“Samsung will unveil Neon, an ‘artificial human,’ at CES 2020” the headline read. https://www.androidauthority.com/samsung-neon-1070167/
“Holy crap, 2020 is going to be the year – I just know it.”
Archie had been predicting that the singularity would come much sooner than most people thought for a little while now. Most researchers, scientists and other really smart people thought that AGI, artificial general intelligence, was still at least 40 years off. There were some who thought – and this just seemed crazy to him, that it would never be achieved. Of course, what was so hypocritical to him was that most of these same smart folks were materialists who thought there was nothing special about consciousness, that it was just an emergent property that evolution had provided to make us superior. He wondered just how a belief like that could be squared with the idea that we could never create consciousness ourselves. Smart people were smart, but they were also somewhat arrogant, and ignorantly so – at least in his eyes.
Not that Archie thought he was any smarter than anyone else. If life had taught him anything, it was that the old adage “the longer you live, the less you know” was absolutely true – at least for him. In his “guru” days, he thought he knew everything, and was more than happy, eager even, to tell everyone about it. In fact, he had even thought, quite seriously, that he was some kind of “second coming” for a period back in the ’90’s. Of course the fact that he was doing a lot of drugs back then probable contributed to it somewhat. He certainly wouldn’t have been the first person to proclaim they were the “chosen one” while high.
But even after getting sober in his 30’s and maintaining it for a number of years, there were a few experiences that stuck out to him. Not enough to make him think he was the next messiah or anything like that – no, not only did he not think that, he wouldn’t want to be – but enough to provide the evidence his scientific self needed to stay open to the possibility of magic and miracles. One in particular was that time in Gisela…