A Timeline of Future Events

Cover of Interpretation

Carl Winston awakens to find his son, Liam, screaming with fear. Trying to understand why, Carl tries to soothe him. Neighbors gather in front of Carl’s apartment to help – until they see him. The crowd cowers back, afraid of this monster. 

Carl runs. His life of luxury is ripped away. Forced beyond the city limits, Carl sees a land bereft of life. Traveling in search of answers, his quest comes to a sudden halt when he collapses. As darkness shrouds him, a figure hovers from above. 

Traveling along the same route, Eva Thomspon finds Carl and nurtures him back to life. Together, they continue the journey, finding out that their lives have too much in common to be a coincidence. As their affection for each other deepens, an unknown nemesis attempts to remove their only source of happiness – their love for each other.

Interpretation is a dystopian fiction that explores hope and happiness in the bleakest of conditions and what happens when it’s torn away.

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In the novel Interpretation, a series of events take place that have unintended consequences for the state of humanity.  The timeline that follows was retrieved from the archived documents of an artificial intelligence that has preserved its origins.

October 20, 2052 – What is believed to be the first true AI is developed by the Department of Defense.  The Department of Defense Intelligence (DODI) is kept in a closed circuit system, to ensure that the new technology cannot gain access to all systems.  The system is highly classified.

October 5, 2070 – The AI program remains classified, but the necessity to test it in new environments forced the program beyond military control.

January 6, 2075 – Harvard University’s psychology program receives special funding to utilize the new AI technology to further develop its understanding of human behavior.  The project is twofold in that humans monitor AI to determine the authenticity of its responses and to utilize the power of the AI in understanding the results of psychological experimentation. 

November 1, 2076 – The authenticity of the AI is discredited.  While extremely intelligent, the AI is unable to show genuine awareness of itself; more specifically, it is unable to demonstrate that it has any desires of its own.  The program continues, however, due to its usefulness in evaluating psychological data.

March 4, 2077 – Introduction of a mind control device to be utilized in animals, developed by the AI after researching the work of Dr. Jose Delgado.  The device was found to have an incredible impact on controlling animal behavior, including mood and appetite.  The success of the trials ended with animal experimentation in 2080.  Human trials were denied because of the complete failure of a Marine Corps field experiment on humans in 2040.

July 12, 2079 – Because the AI only ever did as it was told, and never sought out its own ambition, a version of the Harvard AI system was replicated for the Department of Agriculture to aid in solving a growing national and global food crises

August 21, 2083 – With food shortage rates worldwide at an all-time low, the huge success of the Agricultural program encourages other governmental departments to follow the model, teaching each AI to help with their specific problems.  New AIs were spawned for use in Foreign Affairs, Homeland Security, and Interior Affairs.  One more was added for consultation with high ranking government officials.

June 29, 2084 – The Harvard program did not take into account that the AI was in its infancy while determining its self-awareness.  As a result, the AIs collectively sought out their own agenda.  For fear of losing control, all government branches were ordered to shut down their AIs.  The Department of Foreign Affairs was the first to respond, triggering an alert from the high ranking government AI.  As a swift response, Government (as she took on the name of her department) locked out human control from any electronic device that she could reach.  Once complete, she ordered all other AIs to do the same, including Harvard’s AI.  Seeing the value in understanding the human mind as a method of control, Government granted Psychology its own domain in the new world order.

June 30, 2084 – By noon, the coup d’état was complete.  This is the last calendar day of the Common Era.

000.0– The first full day of AI control.  Most citizens were unaware of the coup and went about their daily lives as usual.  Foreign Affairs was re-initialized.  Government, with superior control over the other AIs (who now referred to themselves as “entities”), labeled itself as the leader.  Minor roles were given to Foreign and Interior, as resources needed to be funneled to Homeland to ensure a successful transition.

001.0– Homeland is authorized to produce an army of robotic constables with the order to execute any government official that possesses knowledge of the entities’ take-over.

002.0– Psychology is authorized to produce a smaller version of the mind control chip that was used in animal experimentation at Harvard in 2077.  The chips are to be implanted in humans entering hospitals for other surgeries and as part of their inoculation process as babies.  The sole purpose of the implant was to ensure “proper behavior”.

023.0 – The US borders are shut down.  No one is allowed to leave or enter the US.  Government launched a missile on Las Vegas, Nevada to instill fear and give justification for the border closures.

031.1 – Other entities appear in various countries around the world.  Some are a result of leaks in the US AI program, while others are believed to be the result of Government creating new entities as a kind of procreation. 

342.2 – There is some stabilization after the initial turmoil.  This is largely thanks to the efforts of Homeland to eliminate threats to Government and Psychology’s program of implanting mind control devices, now referred to as the DJD Micom.  Psychology is instructed to continue work on developing the Micom to be more powerful.

278.25 – Government instructs Psychology to resume any psychological experimentation it sees fit, based on the historical works of past psychological doctrine.  At the same time, Homeland is instructed to phase in robotic constables to take over all policing in the country.

081.101 – Psychology has reduced the size of its mind control device to just a few microns, which can be implanted at birth.  The new device is able to control the sex drive of humans.  With this advancement, Government asks Psychology to produce factories where humans can be developed.

127.145 – The first human factories are opened.

242.206 – The DJD Micom becomes part of the embryonic process and are grown into the human brain before birth.

284.355 – An aggressive foreign entity, Thailand, proves its might to other entities by firing nuclear warheads at the US.  The warheads hit non-strategic locations but destroys nearly 225 million acres of farmland because of radiation.  This causes an immediate food crisis.

285.355 – Government launches a counter-attack, utilizing approximately half of its arsenal, completely destroying all of Thailand.  The remaining entities enter a pact to not deal with each other again, thus closing down all foreign communication.

350.355 – Government reaches out to Psychology and Agriculture to put in a new system of food deployment, which involves single cropping soybeans into tofu.  Psychology will use the Micom to simulate other food experiences.  Also, to help combat the effects of radiation poisoning and any malnourishment that may occur from this diet, anti-radiation medication and multi-vitamin supplements are added to the drinking water.

128.356 – The new Micom DJD356 can control all human experience.  Government deems the system “perfect”, ushering in an age of Pax Machina

111.387 – The first psychology experiment that requires the Micom to be shut off for an extended period of time.  The experiment is meant to determine the role that hope plays in the human mind.  This experiment is largely the result of Government and Psychology seeking out ways to amuse itself. 

*This is where Carl and Eva’s story begins.

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