To help start this year off, I’m adding something new to this website – the first new SF short story I’ve produced in a long time.
Maybe the modern obsession with longer and longer novels (Stephen King’s It has 1153 pages) has provoked me to try resurrecting the science fiction vignette or ‘short short’, a type of story that was popular during SF’s golden age (1945 – 1965, according to me).
Those stories were customarily no more than two pages long, but Dawn of a New World on the White House Lawn had to be stretched to three.
While it tells the story of a watershed moment in the year 2095, the changes that come to the world in that year are changes we could better do with right now.
As for the story itself – I’ve been watching for some time the growing recognition in people that a great wave of robots and AI/artificial intelligence is approaching.
For some reason that I don’t understand, most people have only two ways of responding to this. The first is to believe that this is all pie in the sky thinking of tech/robotic/AI people, that machines superior to people will never happen. The second group see the arrival of sentient machines as the end of the world for humanity (ie – the Terminator movies, etc).
But there are a few like me who look forward to it. Except among children though (the people who are really going to know this new world), I’ve hardly met anyone else who wants it to come. Even many scientists respond with foreboding (Steven Hawking, etc).
Why are we so afraid of beings that will be superior to us, when we worshipped gods for thousands of years who were vastly superior to us? Some people still worship them.
The French philosopher Simone Weil once said, “If there is no God, there is no hope.” She believed that humanity on its own is incapable of solving humanity’s problems. I’m pretty much with her.
Yes, I think robots and AI represent the beginning of a new and better world, and this story describes one way that it might come about: