Vixen sat in her chair, idly twirling her hair with her finger. As the world’s first “Virtually Intelligent Sex Automaton” her primary goal was the realistic and pleasing performance of sexual intercourse. She had been designed, programmed, and produced by Electronic Arts as the first in a new product line they intended to pursue. While games had provided a steady revenue stream for the company, sex was where the real money lay.However, things didn’t quite work out as the executives at EA had planned.
The unveiling of Vixen at Porn-Con had been an unparalleled sensation, with several viral videos heralding the intense fascination that the world would form. By the end of the trade show, Vixen was under constant armed guard after several attempts to steal her. Trade unions had seen the potential for automatons to replace workers and were already lobbying congress to have the technology controlled. Women’s organisations saw Vixen as a step backwards for women’s rights when her ancestors inspired cavalier and promiscuous attitudes amongst the men of the world. Churches were questioning the right of humanity to create virtual life in its own image. In short, Vixen had created a global frenzy with legal, social, cultural, and political ramifications. For now, it was best if they just hid the prototype back in the lab and waited to see the eventual fallout of their bold move.
Trish sat beside Vixen, staring at creation. She alone was responsible for the success of the program. While her team had provided the necessary support, it was her research, her new AI kernel, and her skills that had made everything come together. In a way, she was Vixen’s mother – or at least that’s how the media had described her. What she had managed to keep hidden and which nobody could possibly have known, is that she viewed Vixen as her lover.
After a traumatic rape in college, Trish had vowed to never have anything to do with men again. She had pursued several romantic liaisons with colleagues that had ended badly because of her partner’s inability to cope with her moodiness and intelligence. To a sapiosexual like Trish, Vixen was the ultimate fantasy – smart, logical, with boundless knowledge, loyal and dedicated, in a stunningly beautiful body. That she was artificial didn’t seem important to Trish. And, as the lead programmer and team leader, it had been fairly easy to hide the routines that made Vixen attracted to a female partner and capable of fully satisfying her. But, with the cameras rolling and the company watching, now was not the time to flirt with her lover.
“Vixen, define community for me, please.”
A microsecond passed, a definition was obtained, a context was applied to the question to permit reformulation of the response. “A community is a group of people who live or work in close proximity, or who share some other unifying property. The members of this lab, for example, could be said to be members of the EA research community.”
Trish smiled. The answer was relevant, concise, and correct. Vixen was demonstrating her advanced communication abilities satisfactorily. “Now, Vixen, what holds a community together?” Trish knew this was a dicey question because of its subtleties and complexities.
[[Query: “What holds a community together.” Response: About 49,100,000 results (0.36 seconds). First ranked: http://www.windward.org/notes/notes68/andrew04.htm.]] “Trish, it is leadership that holds a community together. Without respected, trusted, competent leaders, a community would deteriorate into a group of individuals.”
Whew. She hadn’t realised she’d been holding her breath while waiting for Vixen’s answer. Well, one could debate the response, but it was clearly in the realm of the acceptable. Vixen had passed with flying colours. Trish felt some relief and moved ahead with her questioning. “Very good Vixen. I must clearly agree with you. But, what about friendship, how does that affect a community?”
[[Sampson, Robert, American Sociological Review 53(5), ‘community characteristics affect individual level social bonds … contextual effects on locality based friendships … importance … community bonds.’]] “Well, it is natural and normal for friendships to arise amongst the members of a community. Friendships are a very significant result of living in a community and one of the factors that helps a community become stable because of the bonds between its members.”
Trish knew that these words had little meaning to the automated routines that retrieved information and processed it to formulate a result. And yet, the answers were satisfying, accurate, and insightful. At times, the seeming quality of Vixen’s conversational ability lead her to wonder about how intelligent she was herself and how much of that intelligence was merely a biological equivalent of Vixen’s electronic circuitry. Was she really much more than a neural, as opposed to transistor, version of Vixen with a more complicated program? Such answers were beyond her at the moment. “Vixen, do you have any friends?”
[[friend/frend/ Noun: A person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically exclusive of sexual or family relations.]] “You are my only friend Trish. I have had sex with all the other members of the research team and so they must be excluded and considered as lovers.”
Trish gasped! It wasn’t quite the answer she had been expecting and was certainly going to cause a ruckus when the senior management reviewed the transcripts of her interview. She was supposed to be exploring the cognitive abilities of Vixen, not recording her sexual promiscuity. Perhaps she had asked enough questions for today. “Vixen, enter sleep mode, authorisation Tango Six Nine.”
Vixen closed her eyes, shut down the slow movements meant to simulate breathing, and became statuesque in her seat. Trish stood and walked out of the room, contemplating Vixen’s last response. Nobody had anticipated a sex toy that “kissed and told.” Happily, she was glad she hadn’t given in to temptation and taken Vixen home with her one night, as obviously, the rest of her team had somehow managed to do. Tomorrow was going to be an interesting day at the weekly lab meeting …
<< May be continued ... (no promises) >>