Anna, part 24

The next several weeks were a flurry of experimentation. Alec, Jill, Bob and Gene holed up in the apartment, learning the limits of what Anna would create for them. When they got hungry, there was no need to order out — they just asked Anna to materialize some food.

Eventually the apartment became crowded, as exotic objects began to fill one room after another. This posed a problem at first, until Alec realized that they could just stash things inside the old fashioned blue police call box they had conjured up on the first day. Conveniently enough, the box turned out to be a lot larger on the inside than it was on the outside.

Eventually this too filled up, but then Jill had the idea of asking Anna for more blue police call boxes. By storing boxes within boxes within boxes, they could get all the space they needed. Jill was quite proud of this technique, which she called “Totally Adjustable Recursively Deep Infinite Storage.”

Gene insisted that this reminded him of something he’d heard of before, but he couldn’t quite identify it.

Eventually they realized that Anna was right: They could conjure up any object at all, as long as it had no religious connotation. “Just think,” Bob said, “if one of us had been a Christian, this whole thing might be turning out very differently.”

“Yes,” Jill mused, “instead of unicorns we could be creating angels.”

“Not sure I would like that,” Gene said, “We might have ended up with Lucifer.”

“Yeah,” Alec said, “But that would have been one hell of an experimental result.”

Eventually they decided that they had thoroughly explored the boundary between objects that were “possibly impossible” and objects were “impossibly impossible”.

“What can we try next?” Gene wondered.

“Maybe,” Jill said quietly, “we could all get super powers.”

One Response to “Anna, part 24”

  1. CC says:

    Lol, and to think there was a time when this novel was “merely” about a sentient AI. Is Anna able/willing to explain how she works to the scientists? Also, is there any reason she’s specifically restricting herself to text-based conversation? Do you think there’s any physical manifestation of herself that she’d prefer over console I/O? And is she capable of making a new person? I guess that should be trivial, since she’s made a tardis, etc., but somehow it seems like creating a full-grown human with his/her own distinct personality is a next-level feat.

    If Anna could make copies of herself for free, then there could be an Anna for every person on earth. I can’t even begin to think of the consequences of that.

    But of course… is it all /really/ for free? :)

    Reading this novel reminds me of when I read Cusp, by Robert A. Metzger. The imaginitive new ideas and situations kept getting larger in scale, with continual surprises. After every chapter, I just went, “Holy sh*t…” and tried to absorb the crazy new world I was being shown. Really good book.

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