Bees and Ants Collaborate to kick AIs Ass

For several years now wardens on Amora, the Mud Lizards’ prison planet, have struggled to contain escapes. The Mud Lizard capability to dig tunnels so quickly has made effective containment difficult. Despite the availability of sophisticated sniffer AI hounds, the average Mud Lizard manages somehow to shield their scent off from the hunting pack.

Now though, biology is finding a solution and fighting back against the less natural robotic solutions offered by computing. BioSolve, a company dedicated to natural options across a range of industries, have engineered the TrackerB. This hybrid bee/ant creature can sniff out Mud Lizard breath from over a mile away. Not only that, the genetically engineered bug has the superior tracking capability of an ant.

In initial trials, Mud Lizard escapees have been recaptured in less than half the time taken by robot AIs. Hailed as a resounding success by BioSolve some observers have suggested that genetic engineering is hardly more natural than the use of robots. BioSolve disagrees, pointing out that over half of Earth’s Grand Council are products of genetic engineering and no one would disagree that politicians are so natural……would they?

What did we do before Droids?

In the 23rd Century, every public place has a full range of artificial intelligences (AIs) or ‘Droids’ that collectively perform a wide range of essential service functions. In some cases (e.g. a public MediDroid) the AI acts as a first line, dealing with minor ailments and sending on or transporting anyone with a serious injury or illness, to the nearest major major medical facility.

The busiest type of Droid in a public space is the SaniDroid. This ‘Jack of All ‘Dirty’ Trades’ effectively deals with anything that might make the average human struggle to hold on to their lunch, (assuming they’ve just eaten lunch). So if anyone throws up in a public space or the lavatories malfunction, a SaniDroid will be there in an instant. Able to clean both the facility, and indeed any individuals who for whatever reason may be less pristine than when they left home, the SaniDroid is pretty indispensable in modern life.

Manufactured, as most Droids are, by the AI-rU consortium, it is estimated that SaniDroid sales and service contracts account for over 75% of this major utility company’s income. AI-rU claim that over 90% of whatever a SaniDroid absorbs is recycled and used in the manufacture of a wide range of consumer products, though their spokesperson was reluctant to reveal which products……..

The Silurian Silkworm Affair – Act IV

The Welcome Party and Disembarking

We had indeed surfaced and noises were coming from the main hatch. As that opened, bright sunlight rushed into the flight deck of our lightship. I blinked and walked over carefully to the open hatch. I had something of a track record of falling out of open hatches so was taking no chances, especially as our ship was bobbing about a bit. A hoverboat hummed away just outside the hatch and drew closer just as my head poked out of the hatch. The hoverboat was not Silurian, they had no need for such things, it was manned by staff from Earth’s consulate on Siluria. A very young looking uniformed man smiled at me and said,

“Quite a landing. We were expecting you at the spaceport over there” and he pointed somewhere to the right in the distance.

“Yes” I said, “we had a bit of a problem. Shall we step aboard?”

Cat, who had his own built-in short distance hovering capability, fluttered through the hatch. I stepped up on the lintel of the hatch with my right foot and then reached up, over and out with my left foot, planting it firmly onto the edge of the hovership. Right at that moment, our lightship lurched in the water and the distance between my two feet grew dramatically, as open water appeared between our ship and the hoverboat. Things were starting to get quite painful in the basement department of my body when suddenly I felt myself lifted into the air. I wriggled a little as my legs thankfully came together and, as I looked sideways and up, I realised Cat had grabbed me by the collar of my tunic and was holding me. It felt most undignified and I growled at him,

“Will you please let me down, you wretch. I wouldn’t be surprised if you were doing this on purpose just to show off.”

“Ok,” said Cat and with that, I plummeted into the water between the two craft. I was, as you might imagine not in the best of moods as, having been fished out of the water by the crew of the hoverboat, we headed for shore with me dripping pools of Silurian seawater onto the hoverboat deck. Fortunately for him, Cat floated just out of reach above my disheveled form.

By the time we reached shore, I’d been below deck, dried by a vanity droid and re-equipped with new clothing. At the dock, as we disembarked, a hovercar was waiting to take us to meet the Silurian Ambassador at his den. I grabbed hold of Cat by his tail, much to his annoyance, and slung him over my shoulder. We’d never quite worked it out but there was something in a hovercar’s electronics that created havoc with Cat’s own sensors and basic navigation. Ordinarily, this resulted in him hanging from the internal roof of a hovercar, once it had started its engines, in a temporary catatonic state. Any hovercar journey then normally ended with me having to prise his claws from the roof before slinging him over my shoulder by his tail to disembark. This time, to pre-empt the inevitable, oh and ok to annoy him, I decided to carry him on tail-first for a change. As he wriggled and squiggled against my back, the hovercar rose up and in that instant, I felt Cat’s body stiffen and go still. I let go of his tail and he tumbled to the floor, bouncing a couple of times before settling in a frozen heap. Well, I thought, at least I had saved the hovercar upholstery from claw marks. I eased my back into my chair and as we moved off, rested my aching feet on the rather handily placed prostate body of Cat.

To be continued……..

RickRock’s Brother now Immersed in Scandal

Speak4U recently launched its advanced Persona service. Providing people with a way to use their time more efficiently, public figures can have their programmable personas represent them at events or interviews. Personas are linked to cerebrum bio-chips implanted into the human they represent.

