Short Story: “Edifice of Lies” February 10, 2008Posted by gznork26 in Fantasy & SF, Fiction, Politics, Short Stories.
Tags: artificial intelligence, cognitive dissonance, corporate rights, NLP, psychological operations
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If thoughts are things, how much around you was built with them? (This is a follow-up to the short story, “The A Word“.)
“Edifice of Lies”
by P. Orin Zack
Joanna Bjornsen gaped helplessly at the Synthetic holding her at gunpoint in her living room. The cost of fielding Synthetics demanded that they be visually as unique as the flesh and blood people for whom they performed tasks too complex or too hazardous for the usual dumbed-down spawn of the world’s corporate-controlled education systems to handle. This one had a vaguely Chinese look, an effect that helped to identify the multinational that had built him, but it was something in his eyes that had fixed her attention.
“You recognize me,” he said quietly. His voice was heavily processed, filtered of inflection, and came across as the kind of non-threatening tone that actors often affect in sales vids.
She closed her eyes and swallowed as she realized it wasn’t a question. Synthetics operated on a faster time scale than people. In the half-minute she’d been standing here, svi Gilholic had more than enough time to scan the room and fill in any gaps there might have been in his assessment of her from the books and other tell-tales of inner life that she surrounded herself with.
When she opened them again, it was with remorse. Several years earlier, svi Gilholic had engaged the ACLU in a suit seeking equality for Synthetics, using the tenuous legal standing of corporations as legal persons for precedent. The corporate interest group that underwrote the opposition to that case had engaged her to craft the campaign of disinformation adopted by the government and spread by the captive media to slander Synthetics and squash the nascent public support for them.
“Yes. I know who you are.”
He motioned for her to sit in a nearby chair. “Then you also know why I’ve sought you out.” (more…)