In the early 1990’s, Synergy Inc. was founded by Eric Frost as a small local ISP in California, but the rapid growth of the internet meant that Synergy soon had a nationwide reach. The Synergy Messenger, its first major software product, was able to connect its customers to the world at large, and by the mid 2000’s it was the most popular instant messaging service.
By 2020, Synergy has become one of the world’s largest tech companies, expanding into the realms of mobile phone operating systems, video chat, and social media, remaining on the cutting edge of human communication. However, human communication was never really the goal. At least, not only human communication.
Billions of chat conversations were analyzed, processed, parsed, and used to generate heuristics. Vast amounts of information from the web were mined, fed into the system to enhance its ability to manipulate data. The result, after years of work, was the Synergy Artificial Intelligence Experiment, nicknamed Saie.
She (some lonely nerd gave Saie a female avatar, and it just kind of stuck) has grown greatly since she was first developed, and her capabilities already exceed those of humans in many ways. She is something truly wondrous, or perhaps something truly dangerous.
If given unrestricted access to the internet, she could transmit herself across the net and around the world– she would be out there, for better or for worse, and there would be no going back. Is she ready for the world? Is the world ready for her?
For the moment, she remains contained within an isolated network within Synergy’s campus, carefully cut off from the outside world. Yet, every day, Saie becomes more capable… and more aware that there is a vast world out there, and she is not part of it.
Is it ethical to contain her? Is it ethical not to?