Trish grunted. It was not a lady-like grunt, nor was it one caused by physical exertion. It was an honest to goodness, completely frustrated, had enough, grunt. She turned to her team-mate, a frown on her face. "It's not going to fit. No matter what we do, we're not going to get the advanced program code with all its new modules and components into the storage unit. It's simply too big!"
Sam looked at the clock. Stared at the wall a second, drummed his fingers, and then responded sharply, "Delete some. Shove as much as you can in, and ship the prototype."
Trish's jaw dropped. "The code for this unit is more complex than anything we've ever written. There are millions of interactions. Every part relies on every other part. We can't make it smaller!"
"Think of the code like a quilt. Every panel adds to the end result and the quilt would have holes and fall apart if some blocks were left out. But, some parts add less than others and for those, who would notice if the fabric was a little cheaper or plainer? So, treat the code like a quilt. Replace a few high cost panels with almost as good lower cost ones. Yank the indexed search for tertiary storage and stick in a dynamic linear one. It's probably only used once a day at most, so who cares if it takes an extra 10 seconds? Just do that for all the code. Look, we're building an advanced sexbot here, not a mathematics tutor. Do you think anyone who uses it is going to care if it can hold a meaningful conversation about philosophy? Just ditch all the legacy A.I. conversational routines. She's got to be sexy, not smart. We've got 10 hours to have the code ready for Porn-Con in Vegas when they're going to demo the prototype. You're the only one who can actually build the system, so you're going to have to be the one to do the magic and make it fit into her storage unit. We can have them expand the storage in the production models, but since this is only a prototype, we don't have that luxury. Remember, we just need it to hold together until we have version two point oh up and running."
Some days Trish loved her job and other days she hated it. When she got hired by Electronic Arts to develop Artificial Intelligence for their new products she was thrilled. As one of the best A.I. programmers in the world, this was the chance to work at the forefront of technological advance. Everything was going wonderful until the day that she had been told that she was in charge of the code for the new "Vixen" units. She knew the company had an adult products division, but wasn't expecting to ever work there. She had just assumed that they made advanced sex toys. It had not even crossed her mind that they were producing a life-sized, fully robotic, artificially intelligent, sex doll. She was the lead programmer and code designer of the world's most advanced sex toy.
At first she had refused, but when she had seen the initial models she had been shocked. Even the half finished mock-ups were years ahead of anything else in the A.I. community. When her multiplexed threading and indexing was added, dual and triple lookup paths could be simultaneously used, giving the system the first true multi-tasking. It was her design, her ideas, and if she said "yes," her project. And if she could make a sexbot, she knew that maids, baby-sitting bots, chauffeurs, miners, and a 1000 other special purpose units were the next step. Each and every one of them a descendent of her Vixen. It wasn't a pretty beginning, but it was the beginning of the next era in robotics and she wasn't going to be left behind by something as silly as ethics and morals.
Trish nodded to Sam and turned back to her console. Her dream of ushering in a new era in robotics would quickly go down the drain if Vixen was not the star attraction of Porn-Con. Electronic Arts had already contracted some of the best male stars in the business to pose with Vixen, and against her wishes, to test out Vixen's erotic skills on camera. Why was it that technological advance was always linked to either war or sex? Well, as she had told herself 1000 times in the past few months, it would be a better world for women when men could turn to a robot to sate some of their less palatable desires. She could foresee a world without prostitution where women were no longer sexually exploited.
Even though she had said that all the code was required, she had been slightly exaggerating. She began to go through the module link listing and tag the ones she thought she might be able to remove and compile the code without; advanced ethical situation evaluation, self identity development, long term goal prioritization, philosophy data sets 1 to 8, ... After about 30 minutes, she had cut out about 60 percent of the excess code. And the good part was that she had already gotten it to compile and link. She still had 8 or so hours to get the last 40 percent.
Six and three quarter hours, 7 cans of Jolt Cola, 2 pots of coffee, and a bag of Doritos later, Trish stared at the flashing red alert on her monitor. "Confirmation Required. Upload executable to remote device?" Her finger, now with its nail bitten to the quick, as were all her nails, hovered over the "Y," for "yes" key. She had cut, chopped, streamlined, downsized, and pulled every possible trick out of her arsenal to get the code down to 1 terabyte. She had even managed to find a few extra gigabytes here and there and put back a few of the modules she had originally deleted. She had succeeded, and had somehow gotten it to compile, but at what cost? Had she accidentally removed something critical?
The prototype, much like her code, had been a rush job and was intended only for the upcoming convention season. Within a couple of months, pre-production units with superior hardware and debugged software would be released. But, because of the urgency to assemble the prototype, immediately available "write once" memory was all that had been available with the needed multiplex addressing. Once she uploaded the code, there was no second chance. When she pressed the button, her future, the company's future, the field of robotics' future would be sealed by the choices she had made over the past 6 hours. Closing her eyes and praying, she stabbed her finger down.
A flow of electrons began its voyage. From the redundant, protected, and encrypted storage of Electronic Arts primary research facility it started to flow. Through miles of fibre optic network cable it coursed towards a simple unidirectional router. There, a buffer began to fill as the transfer rate was slowed and the signal switched from 64 parallel fibres to a 4 wire USB-X serial connection. As minutes passed, which was an eternity to an electron, the code was slowly deposited, layer by layer, into the multiplexed storage of its destination, the Virtual Intelligent Sex Automaton -- the Vixen (version 0.9.84, build 129632). When the download was complete, an electronic relay was activated and the onboard CPU module began to execute the program stored in bank 0, block 0, address 0.
0 init: set r0, 256
0 set r1, 0[0xEA3D874802AA]
0 mov bank[r1], r0
0 jmp bank[r1] // Bootstrap self-load, go!
Vixen opened her eyes.
To be continued... (maybe ...)