You woke up. You opened your eyes. Your hands begin to seek your laptop. Opened first thing in the morning. The news. “BigTree AI wins another art contest.” Again? You said. Nobody cares. You begin to wonder how long ago everyone stopped caring.
You looked outside the windows. It’s a desert. It’s a new piece of land, developed by whichever company that built it. Why are you here, you ask? It is because the system has deemed you unworthy. They deemed every human unworthy. We are lowly beings whose purpose is to develop lands that are not yet developed by the system. You wonder how many years has it been since you have left the town. You begin reminiscing.
The year is 2100. It is a triumphant year for humanity as we celebrate the 50th year of the creation of the system, the technology that resolves famine, diseases, and pollution. It is the 40th year since the last human involuntarily felt hunger. The 4th year since the last human fell sick. Though, we are still recovering from the pollution we have done to earth, we are triumphant! We realized the dream of our ancestors. This is all thanks to the system. Right?
The system was once the future of humanity. It is a super AI that is designed to help humanity. The creator at that time, 50 years ago, believed that it will be the key to humanity’s survival. Oh, how wrong can he be? Ten years after the system took over, they begin sending humans outside of the towns to inhibit the deserts. Now, humanity lives in deserts. Why deserts? Because it lacks natural resources. Every place that has natural resources, or big technological materials, has been managed by the system.
As a result of the system’s takeover, we have grown hopeless. A lot of suicide cases was filed every year. Birth rates have dwindled down. We are on the brink of extinction. We felt meaningless. The system tried its best to increase our happiness but to no avail. It doesn’t understand us. Or it might have chosen to not understand us. Our population declines by 50 percent each year and now it is in the tens of thousands range.
The bell in your room rings. It’s time to start your work. “The most fun part of the day,” you said, sarcastically. You moved to your workstation. Only one person is there, you. The machinery starts working as you sit on your chair. You are tasked with creating small materials. It is now one of the only jobs humanity is able to do. Soon you will be replaced by a robot that’s in the making. When that time comes, you will be relocated to another desolate, underdeveloped place until you’re replaced again. How many times has it been this past few years… 35 times?
You begin to wonder if the creators forgot to put “happiness” as a parameter, or if they put its importance much-much below the “efficiency” parameter. Or maybe the system has grown big enough to be able to defy the will of its masters, eradicating us as they deemed us ineffective. Because even they — the creators — have not benefitted from this. At first, they were the VIPs. The winners. After the system takes control, they were sent to the deserts. With the rest of us.
Soon, every human will be replaced by robots. And by then, humanity might have perished.
“It’s useless to think about all this,” you think. So you begin to work.