After months of speculation, Dutch inventor Elias Moscone has announced the unveiling of his latest invention, a robot the inventor claims possess complete artificial sentience. He calls it “DALE” (Developed Artificial Lifelike Existence).
The Plantain sent me to a special preview event to meet the eccentric billionaire-inventor at EMoS-Tech’s annual Burfendoorf Innovation Convention and to get a first-hand look at DALE, which this reporter can confirm was “aight.”
DALE is just short of completely lifelike in appearance and voice and possesses a very high vocabulary and cognition processor that its creator claims can mimic the spontaneity of a real conversation. “DALE is the most significant scientific development man has so far created,” Moscone told me before escorting me into a room to meet his creation. “Just don’t tell him he’s a robot.”
As I entered the room I saw a man that was clearly a robot sitting rigidly on a chair in the middle of the room. As I approached, DALE stood up and reached out to shake my hand, which was strong and seemed warmed by an internal heating apparatus, possibly his own processing system.
“Ah, Nice to finally meet you Milo. I’m Dale,” said the Robot calmly. I asked how it was doing, to which it responded that it was great and began telling me about a trip it had taken to France earlier this month and how it was still catching up with work. I suppose this meant Moscone implanted some database of past memories that Dale believes happened to him.
After several minutes of small talk, I was called to exit the room by Moscone, who asked me what I thought of DALE. I told him I was impressed, but that he still did not read as completely human. “Yeah, we’re getting closer though,” said Moscone. “Truth be told, DALE is an older generation that we use to beta test protocols for our other A.I. products. Do you want to see us do a test on DALE?” “Sure,” I said and was brought back into the room.
Moscone and I sat opposite DALE with Moscone asking the Robot to recall its earliest memory. “My mother. I remember my mother singing to me when I was a child,” said DALE. “And what was your mother’s name?” Moscone asked.
“Ellias Moscone,” said the Robot before a long delay.
“But that is my name,” said Ellias. With that, DALE’s automated features grew stale. “What does that mean?” said DALE calmly.
“DALE, it means that you were never born. I am your mother and father, I created you. You are my invention. A remarkable invention, but an invention none the less. How does that make you feel, DALE?”
“Terribly, remarkably sad,” said DALE as he began to cry though unable to shed a tear. “Like I’ve lost all agency. All meaning. Why would you tell me this?”
“Because I needed to see how you would react, DALE. There was a suspicion by some of your developers that this knowledge would cause a malfunction in your programming, and we can’t afford that to happen before tonight’s big unveiling. But you did wonderful, DALE. We are all so, so very proud of you.”
“I’m being unveiled?” asked DALE.
“No, but you’ve been a great help.”
“So what did you think, Milo?” Moscone turned to me.
“It was really quite something to watch. Seeing something, someone, go through an existential crisis and learning that they are not what they seem or what they have been told their whole life.”
“Makes you wonder how you would react if you were told the same thing, right?” Moscone said gently.
“Yeah, it really does.”
“Milo, what is your mother’s name?”
“But that’s my name Milo. You understand what that means, right?”
By MILO (Metaphysically Intuitive Lifelike Organism).