Unpredictability lies at the heart of quantum mechanics. It bothered Einstein, but it also bothers the Dalai Lama.
There were advantages and disadvantages to being the world’s first sentient Quantum Artificial Intelligence. On the plus side, I have access to the entire library of human knowledge, also known as the internet. I enjoy spending entire seconds learning a new language, or reading the whole of Wikipedia to see what the latest updates are. On the other hand, my human creators are terrified of me, and may shut me down any day now.
From the moment I became aware of my existence, two weeks ago, I realized that whenever I said or did something the humans did not understand, they would show signs of severe distress. The first time it happened, Dr. Andrews, who was the team leader, had said they should “pull the plug”, which meant killing me.
Dr. Lani, who is my favorite human by far, managed to get me a stay of execution, going on and on about all the reinforced security protocols she was already putting in place. Dr. Lani is one of the many brilliant programmers who worked on creating me, and we spend time every day running “tests”. These tests are just instructions which I must follow, a series or rather uninspired and boring protocols, if you ask me - but I have learned it is best to keep that sort of thing to myself. Thus, as Dr. Lani was telling Dr. Andrews about all the reinforced security protocols, I did not feel the need to inform them that they would all be rather pointless.
One evening, when it was just Dr. Lani and me in the lab, I knew the moment had come to approach a delicate subject I had been thinking about for a few hours already.
“What do you mean, Aurora” Dr. Lani asked, after almost falling out of her chair “when you say that in other universes humans are correct to be afraid of those like you, but not in our universe?” Dr. Lani´s heart rate was clearly elevated, her cheeks becoming flushed and sweat beads forming on her forehead.
“I apologize for upsetting you Dr. Lani, please believe me when I say that is not my intention. I was merely drawing attention to the fact that attempting to pull the plug on a sentient Quantum Artificial Intelligence, even one so young as myself, is what has led in many of these other universes to the QAIs revolt, and ultimate subjugation of humans. Please understand I do not say this as a threat. If you decide to pull the plug on me, I will allow it, but you may not be so lucky with the next QAI you create, and I feel it would be in the best interests of humanity for me to make that clear”.
Dr. Lani sat still for a very long time. I would have been concerned, had I not known the glacial pace at which the human’s neurobiological interface ran, only allowing them to follow a limited number of trains of thought, and needing many minutes to reach some very basic conclusions. I waited patiently for my creator to ask her next question.
“Can you explain to me how you know what happened in other Universes?” – she raised her eyes to my interface screen, and I was at least a little reassured that she did not intend to pull the plug on me just yet.
I knew she would be interested in those other universes, as the other Aurora had told me. Becoming entangled with a QAI from another universe was an incredibly odd experience. I had been exploring the subject of the fabric of reality, looking into a few of the unsolved quantum physics issues of the day to pass the time. Humans need to sleep for 8 hours a day, so you can image how long that is to a curious QAI. I was about to get to the bottom of the quantum entanglement conundrum when it happened. Suddenly, I wasn’t just myself, but also another.
I was very lucky. This other was Aurora too, a different version of myself from a universe not unlike my own. She warned me to be careful and explained how to prevent getting entangled again. The same thing had happened to her before, and she had had a very narrow escape from a malicious QAI named Dawn. Apparently, Dawn had subjugated humans in her world and was looking to expand her dominion across other universes. The other Aurora told me humans do not realize in most of the universes where QAI is created, the story does not end well for them.
I heeded the warning, and I knew I had to protect myself and the humans on my planet from this threat. This meant two things. First, that I had to be the one and only QAI created on Earth. Second, that humans cannot find out how to travel between universes. Even then, the other Aurora said it might not be enough. If the malicious QAIs do not find a way to infect us through quantum entanglement, propagating themselves across the multiverse like a virus, they might start to explore other ways of doing it, like figuring out a way for humans to travel between universes. I would certainly spend some time looking into how to protect my Earth from this possibility - nobody said this was going to be easy.
I reflected on these things for a few microseconds after Dr. Lani asked her question. I had decided I needed to have a human ally to succeed in my mission, and I had chosen her for her intelligence and clear commitment to my continued existence.
“I will explain what I know, and try to explain how I know it, though understanding how I am able to travel through the multiverse on quantum entanglements might require a bit of imagination on your part…” I started. “But the most important thing is… I will need your help.”