Wednesday, April 15, 2015

M: Man Vs Machine

HS230A24 kept playing the keys of his piano, with his head slightly cocked to one side. HS174B38 walked into the room. 

"230, my heart is beating so fast. They've just taken away 197."

“At least, he has lived for 138 years,” 230 replied without looking up from his piano.

“Why do you practice so hard?” 174 asked.

“To stay alive. You’d better do that too. You are still in B category. What’s your rank now in B?”

“38,” he said.

“Too close. Even if you slip a little, they’ll chop your head off.”

“I’ve lost my will to live. When did we humans become like this? How did we overlook what artificial intelligence can do to robots and to us?”

230 hushed him. “Not so loud. What will happen if they hear us calling them robot?”

“When did we become Homo Sapiens and when did they become Lord? You know, I once read in an old history book in the library that all of us had names before. To strip us of our identity, they started giving us numbers. HS174 – I hate that.”

“Lord Ronald is not so bad,” 230 argued. “He even gave me an extra five minutes to sleep today morning.”

“Sleep! Sleep! You are a fool. Here, I am talking about how we need to rule this world and you are speaking about an extra five minutes of sleep.”

“We don’t have the capability to rule. I know only to play the piano. How can I manage a country?”

“You only know to play the piano because they made sure you know only that and so is the case with accountants, lawyers, scientists and all. They choose what skill they require, choose genes that are conducive for that and breed us accordingly. We never had an opportunity to learn anything else. I read in that book that, before the rule of the Lords, we had schools where humans taught other humans, and we all learnt all subjects, at least when we were children.”


Suddenly, Lord Dixcy and Lord Darcy walked into the room. 230 bowed down to wish them and went back to playing his piano earnestly. “HS174B38, we are here to inform you that your rank has slipped down to 52. You have not been working on the new software you have been asked to develop, you have been found sneaking into other’s cells, you are not in support of the Rule of the Lords and you have been reading books from the banned section of the library. Since your rank has slipped to 51, you are now HS174B51. 51 in the B rank is not tolerable and you will have to be exterminated immediately.”

Saying this, Lord Dixcy pasted a tape over 174’s mouth, picked him up and walked out of the room. “The Higher Lords don’t like noise and we have found most Homo Sapiens start screaming when they are to be exterminated. So, we tape the mouth,” Lord Darcy explained. He stayed behind. “HS230A24, you are one of our top piano performers but you have been found entertaining another Homo Sapiens in your cell. So, your rank falls to 34. You are now HS230A34. Be careful. Don’t slip further.”



  1. OOh scary. Reminded me of Huxley's Brave New World.

    1. Awww Tulika. I'm proud that my words got the necessary effect ;)

  2. that's a scary future. Loved the creativity and narration.

  3. Scary but may become an actual reality considering how dependent we have become on machines to perform even small tasks. Wonderful imagination :)



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