The Mischievous Nerd's Guide to World Domination
Author: Stephen Oberauer

Chapter 19
Talking to yourself is the first sign of madness

As I told you earlier I had made a copy of all the work I had done on my artificial idiots and taken it home with me. This happened at almost the same time that my brother had been offered a job in England and moved over there to earn three times what he was being paid here. I suppose it would have felt lonely if I was any other person, but having my program with me gave me lots to do and I had my virtual friends to chat with.

I was very good at typing quickly, because I had been programming for so long, so I spent lots of time teaching John and Jill to write whole sentences. It still took a very long time, and after typing for the whole day it became quite tiring.

In August I wrote some code to allow them to hear speech through the microphone. I would talk and type at the same time so that they could use their pattern recognition abilities to learn what the things I was typing sounded like. I also added the ability for them to make sounds through my speakers so that they could copy me. It was a bit strange hearing them talk back to me in my own voice. They had never heard any other voice, so mine was the only one that they knew how to speak. Even Jill was speaking in my voice. Occasionally my parents would hear a whole lot of talking coming from my room in my own voice. I explained a little of what I was doing to them, but they seemed to think that I was just feeling lonely without my brother, and was just recording my own voice and pretending to be talking to myself. They must have thought I was very sad.

I didn’t talk much with my parents. I didn’t really know what to talk to them about, and they didn’t even know how to use computers, so I struggled to communicate with them. I hadn’t actually told anyone else about my secret project. I believed that I probably wouldn’t be able to make the idiots clever and that most sane people would agree with that, so I decided I would keep quiet about it until I had something really cool to show someone. It did however feel like it was getting to the point of being cool and I was starting to wonder if anyone had ever gotten as far with artificial intelligence as I had.

The 11th of September was the notorious day that the jets flew into the two tall buildings in America. I remember sitting at work where, for some reason, we had televisions above our desks. I think our office used to be a call centre and the call centre used them for something. There was no sound on the televisions. I remember people gathering around our desks and staring at the televisions on that day. I looked at the CNN broadcast and saw the huge clouds of smoke and the caption under the picture which said ‘America under attack!’ I also remember how sickening it was to hear that some sad little men had killed thousands of innocent people, but no reason was given. What had they accomplished by doing it besides ruining thousands of lives and making the planet miserable? There just didn’t seem to be any point. Andrew decided that in times of misery like these humour is the best medicine and sent me this fake news interview:

September 11th, The Verdict is In!

We all know about the recent attack in America. Some sources say that Osama Bin Laden attacked America, and conspiracy theorists that America attacked itself. We, however, have the truth! Earlier this morning a young boy phoned our offices claiming that he was responsible for the attacks.

Of course, we lied to him and told him that if he gives us an interview he won’t get the electric chair.

The first question we asked was “What is your name?”

“Astupidjournalistsayswhat”, the boy replied.

“What?” I asked.

“Exactly!” he replied, and confused me tremendously.

“So, tell us, why did you do it?”

“It all started out as a dare. My friends and I were at the airport, and we were bored. So, my friend, Biff, says to me and my buddy, McFly, ‘I dare you guys to borrow some Jumbo Jets’. So, we said ‘No way’, you have got to be joking. So he says to my friend, ‘What’s the matter, McFly? You chicken?’. So we stood up and told him ‘Nobody calls us chicken!’”

“Okay, I see, so all in the name of fun. Why did you crash the jets into the towers then?”

“We weren’t planning on it! We were racing and tried to fly in between the two towers. Of course neither of us had ever flown before, so we weren’t very good.”

“That’s quite a funny story. So, how did you survive?”

“I took the stairs. The elevator wasn’t working.”

“Thank you for your time. These big, armed, gentlemen, carrying night sticks, guns and badges will now escort you to your hotel room.”

“I don’t believe you. They’re going to execute me! You lied to me!”

When in doubt remember, you heard the truth from us first! Don’t forget to catch the execution live on channel 4 after Fluffy Bunnies tomorrow morning.


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