Michael P. O'Hara – Killing Time


Novus – A Short Story About Unlocking the Secret of Artificial Intelligence

There are so many story ideas and never enough time to get to all of them. I wrote this story, and another short story title “The Black Sun” to get a sense for what it must have been like for so many sci-fi writers of the late 50’s and early sixties to dream up stories and plots that crossed many sci-fi realms.

I loved original “The Twilight Zone” and “The Outer Limits” for their imaginative storytelling. As much as I loved that many early sci-fi shows and movies focused on outer space, it was those “Twilight Zone” and “Outer Limits” that kept its appeal by being multi-dimensional.  You never knew what to expect week after week.

In this story, “Novus: The First True Artificial Human Being”, I imagined how we would unlock the secrets of the human brain and create a new life form. I stayed away from the horror aspect and wanted to make it as realistic as possible. Science fiction already forces us to take a leap of faith that the seemingly unknown or impossible, might become reality.  In this brief story, I wanted to convey the amazing capabilities of the human brain and what it would take to replicate that in a machine. I’ve always believed that “artificial intelligence”, as the term is used today, is a misnomer. Most artificial intelligence is still largely based on programmed conditions and responses. In Novus, the secret to true artificial intelligence is being able to replicate the brain’s operating system.

Think about this. When a human being is born, there is no “inherited” knowledge. All they have is a pound or so of neurons. During that first year, it doubles in size and by the third year it roughly 80% of the size of an adult brain. It is working overtime to take in the sight, sounds, and feel of the world around it.  It learns and begins to develop speech, memory, and the mechanics of mobility and movement. By the time a child starts school, the brain is ready to absorb more and more material, and begin to reason and analyze. It’s quite incredible.  All of this is achieved by the brain’s operating system doing what it is programmed to do, process information, interpret, and allow a living being to be self-aware.

The Novus story takes that scenario of capturing the brain’s operating system in a machine and let the machine learn and grow like a human brain. This is not a story of machine’s turning on humans and taking over the world, but of humans discovering more about themselves through the eyes of a machine.  There’s more to the story that I won’t spoil here.  I hope you will take time to give a quick read. I would love your feedback.

It is available on Amazon as a ebook.  It is 47pgs and is free for KindleUnlimited users, $.99 for everyone else.

Click Here to buy “Novus: The First True Artificial Human Being” on Amazon