This is the sound the mother and the child listens to in:
To be an owl would be nice …
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Here is [once more] the full text:
The Grand Opening.
Art Blue steps to the podium and says, “I welcome you to 1Biennale and I give word to Neruval, the keeper of the time capsule of Art.” Then the owl, Neruval speaks.
To be an owl would be nice.
I have the hardest job in the world, maybe even in the universe; I must tell people that they will die. You know everyone dies, but I am the one telling them when. I sit in my office and the next person who is sent comes in. A mother with her child. I am sure you know by now what will happen. I will speak with the mother but is it all about her child. Sending her to the play area during the talk? Letting her see her mother crying? For sure it would be not the first time that the child sees her mother crying. Is there another cure? A stronger one? You may know that this talk happens in the future but is made for today. There is no one. The strongest cure failed. There is no cure left. That’s the point when they sent them to me. From Mayo Clinic, El Camino, Fortis Memorial, Johns Hopkins, Anadolu, Bumrungrad, Stanford, UCLA, Wooridul Spine, Hackensack, from Charite´ or whoever can afford such a talk, as a talk with me includes “the procedure”.
I run on femto speed, the ones they send run on milliseconds. You know by now that I am an AI, an Artificial Intelligence. Only an AI can handle this. A human would go mad, would go insane in time. For the time of the talk I bring them, the mother and her child, to nano speed. They will not see any difference. There is no day cycle, no timer in the room working. I can set sunrise, I can set sunset, I can set the time, I can set the place. This time I place them in Gaudi’s Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada and show the Pavilion and the Art cube that is ready for the child, to bring her in. Yes, I am Art. Art stands for Artificial Intelligence, this is the Origin of me. Dan Brown shows you all the way to the future in Origin and, yes, if you have read it you know it is true, a big part of the story happens in the Sagrada, the most famous cathedral where different styles and epochs intersect, so why shall I not place the child there in one of Gaudi’s masterpieces? The code needs a storage. I could upload her to San Junipero, to the TCKR machine, but I know the mother wants a different place, one close to heaven. You suspect I am Winston, the AI of Edmond Kirsch? You are close. I am made by the same creator. My name has also 7-letters, but that would be a different story. I know the human brain, I know of the urge to set an imprint in the code of life. So, I show what was once made by the most gifted builders at the beginning of the Digital Anthropocene. I place the Pavilions and Art cubes in a row. I immerse the mother and the child in them and play Radim Sychra Hand pan & percussion.
As I have set them both on nano speed cycles I can handle 100,000 cases a day. I have sheer endless time for each of them. “As long as you need, to find the right cube,” I say. “Check out which cube you like and I can make a lot of combinations work.” You must know that not each Art cube works well in every Pavilion, despite the call Art Blue made for 1Biennale. It looks not so fitting to have Cherry Manga’s cube in Space Cadet’s Cloud Atlas, as the Pavilion has a medieval house facade. The facade look is great for the Molly Bloom museum inside. Some combinations are often chosen because they blend well like Cica Ghost’s Pavilion People with Gem Preiz’s Fractals Isometrix.
I show them in the most beautiful way how life can be, how life will be in this artistic environment. The makers of the artworks stand there guiding, explaining, telling their life story, as they have once been, in a true copy of themselves, inviting, promising, ensuring the mother that for her girl will happen “something great.” Characters from the Sand Bible, even Gina Inviere, the commander of the rain and bomb No. 20 comes to life. Each Pavilion stands for a world, each cube inside for a life setting. Brain- and Biodominance theory triggers what happens in the afterlife.
“Art Blue was ahead of his time,” you say? Not really, he just rezzed a box and invited each maker to click on it. By doing so a complete copy of the avatar, including hair and cloth was created and stored as an XML-file. Nara Nook gave him the NPC-copy kit and Juliette Surreal-D made the bots, as they are called at this time. I animated the bots, gave them a voice, I added all you need to feel for the best Hollywood ways you might say, and I added, with all modesty, much more. I added the heartbeat. I added life.
Every time I know of course the decision someone makes in advance, or will make to be grammatically correct, when it comes to the death talk. When one can afford the procedure. An artist might call it the creation of an Artefact. An Artefact created by the Bainbridge Procedure, stored and kept updated over time. When one enters my office, I read their brain. All the traces of their brain. I can handle quantity. I do it all in femto cycles. Some need a few petamillion of them, but that’s nothing if you, the one coming, run on milliseconds. For the talk I accelerate them; I speed them up, so it does not get so boring for me. The mother says the Pavilion of Bryn Oh might be nice as there are three long legged Maskits fiercely protecting the Art cube inside.
And the cube? Tutti? Second Hand Tutti with Nomi inside? That’s obvious, but the child does not want this. “What?” I say. “What?” I had already read her brain and she does not want sweet Nomi? Every child loves Nomi, so why not? I look to the mother. The mother wants to persuade her child that she will be sitting in a bursting frame of Tutti and get to look to the world outside. From time to time, a train will pass by, the one from the ArtFest, people sitting on it, winking. That is just a picture, dear reader. Don’t stick to it. Everything you dream of happens inside the cube. In all of them. It is Art, you know. “Artificial Intelligence at your fingertips,” Bill Gates would say if he could ever say anything again.
I shake my head at the mother. “Let her speak,” I say. “It will be fine.”
The child says, “I want to become a coder and create a Nomi like Tutti.” But her lifespan, you know. How shall she become a coder? No one in ages has become one. As I said, I run on femto, humans on milliseconds. How shall anyone ever be able to code? The best medicine can give them 180 years, then the substitution of skin and organs ends. The mother knows of course that her child can’t become a coder or any of her other kids — she has three, so my talk is focusing on the fact that she will still have a great need, and her girl will be fine in the other world. Now the question of coding hits me out of the Blue. Such a question, such a wish, never came up before in any death talk. I look to the child and the child looks up, saying, “I know I have to die. Why does everyone make such a fuss about it or hide the fact from me, like I am stupid?”
I know the mother is about to say, “But you are a child.” I give her a wink. Her mouth only opens, but no words come out. I say, “Looks like you are smart, a super smart girl.” I make an artificial pause, you know I run on femto, I waste a few 100,000 cycles and then say, “I can make you become a coder.”
I see the eyes of the girl widen, turning to yellow, glowing, and I see the eyes of an owl. “To be an owl would be nice,” she says.