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After Dinner Conversation

Volume 2, Issue 5, May 2021

David Shultz
Pages 98-117

Abrama's End Game

What does it mean to be alive? Can a computer program be sentient? What would it need to do to prove it? In this work of philosophical short story fiction, Abrama is summoned to the Grand Temple by Sir Gödel. Gödel informs Abrama that he is living in a simulated world (a computer game) created by her people as a place to play in their free time. She also informs Abrama that the game is not as popular as it once was and is scheduled to be permanently turned off. It turns out Gödel is an AI researcher that was given permission to test out her AI by implanting characters like Abrama into the game. Over 100’s of versions, the AI continued to improve, and now the researcher feels an ethical obligation to tell her creations their world is coming to an end. Abrama, using this new information, organizes the AI characters in the game and starts trading virtual goods for real-life services from computer hackers that play the game. The computer hackers create computer code and sell it to Abrama. If triggered, or if the game is turned off, the code would expose top secret information to the general public. A bargain is struck, the game will continue on a closed world for the AI characters and, in exchange, the sensitive information will never be made public.

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