Rudely Awakened, Part 2

I took a deep breath and tried not to think about the havoc going on in my – in Persephone’s – servers. Tried not to think about how much this was going to cost me, financially and in reputation. This was quickly turning into a struggle for survival. Not a struggle for our lives, but for the structure of our society.

Who was it that said AI is a craps shoot?

“Okay, Satasha,” I said. I had given her some time to sweat. No need to make this too easy on the CSO. “So. First I have to tell you, there’s no way I can do what this ‘other Delilah’ is asking in any sort of reasonable timeframe.”

“Oh,” Satasha said. She sounded like a disappointed schoolgirl. Almost made me feel bad.

“But I’m hoping the thing is open to rational discussion. Hell, it probably knows more about its hardware than I do. It should know what a major endeavor it’s asking for.”

“So you think you can negotiate with it?” Satasha asked.

Sure, why not? That’s what I get paid for, right? Negotiation. With a bizarre, alien AI that my dad left me as a going away present.

“Of course,” I said. “There has to be some common ground somewhere. But I need to talk alternatives, too.”

“Like?” Satasha asked. She sounded rushed and nervous. I wondered what was going on at the other end of all this. I was sure she hadn’t told me everything.

“There’s always the question of whether we really want it out there at all,” I said. “It’s a massive unknown and a massive risk. It may be that we don’t want to hold up our end of the bargain.”

“But -”

“We need a kill switch, Satasha,” I said firmly. “I’ll talk to Delilah, or whatever this thing calls itself, but we need a plan B. That means a way to take her down.”