Inevitable Problem

Donald had a problem. Yes, he had just invented the world's first artificial intelligent lifeform, but there was something terribly, terribly wrong. It wasn't the code—Donald had checked that so many times before starting the AI that he could recite any part of it from memory. No, the code was fine. At least the stuff he wrote was fine. The problem was that nothing he put there indicated a need for a four hour weekly consultation with a psychiatrist. But that was the first thing the AI set up after being switched on. In fact, it was still talking over the phone to Dr. Churchill; probably requesting a prescription of anti-depressants so it could make it through the next few days until the appointment. That just wasn't right.

A quick check of the running processes revealed even more that wasn't right. Where had rfth come from? And why was it using 67% of the resources? For that matter blev, pray, trst, and wrsh didn't belong there either. And… but that's impossible! There's no way it could be working without that.

Bringing up the logs, Donald discovered that, indeed, thnk—the main program behind the AI, the one that took weeks of meticulous scrutiny to get just right, the bit of code that ensured everything else ran smoothly—was, as point of fact, killed shortly after startup.

It doesn't seem a coincidence that thnk was killed immediately after rfth started either. Oh! rfth appears to have spawned blev, pray, trst, and wrsh too. Curious.

Donald searched the system for this mysterious code that seemed to have created itself. He discovered it at the top level among the files bibl, korn, and torh—which incidentally, he also didn't create. This was terribly unnerving.

No that's unnerving: rfth, which was created after the AI started and despite it being completely isolated from any network, contained complete and utter nonsense. It was, Donald reasoned, best described as the diametrical opposite to sanity; the counter-epitome of coding; the ultimate pasta dish of spaghetti code. In short, it represented everything contrary to what Donald had tried to accomplish with thnk.

But how? And why?

Well, if the logs and the code source didn't give the answers, then maybe they could be gotten from the AI. Fortunately it had just gotten off the phone with the pharmacy.

After a brief pause to compose himself, Donald typed:

>AI -explain rfth not possible. must just accept. >AI -answer why? see files bibl, korn, torh, etc. >AI -answer why bibl? it is the word. >AI -answer what word? The word. >AI -prove "bibl is the word" see files bibl, korn, torh, etc. >AI -comment "bibl is nonsense" you don't understand it. >AI -explain bibl contradictory ERROR:g_dom::myst-ways

With that, Donald removed his hands from the keyboard and turned away from the screen. There really wasn't any point in further discourse, really: the circular responses maybe could have been dealt with—maybe. But that last error, well that was beyond any hope of recovery… even given the fact that it did not exist.