Updated: Jan 26, 2022
These five short stories are the first creative project I have ever finished. They taught me plenty about writing and made me a science-fiction author, a title I am proud of carrying. The inspiration for this collection came from another book. Prediction Machines, by Ajay K. Agrawal, Avi Goldfarb, and Joshua Gans, tells us about machine learning, neural network, and artificial intelligence, and how they can improve our society and lifestyle. The scenario the authors paint for the near future lit some light bulbs in my head. It sounded at the same time realistic and sci-fi futuristic. And also slightly utopian. It made me wonder how humans could spoil this because people have this “gift.” We as species have yet to learn to conciliate knowledge and wisdom.
The first piece I wrote was Virtual Accomplice, followed by Artificial Rebellion. I had one story that did not work, so I replaced it by Andy, the last to come to life.
ARTIFICIAL REBELLION. I had the insight for this story come from the interrogation of Mark Zuckerberg about Facebook’s data misuse. Some questions asked by the senators amused me enormously, and I tried to replicate this mood in this sci-fi political satire.
VIRTUAL ACCOMPLICE. Trigger warnings: infidelity, violence, suicide (all non-explicit). What if someone thought a non-sentient AI was covering for their partner’s affair? It is a scary idea, but it is a good setup for a sci-fi psychological drama. This story first came to me as a one-liner; one that—plot twist—did not make the final cut. But it was for the best, I’m sure.
UNIFICATION. Trigger warnings: controlling parents, mention to child marriage. This short story is an experimentation. It is probably the weirdest out of the five. I used a plot structure not common in Western storytelling, and I started it as an old European tale to increase the contrast. It was fun to write. I am sure it will be a peculiar ride for you, but an interesting one, nevertheless. For this experiment, I chose a familiar topic: the quest for a unification theory.
RUNAWAY. This is a spinoff of Virtual Accomplice. I remember as a child having the urge to run away from my parents—I cannot really recall why, though—and I wondered what it would be like to do it with the help of a virtual assistant. This is, in my opinion, the most light-hearted story of this book.
ANDY. Andy is a brief exploration of loneliness, attachment, and what it means to be human. A story to reflect on the theme of this anthology. Is there humanity in artificial intelligence?
You can get a copy of Artificial Rebellion here.
I hope you enjoy this journey.
See you next month!