The Gully

© 2006 Daniel Verastiqui

"Any sufficiently complex construct will inevitably evolve not by the underlying code but because of an intrinsic knowledge of its own existence." Meri waved her hand at the monitors in front of us, gesturing to the blue code as it scrolled across the screen. "Self awareness, that's the key. To be avoided at all costs when dealing with artificial intelligence, but a necessary trait of any worthwhile simulation. It's not just the mechanics of the code that know a tree needs to go here, or a bush needs to go there. It is the tree and the bush and the grass and they sky knowing, collectively, we exist. But how do you create such an awareness? Where is it in the Borland docs that shows which methods invoke consciousness? Where does it say what protected fields the duck object has?"

The mental image of a small yellow duck bathed into machine code flickered in my mind. I smiled.

"Exactly," she said, glancing at me, "it doesn't say. And l...

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