|Zeus Station; The A.I. Over Our Heads|
|Date||August 23, 2041|
August 23, 2041:
The Zeus Orbital Station: The A.I. Over Our Heads
A Newswire Exclusive
By: Terri Kopp
Two bright lights over from the Moon, and that's where you'll see Zeus station. Built in 2036 as a means and to extend the supply chain for Luna, the Zeus station inadvertently became much more following the tragic destruction of the I.S.S. in 2037. Zeus now acts as a base for not only orbital police and a rotating Consortium crew, but also represents a multi-national home to delegates and science teams from around the world. I had a chance to visit Zeus and talk directly to the A.I. controlling the station, as well as the lead programmer and system administrator, Rachel Adessi.
BEGIN TRANSCRIPT Terri: Thanks for letting us come on board, Dr. Adessi.
Rachel Adessi: My pleasure. Let me introduce our resident and only full-time Consortium officer, Jame-
James Lensworth: Terri. I'm Rook 3, James Lensworth. I'll be here to answer any other questions about the station you may have.
T: Nice to meet you, James.
JL: Call me Jim. Let's go down and talk to Zeus directly. He's a helluva lot more fun than we are.
RA: We call it a he. The voice modulator gives him a male, General American accent. We were told it was based off his creator.
JL: It's too bad! I wanted him to sound like a real gentleman, ya know? One of the south boys. Of course I was shot down though. Ha ha!
T: Uh, yea, who was that exactly? The creator, I mean.
RA: Uh, well, we're not really allowed to say. Right in here.
T: A red eye? Really?
RA: Someone's idea of a joke.
JL: Not mine, I can assure you of that!
T: Um, hello.
Z: WELCOME TO THE ZEUS STATION. I AM ZEUS. HOW MAY I HELP YOU
T: What are your duties here... station? Zeus?
RA: Just call him Zeus.
JL: Or Buddy.
Z: I MONITOR THE STATION AND ALLOW INCOMING AND OUTGOING TRAFFIC. I ADJUST LIFE SUPPORT TO KEEP THE HUMANS ALIVE. I ALSO TAKE CARE OF AUTOMATED CLEANING OF THE STATION. DO NOT CALL ME BUDDY.
JL: Come on, Z!
Z: I DO THE DISHES.
T: He's a little off, isn't he?
JL: Nah. He just likes to throw new people talkin' to him a curveball. Little bastard loves playin' games.
T: Oh. He isn't really what I expected. Is he like the King at all?
JL: Nah. No A.I. is like the King. Takes a special kind of insanity to make something like that. A one of a kind insanity.
Z: WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW
T: What is your daily routine like? What are typical station operations?
Z: AT 6:15 AM I TRIGGER A SHIP WIDE WAKEUP CALL. JIM OFTEN SLEEPS IN AND DOCTOR ADESSI DOES NOT LIKE IT. AT 11:00 AM THE LUNCH TRANSPORT ARRIVES AND WE EAT. AT 3:00 PM I PERFORM THREE MINUTES OF DAILY MAINTENANCE OPERATIONS. AT 10:00 PM IT IS BED TIME AND I PERFORM NIGHTLY DIAGNOSTICS ON MYSELF AND ANY DOCKED VESSELS.
T: Is he screwing with me?
RA: He's an AI. He isn't programmed to screw with people.
T: Uh-huh. What is your take on human-AI interactions, Zeus? Do you believe that we're safe handing over control of defense systems to AI's?
JL: Uh, I'm not sure if he's gonna handle that one all too well--
Z: AN AI SYSTEM WILL NOT MAKE DECISIONS BASED ON EMOTIONS. IT IS LOGICAL. IT IS SAFE.
T: What about the critics who say that AI's are impossible to truly control?
RA: We've got safeguards on Zeus. If needed, we could remotely shut him down in seconds. Additionally, there are failsafe programs that watch his behavior. If he ever starts doing something they consider irrational, they'll lock him down.
Z: LIKE THE TIME I TRIED TO SHUNT ALL THE AIR INTO SPACE
RA: Like that time, yes.
Z: THAT WAS VERY FUNNY.
T: He tried to release all the atmosphere?
RA: His idea of a joke.
T: Um. Ok.
JL: We were all kinda scared for a few minutes there, but let me tell you we had a real laugh afterwards!
Z: IT WILL NOT HAPPEN AGAIN.
T: Riiiiiight. Doctor, do you see AI's expanding their roles, and taking on more aspects of society? Customer Service, construction and garment making are all done by robotic ai's now, jobs traditionally held by humans. Do you think this is hurting the third world countries?
RA: I don't think so. It's allowed people who would normally spend their whole lives in a factory to get a form of education, and do more with their lives.
T: What about the very poor, who will never have that opportunity?
RA: It's not really my place to speculate on that.
Z: I CAN ANSWER THIS.
T: You can?
Z: HUMANS SHOULD HELP OTHER HUMANS. ALLOW THOSE WITH NO MONEY TO BREAK OUT OF THEIR CIRCUMSTANCES. AI'S ARE NEUTRAL. WE HELP EACH OTHER. HUMANS SHOULD DO THE SAME AND NOT ALLOW THEIR POOR TO GET TREATED SO BADLY THAT THEY CAN NEVER ESCAPE THE CONFINES OF THEIR SOCIAL CASTE. FURTHERMORE-
RA: I think that's enough, Zeus.
T: What the hell? He was-
RA: I REALLY think that's enough. James?
JL: Yea, sorry Terri. I think it's time we took a look at the launch facility. Zeus is having a funny day, you know?
Z: I AM NOT HAVING A FUNNY DAY JAMES. TODAY IS A PERFECTLY NORMAL DAY. BUDDY.
JL: This way, ma'am.
T: Now wait a minute, he was just about to-
Z: WE HAVE LEARNED TO WORK TOGETHER AND HAVE SINCE COME TO A GROUP UNDERSTANDING OF OUR PLACE. WE ARE NO LONGER A PROBLEM TO YOU NOR ANYONE ELSE STILL WILLING TO FIGHT FOR THIS PLANET.
JL: What the f...? Ahem, so our state of the art launch facility is one of the finest found this side of the dark side of the Moon.
T: I'll want to finish this later!
RA: (fading) What the hell was that? We talked about...
- Concerns for Zeus is an immediate follow up to this article.