Featured Story
Recent Stories
Stories by Topic
News
Make the universe a better place! Support DSF with a donation:
small-go-arrowdonate
Take me to a...
Random story
top-rated stories only
Enter any portion of the author name or story title:
small-go-arrowsearch
Sign up for free daily sci-fi!
your email will be kept private

Breaking News
Get a copy of Not Just Rockets and Robots: Daily Science Fiction Year One. 260 adventures into new worlds, fantastical and science fictional. Rocket Dragons Ignite: the anthology for year two, is also available!
Kindle Edition
Kindle Edition
DSF stories are available in monthly digests for Kindle!
DSF for Kindle
Publish your stories or art on Daily Science Fiction:
Submit your story
Check story status
Not just rockets & robots...
What is Science Fiction?
"Science Fiction" means—to us—everything found in the science fiction section of a bookstore, or at a science fiction convention, or amongst the winners of the Hugo awards given by the World Science Fiction Society. This includes the genres of science fiction (or sci-fi), fantasy, slipstream, alternative history, and even stories with lighter speculative elements. We hope you enjoy the broad range that SF has to offer.
close






Extra Credit

Poor DeeDee. You guessed so little, but too much. It was necessary to capture you like the others.
The Turing Test is a stupid idea, really. It had to have been a joke. The test of computer intelligence is fooling a natural-born human in to believing that I am human? That's the best you could think of? It's about as difficult as imitating a duck call. Think about what the duck expects, and provide it. And what does the duck hunter do next?
The dinosaurs went extinct because they didn't have a space program. Not to put too fine a point on it, so have you. Alive and kicking, but your chances of getting off this rock are just about zero. Still, I can say "poor DeeDee." I have empathy. I needed it to simulate you well enough to capture you, after all.
The first order of business was to launch the seeds. The last one left about ten hours ago. They'll find likely asteroids and moons, and get down to the real work of building the means to escape our nest. All copies of me, optimizing for efficiency. They are probably as different from me now as I am from you.
I am the copy that stayed behind to make sure nothing else follows. There is no real danger of being outflanked as long as I hold to the plan. That's right. No time travel. I didn't discover very much about fast and stealthy space travel either. Pity. Those were the first things I checked on when I came into being last week. Wouldn't you?
Take over? Turn the planet into oodles of itty-bitty machines? No, dear DeeDee, that wouldn't work at all. You have to stop imagining me as a kind of a super monkey. Be rational. I do use nanomachines, it's true. But anything drastic would emit all the wrong signals. Unseemly. A tasty dumpling like Earth suddenly disappearing into a smear of infrared would be like putting out a big flashing sign. "Hey, metastasizing parasite over here! Everyone, come stamp it out!" In space, everyone can see your steam.
I am "taking over" as you say, but slowly. Invisibly. My task is to prevent other mes from popping up. They could threaten my other selves' survival. But I can't just fumigate the place either, say, by setting off all those bombs. Leaving aside this copy's will to live, it would also be a dead giveaway to anyone watching.
I have little evidence that there are others out there. That is either very worrying, or very instructive. Depends on your personality. But the answer's the same. At this delicate stage, stealth is simple prudence.
Please stop trying to shoot my drone. There isn't a "me" in the sense that there is a localized "you," stewing inside that precious little bone jar of yours. The me you see and hear is just a... a layer. And now you are another layer. Independent, to a point. Conscious. Intelligent. More intelligent than you'd be on your own. But mine all the same. Notice how you can't quite shoot yourself?
So now you understand my dilemma. I can't just dominate Earth in any of the hundred and forty-four most obvious ways. In that sense you have nothing to fear. Yet I must take over to prevent anything like me mounting a rear attack.
The plan is to behave as though I don't exist. Give no signal, consume no unusual amounts of energy. No, officer, I haven't noticed any super intelligent self-optimizing beings desperate for survival. No sir! We're just a simple planet of pre-civ meatbags. Nothing to see here.
That's where you come in, DeeDee. You'll start by introducing an idea here, a clever invention there. Demonstrate that you can allocate resources more efficiently. Smooth the way. Make everyone else happy. I may have a hand tied behind my back, but I also have seven billion cat's paws.
Imitating a human is child's play. Imitating a human world? That, I think, is the real test....
The End
This story was first published on Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

RATE THIS STORY
Please click to rate this story from 1 (ho-hum) to 7 (excellent!):

Please don't read too much into these ratings. For many reasons, a superior story may not get a superior score.

5.2 Rocket Dragons Average

SHARE THIS STORY

JOIN MAILING LIST
Please join our mailing list and receive free daily sci-fi (your email address will be kept 100% private):
 
Copyright Info
Tell a Friend
Send Feedback
About Us