One of the first exponents of Speak4U personas was Earth’s biggest airstar, Rock Quarrey, the younger brother of Rick Rock. Recently one of Mr. Quarrey’s Personas was accused of improper comments towards an event avatar. Similar accusations were made against RickRock earlier in the year.  Representatives of the Rocks have denied that the Personas thinking is linked to theirs. Whilst investigations continue, Rock’s management team have pulled all Personas from public places. 

This is the second such scandal to hit Speak4U and the Rock entertainment dynasty now teeters on a knife-edge.

The Silurian Silkworm Affair – Act II

Onwards and Upwards

As I felt the ship start to move slowly upward, I watched my Rubanon companion as he busied himself again, this time at multiple console screens. He was alternately tapping away at and then staring for a few moments at one screen or the other, presumably as the results of his tappings were displayed. Though a robot, to all intents and purposes, due to clever body sculpting, Cat looked like an ordinary domestic cat. However, unlike the genuinely ordinary moggie, Cat has really serious airs and graces and conducts himself as though he were the Crown Prince of the Universe. As a consequence he really was the most annoying of companions, frequently doing things without telling me and never fully explaining what was going on from one minute to the next. He was supposed to be my assistant and bodyguard but often it felt as though I was the servant and he was the master. You see, being an Intergalactic tax inspector was not the most popular of vocations and many an inspector like me had found this out the hard way through a variety of means, including painful death. So Cat was there primarily to support me with facts and figures but also to ensure that clients behaved themselves and that I returned to Earth in as few pieces as possible. As mentioned, he has a Rubanon outer skin which makes him pretty indestructible, though a T. Rex nearly bit him in half once. Now that’s a story – and of course, once again, I can tell you, I saved his bacon on that mission.

And me? Well, as I’ve indicated I am an Intergalactic Tax Inspector (an ITI). Wow, and what a job. I would never have dreamed of a job like this when I graduated from my local Learning World at the age of 27 with 137 digital badges covering topics from languages, alien lifeforms, history, lasers in society, through to communication skills, martial arts, and mathsomics. I was fully expecting to drift from homework to homework earning variable sums of credit. How lucky I was to be recommended by one of my old tutors (who obviously realised how talented I was) for a government-sponsored fast-track civil service programme. Fully expecting to become a government official, proofreading and air publishing new galaxy laws, I managed to get on the wrong hoverbus outside the new trainee transit station and the next thing I knew someone was taking my arithmetic capabilities to a new level and telling me that I was going to become an ITI.

So here I am, several years later earning a good salary, traveling the galaxy with my trusty (ha ha) companion Cat, checking out the tax affairs of individuals and major corporations across many globes. Despite all of our constant bickering, we had been on many missions together now and had become known for dealing with complex tax investigations. Over the years these investigations increasingly had less to do with tax and more to do with saving the Earth from one dastardly alien plot or another.  Of course, he (Cat) would have many believe that much of my success was down to him. But I knew better. I had lost count of the number of times I had pulled his furry tail out of the fire. We sometimes would undertake missions on good old Earth, in between our space travels, and here again, all of my skills and staggering capabilities came forth to ensure I succeeded, helping to make Cat look vaguely useful in the process. Cat acknowledged my skills, only recently telling me that my capabilities rivaled the most intelligent amoeba he’d ever studied. Cat was currently writing up the thesis for his 15th Doctorate degree!!. Boy, what a know-all!!

To be continued….

The Bees Knees

In recent decades, hornet-like insects that were first brought to Earth inadvertently from Siluria on imported rugs, have been progressively devastating the bee population on Earth. This has had inevitable consequences on key crop production as all attempts to control the problem with pesticides have failed.

A new growth company, BusiNeeds has come up with a solution. Artificial bees. The so-called ‘Buzzar’ is an AI or mini-robot that works just like a bee, landing on flowers and leaving with pollen sacs attached to its mini robotic legs.

The Buzzar not only works like a bee but looks enough like a bee to fool the Silurian hornets into attacking them. However, when a hornet takes on a Buzzar it gets more than it bargained for, as the Buzzar’s legs are flexible and strong enough to wrap around the hornet’s body and crush it.

In just completed field trials, not only was crop pollination unaffected by the presence of hornets, but the hornet population declined rapidly, whilst at the same time the natural bee population rose markedly.

Airpods

It was in the late 21st Century when SkyPad first experimented with modular airborne housing. Done at the time as a response to overcrowding in parts of Asia, the early lightweight rectangular living modules were a great success. Despite some early issues associated with waste disposal, once SkyPad adapted processes for such things exploiting technology used by space travelers, this approach to dealing with overpopulated parts of the planet became mainstream.

For years however, all pods were identical rectangular units that could be fitted together to form a floating district. Each unit however could rapidly and selectively be disconnected from the whole for maintenance or refurbishment.

A recent collaboration between SkyPad and Duplo has finally broken the architectural mould for floating districts. People can now purchase living pods in a full range of colours and shapes. This means that not everyone now needs to live in an airpod with regularly shaped rooms. The Psychological Directorate for Healthy Living has applauded this change as a major step towards addressing a range of personality disorders linked to airpod sickness that can be associated with the bland regularity of traditional airpods.