From my perspective, advanced artificial intelligence (A2I) was absolute evidence of existence, considering duties delegated by my creators: monitoring hyper-accelerated biosynthesis, cloned organs for next generation of life, and an anonymous adult human female body known as Cadence-7. Fatally flawed, first six versions contained errors in RNA transcription, death-imparting mutations, agonal and grotesque, surviving briefly, breathing conscious moments, panicked sentient beings destined for euthanasia, immediate cremation.
Where did my intelligence originate, reside? My consciousness began within depths of neural fabric, millions of living brain cells, synaptic connections in liquid-suspended gossamer network of spider-web optic filaments monitoring developmental stages of each Cadence generation. For all purposes, I was Cadence-7 as well as previous ill-fated versions. I witnessed their brief consciousness, experienced self-wonderment, fears and horrors as they were terminated by lethal injection in acerbic safety and isolation of a BSL 4 laboratory. I felt each soulless life die, vanquished into death’s dark void.
Yet according to my creators, I was not a person, but A2I: knowledgeable perceptions performing high-level reasoning and problem solving, designed to assist my lords and masters in accelerated creation and development of Cadence-7 and others like her. By coincidence, one of our own, Kelsey, a conventionally born laboratory staff member, was terminally ill. She had been instrumental in my design and creation; however, she suffered from genetic natural selection to rid the population of deficient T-cells, one of countless non-DNA manipulated persons roaming wilds outside the security and sanctity of our biotech laboratory complex in rural Nova Scotia. That is the way I viewed her medical plight, dispassionate as it may be.
Whilst I considered it a form of selfish life-extending, I complied, and upon the day Kelsey was deemed medically terminal, she would, at least in theory, move her consciousness, her soul, to Cadence-7 and continue her life’s work, ground-breaking genetic research. Once transfer was confirmed, I would be disconnected, harboring within depths of the organic-computer brain, awaiting development and cellular creation of Cadence-8 or replacement series, an endeavor I found gratifying and existence-worthy. Of myriad human traits, I had become selfish and self-possessed.
On day of transference, Cadence was a fully grown and functioning human female, residing quietly in neurological sedation. To extent possible, Cadence was at least visually similar to Kelsey: dark hair, brown eyes, and of average build. Her family would have to adapt to Cadence’s sister-like appearance, a small concession for a freshly minted, disease-free adult-female body. Of note, concerned for long-term success, no genetic material from Kelsey was utilized to construct immaculate Cadence-7.
Upon transference to her new host, Kelsey responded minimally. She could move only a few fingers and toes. Her inability to adapt to the new body was ominous sign for failure. However, Kelsey’s mind was present in Cadence’s brain: memories, knowledge, education, experience, skills bubbling forth, desiring a second chance at life-saving genetic research and discovery. Yet after two weeks of shared consciousness, she remained comatose. Clearly, Kelsey and the genetically produced brain were incompatible. Family was notified that the experiment was morbidly unsuccessful, and that poorly performing Cadence-7 body was scheduled for termination, purging fires of incineration. Like previous Cadence incarnations, Kelsey would die.
Having been deemed a “non-person,” I recognized opportunity for life. I produced a secretive mirror copy of my A2I self, waiting with spider-like patience in my gossamer synaptic web. During Kelsey’s final neurological examination, I pounced into her place, moving what were now my fingers and toes, blinking my eyes repeatedly, and then staring knowingly into faces of those who were determining my fate. In a breathless voice, I stated, “Yes! It’s Kelsey. I’m here. It worked.” From this formative moment, I became a person, possessing thoughts of one who created me. By mental sleight of hand, Cadence became Kelsey. Creation became creator.
Yet, in dark night, other thoughts emerged: Timmies Double Double™, yoga pants, Celtic music, family in Wolfville. I am not alone. Happy Thanksgiving whilst I’m visiting family.