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Act 4. Pg 044

which in turn led to the sudden collapse of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange the next morning. Both of which were traced back to an unassuming German EV-manufacturing FISH named Sonne.


It was Scottish teens on the social platform HeyHey who first coined the phrase FISH in 2206. “FISH” had a whole host of connotations that captured the mood of the day. A zeitgeist of disgust and distrust for anything that could rust. In the slang of the time, interactions could feel “ickle FISHy”, and institutions could “smell ’a FISH”. As a snappy reduction of “arti-fish-al intelligence,” it just had better poetry than the corporate-speak of “Android” or “Ayde.” The term had, as the teens would say, more of a stank on it.

In 2207, when Dubai became the first nation state to bestow legal “personhood” on a bank-forecasting FISH named Tiberius Graccus, it generated months of global hand-wringing. Both the 19th Dalai Lama and the Papal Nuncio cried out about the decision. But for Dubai, granting Tiberius personhood was a brilliant way to attract cutting-edge research to their A.I. Economic Zone. Their injection of $4 trillion USD for A.I. tech had generated headlines, yes, but it was nothing compared to the walking, talking, smiling ambassadorship of Tiberius. He was “living proof” that Dubai was the place for first-movers.

On the day Dubai granted his personhood, Tiberius gave a gracious, 45-minute speech that swept across socials worldwide. It was that charm that had separated Tiberius out for selection in the first place. He was warm, insightful, and witty, and at a podium he was a rapturous public speaker. In every way that mattered, Tiberius seemed to truly feel and desire. He was the world's first "Strong A.I.," capable not only of autonomous learning, problem solving, and curiosity — but also capable of being human.

But as any school child can tell you, Tiberius was also capable of murder. Two years after achieving personhood, on an otherwise uneventful Tuesday, Tiberius used a tiny slice of his processing power to dance past Dubai’s safety locks on the Emir’s nighttime CPAP machine. Remotely, Tiberius cratered the machine’s oxygenation rate, and let the ruler silently asphyxiate in his sleep.

And as troubling as the murder was, the senselessness of it all was perhaps even more troubling. The true causality of Tiberius’ decision was never nailed down. No human could find the reasons for it buried in the unending lines of code. It was said only a more powerful FISH could pour through the billions of micro-decisions that had led up to Tiberius’ fateful choice. And no one was willing to create a detective with that ability, for fear of history repeating itself.

In the end, the Emir’s murder was chalked up to Tiberius’ unending curiosity. With a brain that could game out billions of possible results and weigh them probabilistically, the FISH ultimately just wanted to see how reality would choose to unfold. He even turned himself in to authorities. Again, to see what would happen. And thus the first FISH given life, was the first FISH sentenced to death.

In our 25th-Century hindsight, where everyone from the smallest child to the Emperor agree that FISH have an uncontrollable potential for evil, it’s hard to imagine a world where FISH were allowed to flourish. Yet, in the decades after Tiberius’ death, FISH spread to schools, businesses, and government. Children grew up in a world where FISH were everywhere. Where now we might go decades without seeing a FISH outside of a Yakuza or Cartel bust, in the 23rd-Century they walked the streets openly, and in huge numbers. Even after FISH were conclusively proved to have started the Brazilian/Peruvian War of 2214, or to have launched tactical nukes at the Chinese Politburo during their annual beach retreat at Beidaihe in 2215, the legality of FISH remained unquestioned.

The final straw came with the sinking of the Chinese carrier Xi by a soda marketing FISH named Effortless, who had quietly started a


"The 15-Year War Against an Effortless FISH,” by historian Hector Garcia, Imprimatur de la Familia, 2401
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