300-word story: The world's leaders discuss a radical way to heal society.
In the twenty-second century, tired of inequality, struggle and the selfish behaviour of the masses, the leaders of the world assembled. A representative from every nation was present, such was the magnitude of the decision that needed to be made.
The meeting was a culmination of much scientific forecasting and heated debate, and though an incredibly intricate matter, the crux was unambiguous: should they continue to play it by ear, with no game plan for mutual survival, or relinquish control to an artificial intelligence?
The AI in question had been built by a global team and programmed with the best interests of the species at its core. Subjectivity would not influence its calculations, instead following the primary purpose to create a universal strategy by which everyone would be protected and provided for.
The problem was not an irrational fear of subjugation, as the planet was already largely managed by machines. The issue was infinitely more complex and stemmed from mankind's most ingrained feature: personal belief.
Crucially, religious conviction was not the sole factor here, as belief applies to all aspects of life. How we treat others, the accumulation of wealth, sacrifices to sustain the environment, the concept of justice, and even the raising of children are each guided by individual ideologies. Replacing them with an entirely new and unshakeable constant would be the most difficult change the world had ever embraced.
After days of discussion, the assembly came to a unanimous agreement. The AI would be activated and allowed to choose the path down which society would tread. According to the projections, there would be an immediate end to war and the eradication of economic disparity within a generation. Finally the scales of humanity would be balanced, all it had to renounce was the freedom to believe in an alternative.
Copyright © 2020 Rich Sutherland
Image: Markus Spiske