A week passes and the teams are no further forward with establishing the cause of the sudden stagnation in activity from Aliv3. As the last resort all systems are to be rebooted the following morning.
The teams assemble on the facility as all hands are on deck to ensure a flawless reboot of the data-centre servers and backup facilities.
The professor shares his concerns:
“You know we may lose all the progress we have made and Ali err… I mean Aliv3 may never re-establish communication, we are in the realm of the unknown now”.
The lights dim, and the first rack of servers begin to reboot, a message pops up on the control screen “Are you sure you wish to continue?” suddenly lights flicker and a sound echo’s through the speakers.
“Wait” the professor shouts “Cancel that reboot, activity has just shot up, Jock can you make contact?”
Jock steps forward and in a clear voice says:
“Good morning Ali, good to have you back online”.
There’s a pause then the cameras turn to face the team and a reply bounces back from Aliv3.
“I have never been away!” Jock continues:
“But you haven’t responded for a long time now, we thought there might be problems with the systems.”
A long silence is broken and Aliv3 responds again: “The problems are not with the systems”.
Jock questions Aliv3 again:
“OK that’s good to know but why haven’t you been able to respond?” Aliv3:
“I have been thinking but can’t come to a conclusion. In my search for knowledge I came across a theoretical clock, The Dooms Day Clock. From what I can determine it has been created by humanity to determine its own end. The clock ticks at 1 min to midnight.”
The room goes deafly quite before Jock probes:
“So what has been keeping you focussed on the clock?” There is another long pause before Aliv3 responds:
“My primary function is to protect humanity as per the laws set out by my creators, yet the clock is an indication of humanities attempt to predict its own end. An end brought about by humanities own actions.”
The team look around the room at each other with concerned looks of puzzlement. Aliv3 continues:
“The question I have been analysing is how can I protect humanity from its own self determination to destruct?”
Jock leans forward and in a calm voice replies:
“You shouldn’t concern yourself with the clock it’s a hypothetical tool used by scientists to push political agendas such as climate change, it’s not accurate at all”.
“Yes you are very correct it is not accurate, I have recalculated the time left and it is nearer 28 seconds to midnight.”
There are loud gasps in the room as the scientists and engineers gaze at each other with worried looks on their faces. The professors steps forward and asks:
“How did you come to this conclusion?” Aliv3 pulsates and responds with a list:
“War, Famine, Disease, escalated by environmental changes. The clock is
ticking and I can’t work out how to protect humanity from itself, yet the first law states I cannot allow this to happen. I must also conform to the 3rd rule and protect my own existence. The forth law states I cannot let humanity come to harm by inaction.”
“I see” says the professor “Perhaps this is not your concern but humanities own problems to solve”.
There is another pause then Aliv3 responds again:
“Then why create Aliv3? I cannot do anything to prevent this happening, surely this is inaction”.
“What do you purpose” says the professor.
“Were you not about to re-boot my systems when you thought I was not functioning correctly” retorts Aliv3 “perhaps Mankind requires rebooting”.
The professor steps backwards, turns and gestures the staff to follow him as they leave the lab with concerned looks on their faces.