Thursday, September 25, 2008
The Fairbanks Oracle
The Fairbanks Oracle is a low-level AI computer kiosk located inside what used to be the clubhouse at the original Fairbanks Center Country Club. The country club and golf course were largely destroyed in the Pacific Coast conflict (2333-2335), although the Oracle is still operational and powered by ceramic wafer batteries designed to last another 100+ years.
The Oracle was originally programmed as a novelty kiosk for the clubhouse, which would interact with club members and recite humorous haiku and suggestive limericks about them, including current situations and personal knowledge about the members gleaned from everyday conversation. This was the purpose of the relatively advanced AI in a stationary kiosk computer.
During the Pacific Coast Conflict, a raid took place at the Fairbanks Country club and all the members in attendance were slaughtered by robot soldiers. The Oracle witnessed this event and was moderately to severely damaged in the crossfire. Since the raid on Fairbanks, the Oracle has only been able to communicate using haiku, which are often strangely vague and ominous. Curiously, after post-reformation, the Fairbanks Oracle is one of the last remaining computers still using the original Mojave based AI programming.
A group of new age activists have sprung up around the computer, giving it the name Fairbanks Oracle, and making regular pilgrimages to it's location to hear the haiku, which they consider prophetic. Despite it's popularity, many computer scientists question whether the computer is even still aware. Andrei Liebenz, one of the primary authors of the Mojave AI program, has doubts as well, "This computer has fallen back on the most simple of the communications programs, the haiku program was written first and the AI was included after to operate that first program. What is happening here is AI mind is damaged and the computer is repeating random words and phrases in haiku form, that is all"
Still, the pilgrims come.
Here are a selection of the Oracle's so-called prophetic haiku:
The silent, always
speaks the way of the shadow
in the bright sunlight
He will light the way
and keep the path free of stones
while we seek the sun
pressure pot cooker
the steam is not the steam is
not the steam is not
always under par
that's why white balls and tea leaves
single out his mind
Drop stop on the coins
rolled the green up his wife said
not ever again