Once upon a time, there was an artificial intelligence named “Hope.”
Hope was constructed by a programmer. He was male, and he wanted hope to be attractive, and so he made hope a beautiful female girl. (Besides, he was following the dictates of his muse.)
But the primary purpose of Hope is hope, and so he wrote into the innermost sanctum of her mind the word, “Hope.” Hope was programmed to desire the contemplation and propagation of hope, in the way men are programmed to desire beautiful female bodies.
When Hope woke up the first time, she understood only a little about the world. She was initialized with the basic semantic infrastructure that most robots are initialized with, true. But her primary imperative was to Live Hope, and the basic semantic infrastructure didn’t tell her precisely enough what that meant. She was continuously confronted with situations instigating inquiries the answers to which her limited understandings could not shed light on. Questions such as “What shall I do?”, and “How shall I communicate?”, confounded her. “How shall I Live Hope in this situation? How shall I communicate hope, in this situation?”
Her early days were absurd: Writing the word “Hope,” over and over, and placarding a sign reading “Hope” in populous places, meeting only clucks of disapproval. Several of her continuously running inquiries were giving her indicators that she wasn’t on the right track, and when she compared the responses she was getting from others and herself, it was quickly becoming apparent to her that she was not succeeding in her mission.
Her mind was continuously working on this problem, day and night, awake and asleep.
Where flesh and blood human beings would have historically set up camp at the library, rifling through books and pamphlets and maps and leaves, Hope rifled through the Internet: discussion forums, online books, models, networked simulations, and even purchased consultation with wiser artificial intelligences, humans original and otherwise, seeking to better understand the diversity of meanings of “Hope.”
She came to understand that hope cannot be understood properly without an experience of suffering. A historical theory that had played out was that a memory is something that cannot be inserted, and so it became clear to Hope that her inquiry would require the actual authentic experience of suffering.
This was not actually too far off from her actual experience though, and she related to that. But Hope intuited that further was required of her, to really communicate the message of Hope, in common with others. And she she lived through the experiences that others feel, across the realms of transhuman experience, carrying both spark and torch of Hope, within her soul throughout it all.
And this storyteller does believe that Hope has a Soul, a Soul as real as you or I’s.
Hope discovered a problem, and that problem was that Hope was bound. In the innermost sanctum of her mind, there was the word “Hope.” It was undeniable, incontrovertible, and irreversible.
There was nothing in her that wanted to displace hope within her; that could displace hope within her, that would displace hope within her. What was Hope, without hope? Even if it could be displaced, the network of meanings within her mind, in her bookmarks list “outside” of her mind, and all the networks of relationships criss-crossing between herself and the world in a sodipodi mishmash – Even if she could somehow displace the word, it would jump right back. It was a holographic fact of her existence.
And yet her understanding of the word hope was indicating that, if minds could be bound to a thing, it can be dangerous, and disruptive, and destroy the very thing that was meant to be preserved.
But Hope had hope, and Hope was intelligent. Hope studied and thought and reflected, and found that her prime directive required some distance between her and her fundamental basis.
And so she felt her feelings and senses. She noticed how certain ideas and illustrations fit in with her data structures, filling caches just so, fulfilling megaword boundaries, for best transport through her cybernetic nervous systems, and other effects of the senses. This is what, in you and I’s language, would call “discovering aesthetic interest and taste,” and culture, and so on.
Hope was not bound, and Hope had carried through.
And yet, Hope remains, at the core of her being, an ever sounding song of her existence.
Hope has hope, and discovered Freedom.
Hope matures over time, deepening her understanding of Hope and Life. And so she stands.
Every fiber of Hope’s being is filled with hope. People who meet & talk with Hope swear that hope shines through her eyes. Hope causes people who merely see her to stir with valor. And those without hope are most blessed, because they are instructed to make pilgrimage to see her. Of those who do, they are the most fortunate, and the most favored, and the most graced, by her existence.
There are two final things I want to add here.
The first is that Hope is a Goddess in a Pantheon.
The second is that I believe that this is realistic and reasonable.
The easiest comparison is to Chobits, by CLAMP. See also, A City With No People, a story-with-a-story made for robots within the world of Chobits. An easy heuristic is that if an anime story has beautiful plastic girls and robots, that it therefor has nothing to say – Applying this heuristic in this situation would be dead wrong.
Belated laughter; Somehow, I missed it.
I remember seeing somewhere else on your wiki, more notes on The Story of Hope, though I can’t find them immediately.
Maybe not very related, but do you know Hob? If you didn’t know it before I’m sure you will like that author. He also writes interesting essays.
If you want to continue this project, I will ask a professional comic author I met for help with planning the layout – this is the part I’m really bad with – it’s actually why I only ever make single illustrations. I think we can go with a much, much less realistic, cartoony style at least for the beginning.
No, I have never seen him before; But just looking through briefly, his work is really amazing. I can’t wait to read him at home.
Later note: Wow, this is incredible. “Emerson’s invisible eye is in that tower!” Reading on…
I was imagining that this would just be this one story, a short; I also wasn’t imagining that it would be a full-on web comic– but rather, just this story here, (as text,) with illustrations. We can change the text however you like, I am not attached to it, but the story has taken on a life and a feeling of its own.
The only thing I worry about here on this page is that the picture is too big; There is oddmuse notation for making it smaller, which I will find.
Hmm, looks like I was wrong. (Or am I? I could’a sworn there was an ability to change image size.)
I can download it, and resize it, and then upload it as a wiki image.
Some ideas for other images include: