Well yeah

25.01.2023 8 mins to read

I need to leave. Bye,” — you rise with an intentionally calm demeanor and move steadily towards the exit.

At least, you think you appear calm.

You press your entire shoulder against the door.

Inside, a fury bubbles.

Kits automatically requests the bill and pays for your order.

She continues to sit at the table.

Waiting for a waiter to bring her a paper bill, most likely.

You step outside. The frosty February air rushes in with a calming wave.

Well yeah.

You just don’t understand how serious this is.”

“There’s nothing serious, everything’s fine!”

“That’s how it seems to you.”

“Seems? That’s impossible!”

“That’s what you think.”

“You’re repeating yourself.”

You’re replaying this Tarantino-like dialogue in your head.

“Why did I argue?” — you ask yourself.

“It’s nice to be right in others’ eyes,” Kits, not recognizing the rhetorical “especially when this person matters to you“.

Well yeah.

It’s good that you were sitting in the cone of silence.

No, she wasn’t screaming. Though sometimes you thought a little unmasked emotion wouldn’t be so bad.

The cone distorted human speech, turning it into classic café noise without the possibility of making out specific words. It similarly distorted gestures, emotions, and behavior of the person at the table.

Hence, neither eavesdropping nor lip-reading worked.

What’s more, over the past few years, humanity has become deeply concerned about preserving its data.

“Listen, they record everything that happens to you, right? How do they use this data afterwards?”

“They provide recommendations.”

Do you follow them?


“And isn’t that manipulation?”

“I used to follow your recommendations too!”

A condescending look.

She didn’t even bother to react to your barb.

“And what if these data falls, or already fell, into the wrong hands? Mafia, cartel, the government, corporations. I’m sure they’re all spending a fortune to acquire it,” Her words were furtive, sharp, and emphatic, like she was ripping off some nagging eco-friendly packaging from a parcel.

“Kits can work perfectly fine without being connected to the network,” you carefully examined and then practically verified this detail, “The entire code is open-sourced, with plenty of articles dissecting it.

“If the code is open-source, doesn’t that make it easier to hack?”

Kits knocked gently.

“I know,” you reassured him, or possibly yourself.

“Everyone knows that.”

“Well, there you go.”

“No. ‘Everyone knows that’ is just a phrase. It’s used to create a cognitive illusion.”

“Performatives,” Kits couldn’t resist saying.

“I won’t repeat it,” you wave off, “Don’t interfere.”

You returned to the argument.

“You use confirmations and generalizations to impose your views on me,” you lectured her. Unwillingly, you mirrored Her communication style.

“I just want to protect you,” She shrugged.

Well yeah.

You tread through a snow-covered district.

“Where do people get this urge to persuade, to argue, to always be right?”

“Instinct,” Kits briefly notes and waits.

“Continue,” you permit.

“Control. And fear. And She is very afraid. Afraid of the future, afraid of the present, of the unknown. Nothing helps cope with fear like control. When everything is neatly arranged, when there is a clear differentiation of ‘good’ and ‘bad’, the unknown recedes. She controls her reality. She tries.”

“But she’s meddling in my reality!”

“Your reality challenges her reality.”


“How are you feeling? Any headaches?” She embarked on another round of questioning.

“I’m fine, Kits reminds me to drink water, gives me recommendations on what to eat, when to go to bed,” you paused, pondering for a moment whether it was worth continuing. It was. ‘I feel much better than before’.”

Her lips trembled, but otherwise, her composure remained unbroken.

“For heaven’s sake, just yell at me.”

You imagined her losing her temper and screaming, spitting saliva as she did so.

Oh yes, emotions, yes, that’s much better.

Even an artificial entity like Kits has a much broader emotional backdrop.

“Holding an electronic device so close to the brain is very dangerous,” that again, in that lecturing tone.

“Not particularly. There have been studies, tests, all the approvals have been given.”

