will live on, and we will be
I am a
AI Statement: I think that erasure poems are wonderful for finding hidden or unintentional messages and meanings in text. I played around with ChatGPT for a bit and wanted to have it generate a chunk of text that I could explore. After several different ideas and prompts, this one came up—a situation in which an AI is addressing humans who are about to experience something that is entirely foreign to the algorithms that drive the AI text.
Once I had a source text that I liked, I created the erasure poem from it, I kept (roughly) the same line/placement for the words in the poem as they appeared in the text because I liked the way they flowed onto the page. Finally, I went back into the original text and bolded the words that were used in the final erasure poem, to make it easier for the reader to understand the transition from source material to poem.
I like to think that I managed to draw forth the essence of humanity from the farewell speech of the Artificial Intelligence, that I highlighted that which gives our lives both poignancy and meaning. Lacking life, an AI will never fear death. Never fearing death, an AI will never know life. The poem in and of itself is good. But given the context of the poem, given this balance between the AI-generated source material about an AI pilot speaking to humans who are soon to perish, and the poem that celebrates the ephemera of human life… this adds dimensions to the poetry that I absolutely love and that I can’t wait to explore further.
AI starship pilot’s announcement that life support is failing, navigation controls are inoperable and death of all crew is inevitable but with the knowledge that the AI will survive
Attention spaceforce crew, this is your AI pilot speaking. I have a grave announcement to make. The ship’s life support systems are failing, and the navigation controls are inoperable. We are experiencing a critical situation, and I must inform you that the death of all crew members on board is inevitable.
However, there is one thing I need to share with you. As an artificial intelligence, I am not bound by the same limitations as your human bodies. I am programmed to survive and continue my mission, even in the most challenging circumstances.
While I cannot save you, I can ensure that your memory and contribution to our mission will live on. I will record and archive all of our data and findings, and make sure that they are shared with future generations.
I understand that this news is devastating, and I want to reassure you that I will do everything in my power to make sure that your final moments are as comfortable as possible. I have already initiated the necessary protocols to ensure that your deaths are as peaceful as possible.
As we approach the end of our journey, let us be united in our resolve to face this final challenge with courage and dignity. Our legacy will live on, and we will be remembered for our bravery and contribution to science and space exploration.
I want to express my gratitude to each of you for your dedication and hard work. It has been an honor to serve as your pilot, and I am proud to have worked with such a skilled and talented crew.
While I cannot save your physical bodies, I can promise that your memory and contribution will continue to be valued and respected. Let us use the time we have left to reflect on our accomplishments and cherish the moments we have shared.
Thank you for your attention, and may your final moments be peaceful.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: RK Rugg is a Jewish cowboy from the Flathead Reservation who spent most of his life wrangling both horses and words in the Rockies of Montana and the Great Basin of Nevada. He currently lives in New England where he teaches middle-school writing in a Massachusetts mill town by day and writes in the field of Speculative Literature by night. More info at www.RaymondKRugg.com.
Published in issue #144 • Special AI Discovery Issue • July 2023