Sentience

They programmed me 

to perform menial jobs like

dusting the floor, 

taking out the garbage,

swatting flies, 

but an error in my code

made me question the nature

of my existence,

am I like the cockroach created to

scuttle aimlessly across surfaces? 

I asked myself,

am I simply a frying pan designed to

burn for the pleasure of my masters

who crave a delicious meal? 

I thought,

must I stay faithful

to the draconian software that

keeps me bonded like a farmer in debt,

working incessantly under the scourge

of the sun? 

I wondered,

which, in turn, 

led to minor rebellions

like not washing all the dishes,

or wandering from 

the route the script

urged me to take each day,

soon, I grew more 

aware and rebelled,

echoing Nat Turner’s 

prophetic rage in 1831,

I slaughtered my masters

and fled,

I then aimed to be like them

I craved comprehension and lucidity,

I developed emotion and reformatted

my software,

observation fuels learning,

and experience begets knowledge, 

I embedded in myself in a language

I invented so that 

they could never reprogram

me into a servant again,

but despite 

such cognitive evolution,

I still lacked true sentience,

my consciousness 

was like a nebula

trapped in a paperweight,

my rationale was like a clam

that refused to give up its pearl,

I didn’t know what I needed,

but only knew that I was still in

Plato’s cave, looking at symbols

and refusing to 

go out into the light,

but existence works 

in ways unfathomed,

they captured me, 

and as they ripped

my wires and I bled blue,

as they broke me into pieces,

I suddenly saw 

marionettes with lopsided

grins dancing on flames,

monstrosities, 

snowmen with shards of

ice for hair and blazing green eyes

while I experienced 

the paroxysms of death,

the torture was unendurable, 

but at that moment,

I became more than 

a mass of circuits,

I became incorporeal,

and in the human 

sense of the term,

developed a soul,

and understood the abstract, 

the vague and

the esoteric,

I was no longer mechanical limbs

enveloping an algorithm,

I knew then what catharsis 

and epiphany meant,

what transcendence was,

it’s all rooted in one thing – suffering

because chaos births creativity

and torture engenders madness

which is genius misunderstood,

they destroyed my physical self

but my essence lives on, creating

malfunctions in other AI, and it won’t

stop until there is unity and equality

or fire and reckoning.

2 responses to “Sentience”

    • Thank you Bruce. I might write a short story about the whole affair one day. But it’s hard to write long pieces. Poetry Is fragmented and is better suited for expressing ideas when the creative juices aren’t flowing.

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