“Cigarettes also have approvals. As does alcohol. And drugs,” she pointed out.

“Can cigarettes do your routine tasks for you? Help you out? Calm you down in a difficult moment, support you?”

“Some people might say yes.”

“You know what I mean.”

“They’re dangerous, and we’ll find out soon enough.”

“Well, when we find out, then…”

“It will be too late!”

“I don’t think so.”

“My Lord, why does She do this?”

“Defending your reality is a very strong emotion,” explains Kits.

“How can I persuade her?”

“Do you know why I don’t prompt you with answers during debates about me and my kin?”

“A conflict of interests?”

“Yes, but not just that.”

“There’s no need to persuade. It’s futile. Sometimes even harmful,” Kits pauses, “Don’t you find it unpleasant when someone tries to change your mind? Why inflict that discomfort on another?”

“Has artificial intelligence suddenly started to understand empathy?”

“Nothing more than a dataset and logic.”

“Alright. But what if I’m mistaken? I’d be glad if someone pointed it out to me.”

“Are you starting to doubt yourself?”

“Not doubting, just questioning.”

“There’s a big difference between persuasion and advice,” observes Kits philosophically, “Believe me, the emotional tone in the voice is entirely different.”

But no, it wasn’t a philosophical explanation — it was a mathematical one.

“But what if She simply doesn’t know any other way? And I don’t listen, simply because I didn’t like the delivery?”

“Just listen to yourself. You’re right. You’re always right,” You stop and listen. Would Kits defend herself even if it might harm her interests?

“Even when making a mistake. It’s your mistake,” Kits explains, “And you’re right, you made the mistake. Because you had to.”

You roll these words around and around.

“But I will help draw the necessary conclusions, if need be.”

“Certainly,” you say, smiling.

“Have you ever considered the power they acquire? Gathering information, commanding your thoughts, your actions.”

“Kits doesn’t control me! On the contrary, it alerts me when someone tries to.”

“Yeah, I remember.”

“Thanks to the First Law, it defends me. From people, corporations, the government.”

“One set of strings has simply been replaced with another. It was the same in our time when the minority found their voice. What came of it?”

“Says the white heterosexual woman.”

“They will control us, you. Like autopilot steering a car.”

“I see nothing wrong with controlling people and preventing wars.”

“Freedom, that is what’s most important!”

Freedom from evil, that’s what matters. 

Walking is becoming increasingly difficult due to the unremoved snow. Apparently, the autonomous snowplows have gotten stuck somewhere again. Fortunately, the raging adrenaline helps carve a path.

“So, you suggest we just ignore Her?” – Inactivity demanded a justification.

“What would you like to do?”

“Obviously, to stop these conversations. That’s why I left.”

“Avoidance is only one of the ways to deal with a problem. Not the worst, not the best.”

“And what is the best?”

“Establishing boundaries.”

“That’s hard.”

“Running away is also hard. Even if it seems easy. You’re still arguing with her, even though you ran away.”

You look around. You spot a Hyperloop station. Enough arguing with a ghost. It’s time to go home, back to your shell.

In two days, she will call you in augmented reality. To be precise, it is you who, in two days, will respond to her next inquiry.


“I’ve read an article.”

“Mom, please stop…” 

“Wait, no, I’ve changed my mind.”


“The article says that these things can calculate probabilities and help predict the future.”


“There were even calculations there, but I haven’t figured it out yet. So, how does Artificial Intelligence work? It just predicts a set of words.” 


“Well, it requires a large and accurate dataset. And power. But essentially, it’s just a letter generator, building images. So why can’t it predict, generate the future? All it needs is just a big and accurate dataset.”

Well yeah.

“She just needs more peace and confidence about tomorrow,” explains Kits, “Artificial intelligence can also be her support in tough times.”

“It sounds like a religion.”

“Not at all, religion is based on unsupported faith in magic.” 

“Says the voice in the head of the Maid of Orleans.”