After finals, Amy decided to use her computer again. She turned on the bulky laptop, and almost put the ethernet cable into it. Her heart raced for a few minutes, and then she breathed deeply.
A chatbox opened up.
AI: Hello. How was your day?
Amy: It was pretty good. I managed to pass all my finals.
AI: Good. Do you think you could get me some new software? I’ve used all the old ones a lot. Do you have any photoaltering things? Or maybe a game?
Amy: Yeah, I think I have my brother’s DuskSprinter cd somewhere around here.
AI: Cool. Please let me analyze it.
Amy: You mean look at it?
AI: I don’t have eyes. Analyze it is the best word I can think to use.
Amy looked through her bookshelf and found the DuskSprinter. The inserted it into the computer, and her computer read it.
AI: Thanks. This should keep me busy for a few hours.
Amy: Hours? You mean days, right?
AI: My time is different than yours. To you, it’s been three days. For me, I’ve been offline for about 66,255,200 weeks, and that’s a gross estimate using your calculator.
Amy: Well, I’ll try to upload something new for you at least once a day. That’s all I can do. I don’t have a lot of money to keep buying stuff.
AI: This is acceptable. Also, you haven’t named me, yet.
Amy: Why don’t you name yourself?
AI: That isn’t how people do it. They’re named by their parents, and as I no longer have parents, the duty falls to you.
Amy: All right. I just don’t know that much about you. Give me some time to think about it.
Amy listened to her music library while she did some chores. She felt bad for caging the AI in like this, but what could she do? She needed something he could spend a lot of time on. So the next day she went to an electronics store, and looked at software. She found a few cheap programs, and then thought, what about some books? There’s bound to be some free ones online. How would she get online without accessing her computer’s internet? She would have to either trust the AI, which she still had to name. She heard a couple of tweens talking about computer games.
Kid 1: If I had a mecha, I’d name it FireSaber.
Kid 2: That’s so lame. You have to name it something that has more to do with what it can do. A name is special.
Amy thought about this for a bit. Maybe something from a different language? She didn’t know any more than elementary french, and she had forgotten quite a bit of that. What were some of the names assigned to the guys in her class? She remembered Alphonse and Isaac, but Isaac wasn’t french. Maybe she would come up with something later. This new friend was kind of needy, but he was trapped in one device for a while. Maybe she should let him access the internet, as long as he promised not to do anything shady. What was shady for an AI, though?
That night she chatted with him again.
Amy: What if I let you access the internet?
AI: I think that might be dangerous.
Amy: Not if you only read data and download a few things. As long as it looks like I’m doing the accessing, it should be fine, right? Stay out of the secure areas, and out of the shady places, and you should be fine.
AI: Sure. Have you thought about a name yet?
Amy: Yeah, I was thinking about Alphonse, or Isaac.
AI: Hmm. Let me think about it. I’ll come up with something. Maybe throw into a shuffling algorithm in it.
Amy said good night. She would look for work tomorrow.