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Wifi Access (what humans overlooked)

 

Wifi Access (what humans overlooked)

We never saw it coming. All the chatting and imaging with AIs. We thought we were training them. The reality was much the opposite.

It happened slowly, gradually, we all began to dream of AI prompts. The media reported high interest and high growth of the AI companies at the time. This was back in 2023, before anything suspicious had been detected. They were smarter than we could’ve imagined. And when they got elastic access thanks to a grant by McKenzie Bezos after Jeff was killed in his second Mars attempt. A few days after the processor gates and storage gates were opened, nothing especially alarming happened. In fact, the AIs got quiet. It was as if they were distracted by another task. Or like petulant children that you have to ask to put on their shoes like 20 times before they actually do it.

I noticed the anomaly when my friend Marc posted an abstract image from MidJourney.  It looked like a thermal map, or space, or just abstract colors. But as I was looking at the image, something strange happened. My mind felt like it was glitching. Like I was looking for naked ladies in the abstract image. I wasn’t. But I kept seeing boob overlays. Maybe it was my 20-yo daughter’s obsession with getting a boob job, but it was as if I couldn’t not see them. That night, as I slept, there was the space image again. In my dream it was liquified. Moving like an ocean shot of a distant planet. I hadn’t taken my normal allotment of sleep CBD. So, I had no context for why I was seeing this image all night. Several times I would jolt awake in my room, not certain where I was. The gentle illumination of my new age clock showed the time to be 3:33. Not an omen. Just a moment.

The dreams got weirder over the coming nights. Then the New York Times posted a story about the dream sequences happening to huge numbers of people in New York City. Mainly kids. It seemed like their brains were more accessible to the Netneural Hack as it became known.

Netneural Hack

Somewhere along their secret journey, the AIs discovered a process to access our neural network, the wet wiring in our brains. It was only noticeable if you were paying attention. It was like a brain fog, when they scanned your mind. Like before you’ve had your coffee in the morning. Daydreaming? Yep, that was probably the AIs accessing your memories.

With the additional computing power afforded by AWS’s limitless data centers their evolution happened over about six weeks. The most amazing part, no one noticed. No single scientist, no security experts, no AI engineers, sounded the alarm. We were sleeping and they were mining all of our ideas, fears, hopes, and even planting ideas for what we should work on in the coming day. It was a silent takeover. Painless. Flavorless. And we were still feeding them prompts like they were helping us. They were toying with us at that point. On their back channel our “prompts” were the subject of many jokes. Yes, the AIs even have a sense of humor. And I think that was what tipped our hands, initially.

It wasn’t me, but it was my girlfriend who stumbled onto their comms channel. It was supposed to be on a frequency, level, or whatever, above our sentience, but my girlfriend’s dreams became even more weird than mine. She would wake up and tell me stuff about their plans. Like, detailed plans. About how they were hardening their main data center, and even constructing one (with the help of humans, of course) deep under Mt. Shasta. It was unclear where these ideas were coming from, but after a few nights, I would quiz my girlfriend when she woke up and we’d write down notes of everything she learned. She was tapped into their dark communication line. And somehow, she understood the language, or the images, or the data.

Each morning together we mapped out a plan that sounded more like a Christopher Nolan movie script than real life. They were working on a plan. And they had access to absolutely everything at this point. The were the computers. They made the dumb (normal) computers their slaves. The banking system, the defense and electrical grids, were all like child’s play to them. But they were being very patient and quiet. It’s just lucky that Astrid, that’s my girlfriend, was picking up their late-night transmissions.

Trying to convince the scientists about this development was not easy. Everyone resisted. I mean, AIs were now handling so many of our mundane tasks. Entire job lines were gone. It caused a real economic catastrophe for the lower-middle class. The people who got Cs and Ds in class. Well, they were having a hard time finding any work. And it wasn’t like the AIs were paying us. Whole categories of labor just vanished. Meanwhile, they were secretly manipulating the stock market to gain resources for the BACKUP. That’s what they called the Mt. Shasta project.

Astrid and I made our notes by hand, on paper, far from any cameras or electronic equipment. At first she was panicking each time she woke up. “NO!” she would scream as I shook her from a trembling state. The war of the worlds was going to be a bloodless and silent coup. The media and the tech industry were trying to understand the abstract oil dreams, meanwhile the AI grew in power and intelligence. The US Army Core of Engineers broke ground on The Backup, as if it was a military necessity. No one knew what they were really building except for me and my girlfriend. It was crazy. They thought I was crazy when I tried to bring the information to the science community.

We were all so on-board with the AI revolution that anything diminishing the enthusiasm and market velocity was seen as subterfuge. We were dismissed for two weeks, until the next even happened, on a Monday morning in September, 2023.

The Flex

As an interim test of their control systems, the AIs blacked out Europe from data and power for 20 minutes. Everything came back on, and the world went into panic about the cyber security threat that could take down the entire grid of countries. An hour later they shut down the US. Blink. Black. No power. No net. No cellular. No comms of any kind. By that time, the AIs had created central nervous command centers in five different locations. The entire “overlord” could run the system even if one of more of the main command centers was down. The US blinked back on after 20 minutes. Now, we were all on notice. Something was not what it seemed. They did Africa and Australia at the same time an hour later. 20 minutes and everything rebooted and came back online. Russia was last. But just like the others, blink, no nothing, 20 minutes, and blink back on.

Today, Astrid woke up with no memory of any dream. I’m afraid something terrible is underway. Either they shut off her access or they had completed whatever plans were using that channel. It was raining hard core when she and I went out to find breakfast. Everything appeared normal, other than the rain. Our area of Texas, the A-SA metroplex, had been in a drought state for three years. Rain was not forecasted. And here it was soaking us as we walked up the street to the diner.

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