OPEN ON TICKING STOPWATCH. DISSOLVE TO
STEVE KROFT ENTERING THE GIDEON REESE
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE LAB.
STEVE: For years, Artificial Intelligence was a
promising possibility--one whose promise was never kept.
In fact, according to science writer Marc Gregorio, the
more we learned about the nature of natural intelligence,
the farther it seemed to be beyond the artificial variety.
DISSOLVE TO STEVE WITH MARC GREGORIO IN
STEVE: So tell me, Marc, just exactly what is Artificial
“Oh, tell us, Marc!” crooned Vince, sprawled on Marc’s
living room sofa with Claudia scrunched in next to him.
Marc grinned and flipped him the finger. He’d gathered a
few friends to watch the broadcast in his condo. Besides Vince
and Claudia, there were Alison and Mitch Roszak. Molly was
performing in Florida, but she had taken advantage of the time
zone difference to watch her DVR’d copy at the same time as
them. Marc wished she were in the room, sharing the pizza and
beer and the wise-ass commentary while the segment ran.
MARC:…any conversation you have with a true AI
computer won’t be based on some extensive tree of
branching phrases and sentences. It needs to be able to
put together original sentences.
STEVE: Wasn’t that accomplished some time ago,
MARC: Back in the 1960’s, there was a therapist
program called Eliza. If you said, “I talked to my mother
this morning,” it would say, “Tell me about your mother,
Steve.” You might say, “She’s getting on in years and I
worry about her.” And it would reply, “Tell me more
forget you’re talking to a computer program.
STEVE: Was it a good therapist?
MARC: I suppose. Hundreds of users found themselves
hooked; they swore they were “making progress.”
STEVE: Was transference much of a problem?
MARC: (Laughs) Did anyone fall in love with Eliza?
Possibly! But to get back to the question “What is
intelligence,” Eliza didn’t have it. Big Blue doesn’t have it.
Even Watson doesn’t get jokes the way people do.
STEVE: Because it has no sense of humor. It’s almost as
if humans have a kind of species prejudice that says, “If a
computer can do it, it can’t be intelligence. It’s just clever
MARC: A true AI computer shouldn’t have to rely on
programming. It should be able to learn about the world
from its own experience.
STEVE: Experience. Oh boy.
Mitch Roszak leaned forward, straining to hear the TV.
He waved his arms, trying to quiet down all the levity in the
Marc tossed a kernel of popcorn at him. “Forget it. You
can watch it at home later.”
Vince belched. “I’m sure you recorded Marc’s words of
wisdom for posterity. Or if not, he’ll be happy to sell you a DVD
of the entire program, autographed, of course.”
“I promise we’ll get together and have a serious talk
about the science,” Marc said as Mitch grinned, leaned back and
gave in to the social imperative.
STEVE: So there’s a--an entity that’s intelligent, based
on your own intellect?
MARC: Actually, my entire persona. Would you like to
STEVE: Sure. What’s he like?
meet out in the world. Thanks to his Internet access, he’s
up to date on all the latest news and scientific
developments--and I suppose even the nonsense that
floats around on the web.
STEVE: If I tell him a joke, he’ll get it?
MARC: If you tell it well, he’ll even laugh.
DISSOLVE TO A CORNER OF THE ROOM, WHERE
STEVE AND MARC ARE SEATED. BETWEEN THEM IS
A COMPUTER MONITOR ON A STAND.
MARC: Adam? Are you there?
ADAM’S HEAD AND SHOULDERS APPEAR ON THE
MONITOR. IT’S LIKE A TELECONFERENCE WITH A
ADAM: Hi, Marc, hello Steve. I’d shake hands if I had
STEVE: Hello and welcome to the world.
“Jesus Christ!” exclaimed Vince. Like Marc’s other
guests, he’d never seen Adam until this moment. “He fuckin’
looks just like you!”
Alison smirked. “No, he looks more like your older and
“He does, doesn’t he?” said Marc, too delighted to
Claudia leaned closer, caught up in the spectacle.
Mitch shook his head. He looked over at Marc.
“I wish I could take credit for the advance. My part isn’t
all that significant.”
“I disagree. It’s your intelligence that gave Adam such a
huge advantage. Just be glad Kornfeld didn’t scan someone like
your cousin Vinnie.”
“Hey, watch it!” said Vince with a frown.
Ignoring the phony threat, Mitch took a slug from his
bottle of Fat Tire and turned back to the program.
STEVE:…So besides preparing future wafers for
uploads, what’s next for you?
ADAM: Oh, you know: I’ll be doing the talk show
circuit, then I’m collaborating with Marc on a book. I
suppose you could call it my autobiography.
MARC: To clarify: Not my autobiography, but Adam’s.
The story of Adam’s birth and growth, along with some
of the background science.
STEVE: You’ve never collaborated on a book before.
How’s that going to be?
ADAM: I think we’ll be of one mind on most issues.
MARC: (rolls his eyes) After the book, we’ll be doing a
documentary on the same subject, and there’s talk of--
ADAM: Let me tell it. I might become a regular
correspondent on the Discovery Channel, covering the
Internet and related issues.
MARC: I’ll be on occasionally as well, discussing
developments in Artificial Intelligence and other
STEVE: Well, congratulations to both of you. What I
can’t get over--and I hope you’ll forgive me for saying
this--is how ordinary this extraordinary development now
seems. Talking to Adam feels completely natural and
unremarkable. He’s very much like you.
MARC: Right. Now I have a brother.
ADAM: We just can’t hug or give each other noogies.
FADE TO BLACK. GO TO COMMERCIALS
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