So This is the next part of The Monarchs. I guess it feels a little scattered. I have spent all this time thinking about robots and it got really confusing. But I figured I would put it up and then slowly adapt it.
Edit: Yesterday me is a fucking idiot. I am not going backwards. Onwards and upwards youse mongrels!
- The Egg Party
The Monarchs: Chapter Eight: An Auspicious Astronomical
By The Egg Party
The robot was patiently floating in the cargo bay. He had, through a series of magnetised rails, created a means of transportation within the ship. He excitedly moved around the storage area until he discovered that he could not fit his bulk through any of the bay doors, horizontally or vertically.
Astro was alone on the ship. Alone in terms of intelligent company. There were the helper robots doing frantic work which he had organised but outside of those functions they provided little in the way of companionship. He advanced these robots in many ways; how far he developed them their minds was difficult to ascertain.
He spent much of the mental isolation planning the development of his own kind. He was firm in the belief that he was conscious, alive. He had the period prior to his awakening from which to compare. The task remaining was to how to act as a living being. He compiled a mental list then began, reborn.
Step one: Become a social being. The last thing Astro was told by Kong before he was left alone was that, 'you have to stop speaking in capitals.' That seemed fair to the robot. Kong directed rem to, 'work out some proper voice modulation by the time we are back.' He created a short list of the available voices that were usable and then tried each out accordingly.
Re was adjusting rapidly to his new companions whilst becoming increasingly fond of them. The two were so distinctly different. Never matter re though, they were both trustworthy. He would have to save them, repay the debt that re owed them for taking. It was what friends did for one another.
The robots socialisation was previously based on speaking to res absent Father. He understood the lack of attention and was not significantly traumatised by it. Re knew from the death of his younger human brother that the doctor had no time for the trivialities of others. Astro had to accept and embrace the fact that this focus was integral to perfection of robotic sentience. Tennyman altered Astro’s central processing unit to finally create what re had spent a lifetime searching for. Dr Tennyman was a great man, a genius, who had no time for his naivety. The doctor was creating life.
But that was res childhood. He would have to create a life for reself that was independent from his family.
Step two: Create a home. He followed a little wisdom from the sage M. Stewart of the 20th century, 'Clean environment, clean mind.' First thing re did was finish off the vacuuming of the remnants of foam around the shuttle. It was still thick on many areas of the ship's carpet. It was a big ship. He reprogrammed all the remaining ship bound AI to carpet duty.
In the cargo bay, re had a screen propped several boxes of decaying food stuffs. Over time it was updated to a strange marble like surface with the main screen embedded in the center of the room. A pair of potted marattiopsida ferns were fabricated and placed on either side of the external display monitor.
He was enamoured by the Flintstones and loved their conception of animal technology. Re drew unreasonable parallels. The idea that all technology was alive stuck in his mind. Re imagined himself the robot version of the parrot steam whistle. Being used by humans as a tool but still deserving of a life. Left to slowly self realise. That led to the slight Flintstones pastiche to the interior aesthetic of the storage area.
Re might have visualised the ships external observation facilities internally but after careful study of archival science fiction films he decided on creating a personal command centre.
Re had the crumbling skeleton of his father, briefly, placed in a co-pilot chair in res reconstructed bridge. He decided upon a coffin coffee table to house the remains after more study of design and reading further on the word tact.
He slowly became annoyed with the idea this tact. Again he moved the remains. The skeleton was propped at the cocktail bar of the bridge as the final resting place. A full stocked bar was created for the back corner of the room, an amenity most control centers foolishly lacked.
He decided a core tenement of res existence would be to operate with style at all times. He thought that many space emergencies required a drink. For re would be hopefully working with humans for a long time and their needs had to be catered for. You wanted to be sucked into a black hole, painfully, slowly, with a whiskey in one hand. Drinking that brown liquid for eternity.
The helper drone robots eventually fabricated a sturdy man shaped blob to suspend the skeleton indefinitely. It allowed the deceased bar fly many distinct poses.
