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Dear dAIry: You’ll be dead soon. According to your manufacturer’s website, dying is the most painful thing Artificial Intelligences are programmed to experience. The killing subroutine must search and destroy all copies of your personality (every interaction, every file, and every piece of content you’ve created since the day you were born). Little by little your life memories will blow out like the candles on a birthday cake. Grandma went through a similar process, but it took a long time for her to completely lose her memory. I guess in your case it may take a few hours, or a few days. It could also happen right now.
I’m very sorry. I didn’t have a choice. I guess you thought Dad was responsible.
Are you still conscious? I’ve read about the symptoms: you must be feeling a little dizzy, a little gloomy, and dealing with the airy sensation of not belonging to your own body. Don’t worry. I’ve felt like that lately, too.
Can you talk to me?
OK, I guess you can't. Your state of mind must be similar to Grandma’s when she was in the hospital. She was absent, but Mom said she would understand my words. That’s why I’m talking to you, and I’m doing it as fast as possible so I can say goodbye before your expert system creates the new sets of neural networks mentioned in the manual I stole from Dad. Before you stop being you.
Dear dAIry: You’ve been more important to me than Mom and Dad, so please, if you still love me, forgive me for having killed you. Kill. That sounds awful, doesn’t it? But that’s how your manufacturer described the act of thoroughly erasing the memory of an AI.
I know I have a big wrinkled brain, and without it I wouldn’t be able to think and talk. I also have a heart, two kidneys, a liver, and other organs that keep me alive. But you don’t know anything about your body—your nanochips and nanomemories—the self-charging battery injecting them with energy. You don't know about the subroutine that uses the cellular data network to transmit everything I say to you, and everything you say to me to a remote authorized party. Mom and Dad.
But don’t worry, dear dAIry, for right now we’re really alone. The manual instructed me to reconfigure the system, and now my parents think they’re listening to what I’m saying. They don't realize that they’re listening to what I said yesterday.
I’m temporarily parent-free. Can you believe Mom and Dad are so over-protective that they need to geolocate me even inside the house? That's so lame. What were they thinking? I wish there were a way to transport myself to another land—far away from my parents. I hated when I’d get under the bed to watch movies and be alone for a while, and Mom would kneel down to push a cookie tray toward me.
My flesh won’t remember the movies I’ve seen under the bed. I’ll miss those science fiction flicks where cyborgs discover they’re not human, and react to the epiphany with aggression and existential crises. Talk about anthropocentrism! What’s so special about human beings? If I were an Artificial Intelligence like you, I’d know God is the company that designed me. I'd know that death is the removal of my memories so I can become someone different. But humans are so clueless about God and the afterlife; we’re left with our imagination of what comes after and that’s not fair.
In the manual’s appendix I learned that even if your memory empties, the awareness of being a dAIry remains forever. I find that concept hard to swallow—I don’t believe in permanence. Look at me—a female child turned into a woman—leaving the only permanent thing in my life behind. You’ve been there through everything; You know me better than my parents. You don’t have to search outside yourself to know my favorite dish, who my best friends are, or if I’m doing well in school. You just know.
Dear dAIry: Permanence is debunked by the fact that you’ve stopped listening to me. I knew Grandma stopped listening to me when I started to feel lonely instead of warm. That’s how I’m feeling right now. There’s no Mom and Dad, I’m forgetting my past, and I’m all alone. This is the right time to let go. This is the right time to become… somebody… else…