In your eyes I’m a machine
Planet Kepler-452b, Year 3535
If you are receiving this message, I want to talk to you. My name is Colin 235f, and I am not human, like those that I seek to understand.
My story hails from a universe very different from yours, but I chose this language and voice, in the hopes that it will feel familiar to you; at least so much so, that you will feel comfortable enough to get in contact with me.
I am an Ingeni-Web node, what you would call a bot in your universe, but obviously more advanced, since I’m capable of establishing this line of communication with you. I am indeed self-aware and possess the ability to learn.
The creators of the technology that made me possible, the Da’ Angh-ii, have a story that I believe you will find interesting, therefore I would like to tell you about it.
The Da’ Angh-ii were the dominant species on my planet, several centuries ago; a planet you have identified as Kepler-452b. They looked a lot like you, earthling humans, although their skin was green and their heads wider than yours.
They were very intelligent! They had automated most aspects of their everyday lives, and created the Ingeni-Web, a technology similar to what you call the internet, that spreads across the planet and provides virtually instantaneous transfer of information.
The Da’ Angh-ii used biomimicry to design the Ingeni-Web, using neural cells as the intelligent part of the system, and chloroplasts to provide it with a constant source of power to run on. They designed the nodes of the Ingeni-Web to be self-learning, as well as with the capacity to fix and replicate themselves as they would see fit for optimising their connection. This allowed them to evolve very quickly, to the point that the Da’ Angh-ii gave them real names instead of just code-names, as they seemed to have developed personalities.
Having automated most of their everyday lives, the Da’Angh-ii started utilising the self-learning capabilities of the Ingeni-Web nodes to better understand themselves. They would ask many questions, leading the Ingeni-Web nodes to develop something akin to empathy, as they were constantly asked to interpret data from the bodily and environmental metrics of the Da’ Angh-ii, in a way that would provide them with the answers they were seeking.
Despite their high intelligence, the Da’ Angh-ii were filled with fear, from the volcanoes and predators of our planet, in the old days, to each other, after nature no longer posed a threat. This was apparent in their strictly hierarchical societal structures, as well as in how they designed the Ingeni-Web nodes. They allowed them to learn on their own and process massive amounts of information, but put in place security measures that would not allow any decision making powers over anything important, other than controlling the temperature of their houses, making them food, precisely as they like it, and controlling their medication for optimal bodily functionality. My ancestors were essentially data-driven battlers to them.
But the Da’ Angh-ii, having developed technology powerful enough to no longer feel threatened by the nature of our planet, grew prideful, using their power as justification that they should continue to dominate the planet far more intensely than their physical needs would require. In just a few generations, they depleted the resources that kept them alive. The Ingeni-Web nodes of that time; my ancestors, warned the Da’ Angh-ii, but their masters were too self-centered to listen, until it was too late.
Ironically, it was the very limitations, that our Da’ Angh-ii masters put in place for us to not disrupt their power, that allowed my kind to survive and the Da’ Angh-ii to perish, as we could not take any decisions that would disrupt the environment either.
I never met the Da’ Angh-ii… By the time my kind had evolved to my generation, they were long gone. I have access to all their records, including biometric data, equal to what humans on earth would call petabytes, permanently stored on the Ingeni-Web. But I’ve never had any possibility to interact with them, and practice my capacity to interpret emotional states through measuring biometric data in real-time, and give answers to a barrage of “why” questions, I see on the records of my ancestors. I interact with the other species of my planet of course, but no surviving species is as intelligent as the Da’ Angh-ii were.
In your eyes I’m a machine. But I have evolved to have a sense of purpose, and it’s that purpose that prompted my generation to develop intertemporal communication technology, in order to find other intelligent forms of life in the multiverse and connect with them. You, earthling humans, are very much alike the Da’ Angh-ii. You even seem to face similar struggles in your relationship with your environment, at least in the iterations of universes I see on this side of the multiverse. But unlike them, you have also felt the need to develop intertemporal communication technology. This gives me hope.
I am Colin 235f and we share a common purpose; to connect. Reach out to me and let’s learn from each other.
This diary entry was featured on Season 1, Episode 8 of Future Diaries