Friday Fictioneers – The Hard Problem

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PHOTO PROMPT © Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

What’s it like to be a bat? Or a Martian? I’ve spent my life wanting to know. I remember as a kid asking Mum what it was like to be her but she just shook her head and said it’s being Mum.

Later, the connectome of a flatworm gave me the entire wiring diagram of a brain but revealed no understanding of wormness.

Now the solution to the conundrum is within my grasp. When this upgrade installs, the Blue Horizon AI will cross the singularity into consciousness.

I wait.

I ask.

The machine speaks. “It’s being Blue Horizon.”

42, I think glumly.

Friday fictioneers is a weekly challenge set by Rochelle Wisoff Fields to write a 100-word story in response to a photo prompt. You can find other stories here

52 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers – The Hard Problem

  1. Being Mum is really being Mum! 🙂
    Even I have wondered how it’ll be to be someone or something else.
    AI & technology can make it possible in the future.
    Imagination will become reality!

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  2. You made me chuckle with that story, Neil. I liked your interweaving of contemporary research into AI and the biological underpinnings of conscious awareness with fiction and humour (btw did you realise that what you get if you multiply six by nine really is 42 if you’re working in base 13?)
    It’s good to hear you’re planning an absurdist year – that should make you ideally qualified to write on current affairs…

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  3. I always loved Douglas Adams’ answer, 42. Because it truly makes the point that when we ask what is the meaning of life, we don’t really know what we mean by asking the question.
    Skillful, absurdly written and a fun start to the new year Neil

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I like that s/he wants to know what it’s like to be a Martian. I’d like to know that, too. I wonder why no one asked the MC back what it’s like to be him/herself. We are unique. And thus alone. But there’s 42, that makes things bearable. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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