Discover more from BadFiction
SMILE — a fiction by ollie francis
Seeing behind Artificial Intelligence
When she pours my breakfast cereal into my bowl, I always wait for her smile before I ask for milk. It’s silly, I know, but I see it as a sort of respect.
Maybe I’m old fashioned, but when I see her lips pull back like that and when I see those imperfect teeth show through, I feel that it deserves a response of some kind. I’m not stupid; I know it’s all motors and sensor grids doing the work — but there’s something behind it all. I’m not talking spirituality or any of that shit; the ghost in the machine is nothing more than a ghost in the imaginations of the unimaginative. But someone spent hours developing the software that would lead to that smile. Sure, the final calculations and continued refining of the thing post-initiation will all have been AI, but the original idea — the original aim to have the perfect smile — *that* will have been someone’s job, to set it all in motion to lead to the point we have now where the cheeks crease and wrinkle in just the right way to make you feel, every time, that this one smile is there just for you; that this action of servitude was *exactly* what she was wanting to do at that point. Of course, I’m so used to it now that it means little to me directly — I know exactly what lies beneath that skin — but I still take it as a small mark of respect to whoever it was that sent it all in motion. The god of the smile, if you will.
And so I always wait, hands on knees, straight back and sitting still, before asking for the milk.
Originally published on Tumblr
New fictions every day at www.olliefrancis.co.uk
Support my work by buying my ebook, Good Fortune