Doctor Jay L. House put the finishing touches on the most important Artificial Intelligence computer program that would ever exist, the Cerebrally Recogitant Unified Network Computation Hub 243. It’s sole purpose was to take over the world without violence.
“Did you make the changes I asked?”
His programmer, Hugh J. Korn, nodded. “Changed and reintegrated. She won’t miss a byte of available social media to model the changing public psyche, and she’ll extrapolate any data that’s missing.”
“I think we’re there,” said Jay. “But it’s not a she.” He navigated to the controller module and clicked the ‘start’ button. “Here we go. Eight years of work, my friend. We’re about to own the world.”
“Or at least have the instructions to do so,” said Hugh.
Jay savored the moment. The CRUNCH-243 AI was designed to take input from—among other things— every political, military, law enforcement, religious, economic, cultural, marketing, weather, and utility resource in existence, then model the data into predictable behavior, and recursively apply hundreds of thousands of variables to affect the outcomes, then reconstruct the most favorable variables into an action plan to rule the world.
One of the beautiful features of AI is that it learned from its previous runs. Even though the full integration of data sources and objectives hadn’t been complete for the test runs, the systems knew which calculations it had already done and wouldn’t have to repeat them. The first test run, using only a fraction of the world’s data took seven months. The second one only took a week. Now fully integrated worldwide, the previous test had gotten down to two and a half days.
Jay couldn’t help planning his castle for when he was the autocratic ruler of the earth, even though he realized the program could prescribe a particular way of living for him. He’d compromise where he had to.
Twenty-three point six-two-nine-one hours later, the CRUNCH-243 assembled its prescription for world domination.
Jay controlled his excitement and waited at his desk for Hugh to print it out and deliver it to him.
When Hugh lay it in front of him, Jay took a deep breath and started reading. The report was a twenty-three page strategy for discrediting Ryan Seacrest, taking over all of his entertainment projects, and adapting them to addictive fads like race car driving with meercats, Jack Reacher claymation films, and Angry Bird themed zumba classes.
Jay turned the last page face down on the pile and placed his hand on top.
“Well?” Hugh hovered by the office door.
“Something went wrong.” Jay tapped his fingers. “We’ve way over-indexed the influence of Ryan Seacrest.”
“I doubt that.”
The irritation on Jay’s face stifled Hugh’s next remark. “We’re going to have to tweak an entertainment influence or two, as well.”
After three weeks of head down tweaking and scrubbing of code, they were ready to try again, this time modulating entertainment to a tertiary effect upon the control of populations with a few choice phenomena elevated, such as Lady Gaga, Weird Al Yankovich, and a Frenchman who put five-inch nails up his nose.
Jay pulled up the control module and clicked ‘start.’
Six point four-nine-nine-six hours later, the computer finished its calculations and generated the report. Hugh brought it to Jay’s desk and set it in front of him.
It was thin, maybe seven pages, which worried Jay. How could you distill the best way to take over the world down to ten pages?
Jay read the first page, picking up interest when it mentioned the importance of complex relationships, but his shoulders sank when the next six pages gave instructions for a dog breeding and a pet matching service that was certain to maneuver the entire world to give up everything they have and enslave themselves to pets, all of which would be controlled by the service.
“There is a sort of psycho-genius to it,” said Hugh. “We’d at least control Paris Hilton and Simon Cowell.”
“It’s not enough,” said Jay. “One more time. Dial back pets, but keep them above self-respect, a sense of duty, and personal hygiene.”
The program ran for just less than a day. Hugh winced a little when Jay looked up.
“Is it ready?”
“Okay.” Jay held out his hand. “Let’s have it.”
“It’s just one page,” said Hugh. He handed Jay a single sheet of paper.
Jay set it on his desk in front of him. He knew what it was without reading it. At the top it said, ‘World’s best hamburger recipe.’
Hugh looked over his shoulder. “I’m really sorry about this.” He reached for the sheet. “Back to the drawing board.”
“No-no.” Jay held the sheet down and didn’t allow Hugh to take it. “This just might work.”