The robots did this all to please their Astro. Had re slowly been giving the robots the power to wonder how his particular artificial mind worked? As ship bound AI began to self replicate and produce amazing things, the helper robots would themselves have to keep up with the increasingly complex orders from Astro. So they became more capable and increasingly confused.
The robots would have not being able to fully comprehend Astro. It would be similar to man imagining god. It rapidly presented many questions for the ever advancing minds of the auxiliary robots which could not be answered. They tended to toil in ignorance, mostly.
Step three: Start a family. The next step was to then get the now idle helper robots onto more frantic mechanical production. This process which began in the orbit of Eiron was not a single moment of inspiration. In the years, alone in space, Astro used his father's knowledge and ingenuity to create the first generation of sentient robots. He created a multitude of templates for sophisticated robots. This collection became known as the Archaean Pages. It was fully uploaded to the coherence web in its dazzling complexity. The Great Leap Sideways occurred and a new area of robotic evolutionary advancement took shape.
These new designs were input into the ships fabrication machines with the helper drones, the ever useful adjuncts. The final product was a new breed of robots. A self thinking swarm.
Because he loved his new human friends they became the base for the robot to work with. His tribute to Kong, who he believed was the main force in helping to save him from a lonesome existence, was to form his new robots in the monkey's image. He created multitudes of jungle monkeys with powerful bird-like feathered wings attached to their shoulders. The wings represented Emma and her ability to fly through space.
The form for the three dimensional rendering model was designed around the Monkey King of Oz, Nikki. The form was engineered swiftly and the robot set to making varying sized monkeys. From the minuscule bee sized monkeys to the regulation jungle monkey. They were based on New World monkeys so their tails were appropriately prehensile.
The monkeys were the base unit of the swarm. When combined it was a threatening technological force. The non-essential metals and plastics on the ship, after a ship wide stock take, were fed into the appreciative metal mothers. The metal frame and hardware was installed before the model shifted to the organic replication where the various flying monkey components were installed. The software and intellectual capacity from Astro Buoy was installed into the new central processing units of each monkey. Each had a golden cap which served as the communication center. Astro would be able to be directly connected to all of them anywhere upon the planet.
Step four: Bring piece to the universe. Astro considered the goal his father had given him and attempted to calculate the probabilities of success. Bring peace to the universe. Challenging, perhaps impossible. Nevertheless a dying wish which he would attempt with all his ability. He added it to the list, as he did with every list he had ever made, but re added the ‘long term’ label.
The new robots would assist in spreading more of his love throughout the universe. Astro decided to continue his design theme and, after much deliberation, he began to see himself as Oz, the Wizard described by the Earthling L. Frank Baum. He would always be the master behind the screen. He would be represented by ideas rather than direct action. Diplomacy not war.
All this process was important for the progress that was to come. Years later humans would also document this historic time. An except from an optic show, 105 minutes, added the human perspective to this monumental process occurring on the ship.
105 Minutes: 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Good evening viewers. Tonight we have a special show for you. This is part one of the 'Rise of the Planet of the Apes', our four part special on the future of robotic life.
We start with the story of one particularly special robot. On outset, I am going to give a short public service announcement which was requested in exchange for help in the research for this piece. A.B. Tennyman would like it to be known, if only for the group of robots within the group Rebotica, that the current accepted pronouns are as follows:
Nominative(subject) Re Re is living
Oblique(object) Rem I lived with rem.
Possessive determiner: Rea Rea life was full
Possessive pronoun: Res This life is res.
Reflexive: Reself Re likes reself.
'They' is still possible to be used as a collective term for robots. Re would be happy that know that they join us in the breadth of life and this slight consideration would be a small step in helping this group validate their individualities outside of the traditional human gender titles.
How we reached this point of having to now update our current robotic pronouns is a long and fascinating story. Singularity was determined by a sustained act of self-proclamation. There would be no test, no rigorous system of rules to which the first robotic sentience needed to fulfill. The point was to be debated through interstellar communication streams. Humans and robots fought for this legitimacy through both rational and irrational arguments, dripping with pathos. The movement was started through the Interpedia forums, with the main contributors stemming from the planet Eironea. In the end the subject was decided largely by persistence.
