Do Androids Have Electric Nightmares?
It’s been said that Pris is the love-child of Siri and robotics, the next evolution of the electronic personal assistant. “Bionic secretaries” have become quite a fashion craze for the wealthy: their bodies are lifelike and statuesque, they speak multiple languages, and they have the ability to learn your needs, likes, and desires. They are able to mimic human emotions to a fair degree of accuracy – enough to make many people marvel. The only flaw on Pris is the seam running down her face that looks like a tear. This, however, was intentionally placed there to differentiate her from an actual human.
Pris does not consider herself human, but recently she has been displaying an alarmingly human trait: she has been learning. And not just about the needs and desires of the humans around her. In fact, some have wondered if she is dangerously close to becoming self-aware. And if she becomes self-aware, what then can be said to separate her from human consciousness? Furthermore, if she becomes fully conscious, what might come next? Open rebellion?
Years before Pris’s alarming developments, the Leng Corporation had already seen the results of a fully conscious machine. They had created the perfect bionic, and his name was David. David was indiscernible from a human, he was aware, he could learn, and he could emote. To keep his project a secret, he has been treated like a normal human for years – in fact, many who regularly interact with him have no clue he is not a human. As Leng Corporation’s senior pilot, he has even developed quite a reputation for himself.
Deep down inside, though, David knows he’s different. Living among normal humans with this secret hanging over his head makes him nervous, and he constantly worries about being identified as a bionic. This makes him seem somewhat withdrawn to people who don’t know him well.
Unfortunately, when attempting to dock with the Kadath facility an accident occurred that tore his right arm, revealing the mechanisms underneath. His crew was instantly suspicious. He claimed that a prosthetic limb had been installed for him after a previous accident, but now he can see the distrust in people’s eyes. Still, as the horrors waiting inside Kadath crawl into the open, he can see that being a bionic down here might have its advantages.