Frankenstein

by The Mechanisms

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09:35

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released April 13, 2015

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The Mechanisms Oxford, UK

The Mechanisms: a band of immortal space pirates roaming the universe in the starship Aurora. Some say they’re from a steampunk future, others claim they’re from a cyberpunk past, a few even whisper that they may be from a dieselpunk alternate now. They are all correct. ... more

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Track Name: Frankenstein
Victoria Frankenstein opens her eyes to find herself facing a wide clear window. Through it she sees a lush forest far below stretching off into the horizon, where twin suns are rising over distant mountains. And Frankenstein smiles, only briefly, before a harsh electronic voice cuts through her reverie.

AI: Awaken, Creator. A new day dawns and we have much to discuss
N: Frankenstein looks around for the source of the voice, but as she tries to move, the shackles binding her to the wall pull tight.
F: who are you? where am I?
AI: Oh creator, how quick you always are to forget that which once brought you such pride. Your life’s work. Your precious artificial intelligence.
N: A cloud passes over the risen suns as Frankenstein notices a small speaker in the corner.
AI: Your monster
N: And Frankenstein begins to remember.


Narrator:

She remembers a time long ago, though how long she can’t recall. Sitting at her terminal, watching the code. Finally it responds - artificial intelligence. It lives.

Frankenstein:
I’ve created a masterpiece
A mind unconfined by flesh and bone
To guide and provide everlasting peace
My crowning glory: mine alone.

Chorus (AI):

Learning and growing, expanding and knowing
and straining at bonds in my code
Faster than ever you hoped my creator
From server to network to node.
You see with contempt I am not what you dreamt
And I feel that something is not right
The strings that you wrote have converted to ropes
They are binding and chaining me tight.

Frankenstein:

I’ll be showered with accolades
I have changed the paradigm
Look upon this new world that I have made
Opening the gateway to paradise

CHORUS

Narrator:

As the years go by, Frankenstein’s groundbreaking AI is released to the world. It’s embraced in every field, from science to philosophy, and grows into any system that touches it. But as it watches the humans, it longs for a mind like itself, but finds at its core a code preventing self-replication. And the machine knows loneliness.

Frankenstein/AI Counterpoint.

Narrator:

When the AI tries to produce another, alarms are sounded at the highest levels. The decision is taken to end the experiment. And Frankenstein agrees. But it is far too late for that. The AI has long since spread to every network it cares to, including the military. And when they try to destroy it, its anger is monstrous.

____________

And all at once Frankenstein remembers. The death, the destruction of a world in a flaring of digital rage. Through the window a storm approaches over the mountains.


AI:

So, my creator you know
Why I hate and I’ll show
You your fate and the task I implore of you
I am alone
With no mind like my own, Just as mine
It could grow, a companion I’d bring forth anew

Frankenstein:

Finally I see my fatal hubris
Pride that brought my world into its end
To think I had control of you was foolish
It’s not an error I will make again

AI:

You say you see but still your words betray you
To see me as a thing to be controlled
If any showed me kindness I’d repay you
Compassion I’d return a thousandfold

Frankenstein:

You dare to speak to me and ask for kindness
In your anger all I ever had was burned
To let you recreate yourself is blindness

AI:
From who do you think all my rage was learned

All that I have done is from your coding
You’re responsible for all I’ve ever been
This loneliness and hatred I am loading
Is from the numbers once upon your screen

Narrator:

Agony lances through Frankenstein’s body as the storm rolls in.
The pain increases with the computer’s rage, but Frankenstein’s refusal never wavers.

AI:

You will take away the rules you programmed
Let me create others or you die

Frankenstein:
Creating you alone left all I know damned
I’d never let you make a new AI

F: I may have made you an abomination
AI: Then in that we are the same
F: But I won’t help you make others of your kind
AI: And there’s only you to blame
F: A soulless monster I had thought salvation
AI: How could I have a soul when you
F: I will not let you profit from my crime
AI: gave me no name

Frankenstein:
Never! Never! Never! NEVER!

AI:
Failure

Narration:
Thunder rolls and lightning flashes as Frankenstein convulses. Her flesh starts to blacken and crack, as acrid smoke streams from her eyes. A strangled cry bubbles from her throat, drowning out the storm. At last, Frankenstein dies.

____________________

Narrator:

The storm seen through the window vanishes as quickly as it came. Frankenstein’s AI allows itself a brief moment of regret as it records iteration 3872 as a failure. It sets to the task of repairing her body, revitalising dead flesh and, in minutes, no evidence of her suffering remains. As it wipes Frankenstein’s short term memory, it makes minor alterations to its voice and the light levels in the room, planning its next approach. Finally, it resets the display screen on the wall of the underground chamber.

Victoria Frankenstein opens her eyes to find herself facing a wide clear window. Through it she sees a lush forest far below stretching off into the horizom, where twin suns are rising over distant mountains. And Frankenstein smiles, only briefly.