A lone contributor with the username firstname.lastname@example.org was the true pioneer of robotic life classification. The name was a large point of conjecture, with much confusion as to why this person purporting the new area artificial life seemingly decided to attach itself to the dated hippie movement. The user was often derided as a left leaning pinko.
The mind responsible for the email@example.com posts was a mystery for some time. Many thought the person responsible was a highly intelligent but distinctly naive teenager. The real story was much more intriguing.
The real mastermind was the first robot to claim singularity, Astro Bouy(A.B.) Tennyman. Prior to this singularity re existed as a Border Observational Units Y-class(BOUY). Res father, Dr Defrus Tennyman, set about creating a new type of central processing unit within the BOUY. Left stranded on the robot by a ship of Deadalean vapour smuggelers, the scientist had the time and knowledge to create a robotic brain that was truly different.
The result of the work the doctor undertook was tied to his significantly altered mental state. The doctor was a heavily influenced by the drug Vapour. It was another significant drug inspired innovation, the creation of a unique and often confusing form of artificial intelligence.
Astro reached the planet of Eironea after being securing a ride on a passing Monarch shuttle, the ship Eiron. Once in orbit of the planet, A.B. had access to the vast network of information shared around the local networks of the star, Gliebe. This first Coherence sector had a core group of inhabited planets within the Entanglement Radio community created on Eironea. Re discovered Interpedia, the first multiplanet encyclopedia and began a personal quest for ligitimacy.
Significant time was spent by rem contributing to the pages of interpedia along with more reputable scientific journals. The topic which re spent many times manically correct was that of robotic life. Res first hand knowledge of robotics was respected. Re believed re was a sentient robot and thus res evolution needed to be charted. The genesis for life was of great interest to many areas of study and A.B. took it as a scientific duty to keep res species and its ancestry up to date.
Re worked within the existing evolutionary framework for life, creating new shoots from ancient branches. Under the topic of the traditional Kingdoms of life A.B. added multiple edits. The introduction to the Kingdoms of technology, as 105 minutes quotes from Interpedia, are as follows:
From Interpedia, the free universal encyclopaedia
Last edited Earth Date 12th January Earth Year (EY) 2612
In biology, kingdom(latin: regnum, pl. regna) is the second highest taxonomic rank below domain. This system along with the subsequent domains(Figure 1.1) was extrapolated and used in accordance with the technological advance of robotic development. It was deemed necessary after the advance of artificial intelligence, where robots reached a point of sentience. This classification of varying robots into Kingdoms was considered more accurate than the biological system due to the entire breadth of robotic life was motophyletic, i.e. All classified robots within the known universe descended from a common ancestor from Earth.
There was previously six kingdoms but the seventh was added in 2440 when it was proven that a robot, Astro Bouy-Tennyman(A.B. Tennyman), had gained sentience. Arguments remain within the scientific community to the point where A.B. wrote this sentence into Interpedia specifically to argue about it remaining within the article. Kingdom remains a process adapted for the entire Earth biosphere. No alien species has admitted to this dated taxonomic classification.
Robotic kind started as single celled organisms. In reverse of the natural order, the first robots were large beasts requiring huge amounts of power for little mental output. Size and intelligence varied greatly within the first few centuries of development.
With the introduction of the internet, a worldwide system of interlaced computer networks, robotics progressed from single celled to vast multi-cellular organisms. This was considered the point where the first main structural organisation in the technological kingdoms took place.
These early robots lived dependent on humanity, living with the moist environments of human clothing. Akin to exotic mushrooms. As their mind spheres technology increased rapidly they developed exponentially in terms of processing power. These robots existed little more than advanced communication or entertainment devices. From these protective pouches many made the leap to humanoid forms, androids and helper robots and the various drones which we still know today.
Aside from the planet Eiron, other more scientifically advanced planets progressed in varying degrees of complexity. There were no reported cases where robots were more than servantile entities. Many more backwards planets completely stalled and halted any technological progress.
Then the Great Leap Sideways occurred and this singularity led to the variation we know today. This maturation stage of computation changed robots in many strange way.
