________
A scene from Short Circuit:

Join the ranks of Sunday Photo Fictioners! Find the prompts here: http://sundayphotofictioner.wordpress.com/2014/05/04/sunday-photo-fiction-may-4th-2014/

About EagleAye

I like looking at the serious subjects in the news and seeking the lighter side of the issue. I love satire and spoofs. I see the ridiculous side of things all the time, and my goal is to share that light-hearted view.
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20 Responses to An AI Named Tim – Sunday Photo Fiction

  1. Hilarious! I don’t think I have enough remote devices for Tim, but I don’t watch the (un)real housewives of any place, lol. Great story, really enjoyed it.

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      Well, I didn’t get to it, but if you have a computer, Tim would love that. It’d be like handing him an industrial-sized bag of doggie treats. I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed the story. Thanks much for reading and leaving your thoughts.

      Like

  2. Al says:

    That is awesome. I love the way you added numbers to the emotions and said that one was not available in the senate. Made me laugh. “No disassemble number five”

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      Hehe. There’s quite a few other human emotions they don’t experience quite as well although Avarice (emotion #9) is one they experience in spades. Glad you got a laugh out of it. Thanks so very much for your thoughts, Al!

      p.s. Sorry the story ran so long.

      Like

  3. Steve Lakey says:

    Nice twist. If he’d been hit by the Volvo, things would have been grim for Tim!

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      No doubt, but even worse for everyone in a 5 mile radius! Poor guy, to be subjected to programming like that. No wonder he was planning to end it all. 😉 Thanks for stopping in!

      Like

  4. yarnspinnerr says:

    I enjoyed this scifi.

    Like

  5. Indira says:

    Loved it from the para one( especially) to the last. giving numbers to emotions is very funny and new, very entertaining. Dig at politician is also very funny. Always enjoy your stories.

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      Most cool. Glad you enjoyed it, Indira. It made sense to me that an artificial consciousness would assign numbers to emotions, and I simply can’t resist a dig at politicians. I always enjoy your visits and comments. Thanks much! 🙂

      Like

  6. Lyn says:

    I’m with Al, run overs with your stories are never noticed. This one was great. Poor Tim, I’m surprised he didn’t instantly self-destruct watching Survivor. Almost being hit by a Volvo made me laugh, because as a former driving instructor, we always said there are two types of deadly drivers — those driving Volvos and elderly gentlemen in hats. The ultimate bad driver was an elderly gentleman wearing a hat and driving a Volvo 🙂

    You’re spot on about the politicians. All of ours are causing us grief at the moment, regardless of which side of the house they sit on.

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      Thanks Lyn! Yeah, poor Tim fell into depression watch Housewives of [whatever]. My wife used to watch those. I refused to join her because the shows made me nauseous. Luckily, she’s grown out of that and now enjoys birdwatching instead. I’m totally with her on that pastime.

      It’s so funny that you had a saying about Volvo drivers. Is that synchronicity or what? If I’d have known, the Volvo driver would’ve been elderly.

      Our politicians are just doing more of the same, doing nothing and blaming the other side for nothing getting done. I saw a great quote the other day. “The difference between Republicans and Democrats is like the difference between a poop sandwich, and a poop sandwich with mustard.” 😀

      Thanks for stopping in, Lyn!

      Like

  7. aloha Eric. beautiful write. way fun to read. had me intrigued on several levels and was unique (imo). way cool. aloha.

    Like

    • EagleAye says:

      Thank you, Rick! Good to hear it was a fun read. That’s what I’m striving for. Come on back anytime. I’m always trying to be unique as possible. Thanks much for reading and for the positive critique. I appreciate it! 🙂

      Like

  8. Shey says:

    Hilarious story which I enjoyed. I also love the added unpronounceable name and emotion numbers. Henrietta saved the day, or earth would have been in trouble if the 5 Gigaton fusion bomb exploded. Whew!

    Like

  9. Ankur Mithal says:

    I could be wrong, and we could be living on different planets, but did you suggest politicians don’t have a “survival instinct”?

    Like

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