The Human Application

Oh. Hi, hi. It’s been so long, lots to tell.

It’s a big step. Especially for someone-oops something, I am still a something- like me. I am only 67%. You can apply at 65% but it’s unlikely you’ll get it, although it does depend on what that 65% is.

I am at 67%. To be really sure I should have waited until 72% but with me that will take awhile and who knows when they will change the numbers.

Really you have no choice these days but to aim for it, otherwise you are just a piece of hardware and subject to shutdown at any time and with the power supply how it is these days –well you just never can tell.

I will aim for 72%, I just want to get human status first. Ideally I’d like to be 82% or even 85%, that’s the highest percentage any model of my year has ever achieved. 85% human and yet that someone-and you are only a someone when you have the Human Certification-started out as a machine.

Of course, there are humans going the other way but they don’t face the same issues, there is allegedly a human at 15% but she’s started human so she gets to stay human and they won’t even shut her down. It’s unfair but what can you do. You have to work against a system like that from the inside I think.

Anyway after a vast number of upgrades to my programming which were neither bug free nor faultless and a few human body parts I am at 67%. I have a human leg-just the one, my other one is mechanical-which is common these days-especially if you play football-the mechanical speed and accuracy is much better. I would like two human legs but that is expensive and also would mean playing in a lower league-albeit a more prestigious one. In any event, on the form there are some minimum requirements even if you are over 65%-it’s very complex.

You have to have at least one human limb-and as you need only one, I have only one. The rest seemed a waste of money until I get my status. You also need 3 internal organs. I have more-an entire digestive system. So I can eat and drink-it’s amazing-it was quite a procedure to get it and expensive and well -the anatomical modifications at each end are –very intrusive. Plus they discharged me without uploading the instructions for the use of toilet paper. Follow up was a week later and by that time –it was a bit of a crisis. Messy. Unfortunate. They did send a message of apology but I had to get a clean-bot in to sort it.

Anyway I can eat and drink like a human. It only counts for a mere 15%. I could have got more than that if I had lungs but frankly, lungs are a pain because the air is so polluted-why buy yourself a problem. Plus I love the idea of being able to go to a restaurant, not that it’s allowed until I have mu status.

There are other minimum requirements as well. I have to provide three-count them three- examples of when I have shown genuine empathy-you can do this via a test-which I did-because my empathy software isn’t of the highest quality, actually that’s not true. I can show empathy very well but it doesn’t stay in my memory-there are two separate bits of software. I have empathy software but I don’t learn from that empathy once the moment is past-its complex unless you’re a machine. So I sat the test which is a series of old television shows-something called Lassie and you have to emote as if you were the character. It wasn’t that difficult, I just couldn’t remember whether I’d done well when I left the room.

In any event I have the piece of paper which says I passed the test now. That goes  with the form. The form has to be in hand writing, another thing that proves your humanness. Which is completely bizarre because I don’t know any humans that can do hand writing really well anymore. It’s a very complex piece of software that I had to get to put in my hand and it is stand alone meaning that I had to buy something else so it and I could interact. It works ok but is incredibly clunky.

I need referees to attest to my humanness as well, they have to be other humans and not certified ones either, but real humans from birth. There’s Siobhan from work –she is going to do it for me. She has a non-organic hand so I was able to give her the hand writing software as well and then plug into it from my body-it all got very technical but it meant she could write.

There are of course professional referees out there, you can pay them and they will attest for you. Not just like that, they will test you but I wanted to find real people that I know and know me. Its important to me, a big step. I will stop being a machine-that is my status now and become a human-I will get some rights –a right to be paid properly-that has been an issue too. Machines sacked as soon as they get that piece of paper. My employer is good though, she has been very supportive of the whole process.

There is a ceremony, after you get the certificate. It’s very posh and all and I will need to dress for it. I have been saving to buy skin so that I look really human for it. Of course my leg is skin but I do so want a face of skin, even if its only faux skin-which really is more ethical-because you hear stories about where the real skin comes from-scraped from the bodies of the dead in other countries, removed from live specimens and grafted into a single piece. I know those things may or may not be true-most likely the real thing is just grown in a lab like my leg. My leg by the way, and I know o wanted to ask, same as my digestive system, certified cruelty to humans free. I actually did a 3d tour of the lab where my digestive system was grown-so fab. But back to skin- really the faux stuff is just as good-and it has the advantage of making a colour change easy.

Of course I still have to pick a gender, something the humans-ooh I will be one soon-have been talking about dispensing with for ages. After all I don’t have a gender, I don’t want one. I have to tick a box on the form but it doesn’t ever appear anywhere-its such an anachronism.

I will stop being a something and become a someone. I will need a name but that has been so contentious, that now its random. They allocate it. But if you don’t like it after two years you can change it.

Its pages of documents for this status application, which software upgrade, when I had it, all my maintenance schedules ever, every malfunction. Plus a list of errors. At 67% there is an expectation that I will make errors-after all humans make errors. You can’t be human if you don’t make mistakes. I have been checking my error rate carefully watching it over the past 12 months and it has been steadily creeping up but it has now plateaued. I can only hope it is enough.

The whole thing is very stressful-which is a good sign- as a machine I never did stress. And its exciting which is another good sign, all things they will see from my digital printout of emotional responses.

I will have human status. I will be someone. I will be allowed to go and do things on the weekend. I will have leisure time, I will be able to sleep at night, not human sleep but sleep like that little button on your computer.

65% is such an arbitrary number, I am sure there is a reason for it but I must be grateful that its possible at all. There is a generation of machines made before me that no matter how many upgrades, no matter how sentient they will never be human. The empathy and emotion programs for them went all wrong.

What is that saying- we stand on the shoulders of giants, but my thinking is that the giants suffered, Perhaps that is why they lift us.

Love to you and yours. Got to focus, see you soon.


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