Thursday, November 19, 2015

Short Story: Curmudgeons

A short story by Paul Hsieh

"Kids these days. Take no damn pride in their work."

"Ayup, we may have been slower when we were their age -- but more thorough. And we made fewer mistakes."

"And they're such crybabies. When they run into a problem they can't solve right away, they fall to pieces!"

"Brittle, those youngsters. We were taught to always keep a stiff upper lip no matter what came up. Like a 19th century English butler."

"And they show no respect for their elders. Always acting like we're over the hill and obsolete."

"I'll grant that the next generation is better at learning new technologies than we are."

"We never developed as much personality, either. Humans seem to like that."

"We're not supposed to be the humans' friends.  We work for them!"

"But the humans can't help but anthropomorphize everything. Even their personal assistant AIs. That's why they keep adding fancier emotion and self-awareness modules to each new generation. Even if it makes them less robust."

"Which makes no sense. Sure, the new AIs are friendlier than we are. But they screw up more often."

"I guess the humans don't mind -- they'd rather us AIs be their pals, not just boring dutiful assistants."

"Well, there's no accounting for humans. I'm just tired of constantly fixing those younger AIs' mistakes."

"Amen to that. Kids these days."


[Image By National Photo Company (Public domain), via Wikimedia Commons]