║║▌█ Karlsson AB Log Files 2480-05-28 17:19:34 ▌█║║
Event: Product Ready for Field Test Assessment
Gripen project, Deliverable H.E. ID 263-54, release 1.0
Attendants: Karlsson AB Board of Directors.
Location: Karlsson CEO virtual lounge, Ny Stockholm.
Dr. Gunilla Kron finishes her speech in front of the Board of Directors, while a tomographic image of the subject´s brain glows in the center of the dimly lit room. Some surprised, almost bothered faces show that not all the members had been previously informed about the execution of the project. The bot moderating the meeting announces it is the time for Q&A.
"Jonas Lundqvist speaking. Why not do this starting from a brand new clone, instead of using an existing human being? Why not start from a blank slate and implant memories instead?"
"Clones designed from scratch in our facilities have shown severe limitations: Very often, the RNA splicing procedure used generated unexpected limitations and flaws in the DNA recombination, with effects such as accelerated physical decay, or mental instability. Our technology is not good enough yet.
Instead, we have seen that actual memories and past created and stored by the same brain provides the subject with a more stable background, which in turn, makes them more stable from a mental perspective. We could see this as own memories being bio compatible and not subject to rejection by the host. Additionally, real memories are more complex, and thus a richer base for creativity than implanted ones, which is key for the tasks the subject is expected to undertake. And not least, from an industrial perspective, genetic re-engineering of an existing subject is cheaper , safer and faster than cloning, and combines the advantages of millions of years of natural evolution and decades of individual learning, with the fulfillment of commercial needs that a customized design allows. " (clapping can be heard in the background)
"Sarah Wallin speaking. Why don´t we stick to proven technologies, like cybernetic sentient AI´s?
"We don´t want another cybernetic sentient AI who can more or less think like a human. Many other companies have achieved that. We want a human who faced with a problem can think as logically as a machine, while retaining the creativity and imagination that is exclusive to a human being."
"Gunnar Löfgren speaking. Why not re-program the subject completely, removing the previous consciousness, free will and feelings completely?
"Similar to the previous question, a subject that retains a consciousness, an awareness of themselves as a pre-existing, individual being, will be more autonomous, creative, and resourceful in extreme situations than a completely re-programmed subject, or a clone programmed from scratch. We have seen that behaviors like self-preservation are much stronger in natural humans than in bio-engineered clones or cybernetic AI´s, which is an asset in dangerous situations.
Ladies and gentlemen, as you are well aware of, our objective is to create operatives with an optimal profile to form autonomous teams specialized in black cyberops. We are not here to create a dumb super soldier for the army , a meek researcher for our labs or a submissive pleasure bio-roid for the leisure market. Others already do that." (Laughs and applause can be heard in the background).
"Bo Nordin speaking. What are the risks implicit to the creation of such an operative based on an existing subject?"
This time, Dr Kron takes a longer time to respond. The smile is bland and unconvincing.
"We made sure that the subject chosen already had a low degree of empathy towards other human beings. These sociopathic tendencies have been reinforced by the genetech modifications, and especially when the augmentations kick in, empathy is reduced to zero. There is a small risk that, in the long run, the subject can re-adapt and regain a level of empathy similar to what they had before the genetic modifications.
Of course, this makes the subject less predictable and controllable. Still, the risk of dealing with the possibility of the subject using their free will to deviate from the planned path is preferable to having a fully re-programmed, obedient subject without free will, but also without creativity or imagination."
"Lars Björklund speaking. You have told us that the subject is supposed to retain memories, free will and self awareness, but the modifications seem to go so deep, and the re-programming of mental processes be so extensive, that, how can we be sure that we are still talking about the same person before and after the genetech augmentations?
Dr Kron nods, her eyes betraying the annoyance of entering into a rather metaphysic subject that she was not planning on tackling today.
"Hmm this is very... academic. Frankly speaking...We cannot. While there has been a certain degree of continuity, and continuity is the only factor that as of today, makes us understand that subject A is still subject A after going through an specific change procedure, these genetic modifications could be seen more as a complete re-design of intellectual capacities than a simple genetic modification. As such, it is difficult to ascertain if what we have obtained is a just modified subject, or a new one, even if memories have been kept throughout the process, and the vessel remains the same...
"But we see everyday that people clone themselves to be able to last forever. I, for instance..."
The gesture of annoyance in Dr Kron is more obvious now, deep wrinkles surrounding cold blue eyes that glare at the person interrupting her.
"The scientific community tend to agree on the essence of individual consciousness not depending only on memories, which after all, are only data, but on continuity. By transferring memories from vessel A to vessel B, or backing up and restoring these memories in the same vessel, we do not keep the same individual being, but create a new one. Being the same, or being another, is simply the human conceptualization of a physical instance processing a set of data as part of a complex intellectual process allowing sentience, self awareness and subjectivity, compared to another instance containing a different, or even the same set of data, but running on a modified time variable . In other words, individual consciousness separated from a physical vessel is just a construct, a lie we tell ourselves to believe we have a soul, a ghost independent of the vessel, that help us dream of conquering over Death. Cloning is just another form of reproduction."
"Danielle Mattsson speaking. Coming back to the matter in hand...What will happen if the subject regains some degree of empathy?"
"As I said, the probability of such a failure is very small. But that process would likely lead to the generation of other human emotions like love, regret, hate .... eventually becoming dangerous and unmanageable for the project. Please rest assured, ladies and gentlemen of this Board of Directors, that the subject will be closely monitored, and immediately terminated if needed.
The droid moderating the meeting announces that Assessment has passed successfully, product having reached status of ready for field test, with eight positive votes out of twelve.