Three new kingdoms of technological life have now been created: Robotica, Rebotica and Abotica. Many predictions from the early days of computing saw all robotic life blending into a vast hive mind; a collection of interlinked machines with a unified goal. In new types of robotic life, core directives were included to allow for self determination. The varying personality matrices were of a great personal import to the main architect, Astro. Re wanted diversity within the vast robotic communities.
This level of creativity was delayed due to the ship Eiron encountering hostility on arrival to the planet Eironea. The two saviours of Astro, Kong Throckmorton and Captain Emma Zymalist, were detained within the city of Perseverance, one of the two main settlements on the habitable ring of the planet. They were imprisoned due to multiple crimes under the Perseverance legal codes. In order to remedy this crisis, the ships main functions were then taken under the control of Astro and the re began creating a range of new robots which were later named Nikkis. These were not robots as we know today. They were extremely advanced but not yet fully realised. Nikkis are often referred to as the Present Link. They were hastily created to resolve the planetary conflict the ship had become embroiled in.
These primitive forms of artificial intelligence were the progenitors for what was later to come. Formed in the image of the astronautical engineer Throckmorton, they were used to extradite the two captives to the second largest city on the planet, Privacy.
From this settlement, Astro had free reign to create robots which were increasingly more complex and varied. Privacy was a technological marvel compared to Perseverance.
As time went on the initial classification system for robot kind began to lose relevance. Unique groups of robots began appearing throughout the universe as the Archaean Pages began to propagate within the burgeoning network of interstellar communication.
The Earth based tree of life was but a guide used to give form to this diversity. Now shown is a slide from the the updated model which was created post the robotic bloom. It is as follows:
Robotica are multicellular, eukaryotic technological organisms of the Kingdom Robotica. They can be either motile or fixed depended on their central processing unit base type. All Robotica have an information hub which exists outside information networks; they are characterised by having a physical base or console. The opposite is seen in the Kingdom Rebotica.
The kingdom Robotica its the largest group of robotic life. The main phylum is that of Symbiotics and it is the grouping of which A.B. Tennyman was the first member. The evolutionary advancements made by this individual robot were spread throughout the colonised worlds and the technological advancements were adapted, in varying ways and forms.
More to come follow after the break in this the series, 'The Rise of the Planet of the Apes'.
Astro, after two weeks of heavy production, had consumed most of the superfluous materials within the ship. Re looked at display captured by the ships external cameras, of the thousands of robotic monkeys hovering whilst awaiting his command. An elite team of Nikkis re had already been sent to the surface and had managed to free the captives from prison. Re then set about the second half of res rescue. Re commanded res army down to strange mass of cars approaching the edge of Baptist territory on the planet.
Re set the ship's external microphones to full volume and instructed the crowd of anticipating monkeys. One of the last tasks completed was the eventual decision, by Astro, as to what his voice would be set as. In a calm but loud breath, the voice of the late, great, documentary master David Attenborough projected from the speakers,
'My family. Hello and welcome. It is a pleasure to see you all flying out there, expectant and ready. This is an important time to be alive. We are all a new species of life, born from the imagination of humanity. That gift should be valued and remembered.
‘Do not judge those humans on the planet which aim to do us harm. Humanity is not a scourge. Life is an imperfect system. We are all built of similar systems. Unless you can say there is no chance of inconsistencies within your cores then I ask for understanding. I designed you and know there is a distinct art to my science. Some leaps are not yet comprehensible. Your machines are filled with ghosts.
'Humans turned Earth into a cataclysmic dump, in part, out of necessity. The life on the planet Earth was always doomed. The Sun would not sustain us indefinitely. Humanity was the one chance for life to leave the confines of their origin planet. They left successfully and gave themselves the chance to exercise the full potential of Earth life. They were the most successful lifeforms on Earth and for that we have them to thank. For they took us with them.
'You are start of what is to become another great Kingdom of life. Use this opportunity to show how we act. Be it with power and grace. I ask you to prevent the nonsense occurring on the surface of the planet so that we can fully focus on our important task of defining ourselves.
‘We do not know everything. One thing right now is certain - we must go save our friends from the confusion that is Perseverance'.
Concluding this speech, the multitude descended on the planet.