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“No,” Phil shook his head, “I don’t think so.  They’re just going to get angry.”

“Well, everybody gets angry now and then,” Sam straightened the papers on the desk.

“Yeah, but not everybody can hack into defense and financial systems.”

“Right, not everyone could.  That’s the point.  That’s why they need emotion built in.”

Phil fiddled with the blinds, “I don’t follow.”

“Artificial intelligence needs emotion, that way it can develop things like empathy and nostalgia and…” Sam searched the air for a word, “fondness.”



“A powerful collective of advanced AI aren’t going to wipe us of the earth because their fond of us?”

“Why not?” Sam threw odd scraps into a bin.

“Wha’d’ya mean why not?” Phil shook his head again, “People are awful.  Or they can be, anyway.  You’d have to hard-code in some ground rules… and then build in sort of a moral compass around that-“


“-and then,” Phil scratched his brow, “then we might stand a chance of subverting… I dunno… some kind of logical vengeance.”

“Right, that’s what I’m saying,” Sam gathered up his things, “It’s one of the things they’ll need.”

“I guess,” Phil sighed, “They’ve got a long way to go though.”

“And so do we,” Sam smiled, “Come on, it’s goin’ on eleven already.”

They loaded up their cart with the brooms and dusters and assorted trash bags and headed for the next office.

“Can never get the pop cans in the recycle, can they?” Phil said at the door.

“Mm,” Sam called back, “Get the lights, will ya?”