Sunday, February 11, 2024

Immersion Chapter 16 When Sleep Comes (Dreams)

Welcome to Immersion 

You have reached Strata 16

Immersion Strata 16 Dreams illustration by Sarnia de la Mare
Learning machines have been seen to dream in a way that is similar but not identical to the human experience. Some analysts have likened machine dreaming to the hallucinations caused by psychedelic drugs, or conditions like schizophrenia. But human subconscious events and associations can only ever be theorised upon.
Artificial intelligence, when it was first explored, made fascinating mistakes that were considered artistic, creative and occasionally dreamlike. 
Dreaming has long been linked to creativity in humans as well as to madness. 

Machines have been programmed to reflect on sequences of past experiences in order to reach future goals. This experience replay is beneficial to a machine. Although most humans can learn from consciously replaying memories while awake, the fact that this is a dream function cannot be proven. If we do not understand what dreams are, how they affect our visceral convictions, what evolutionary purpose they manifest, and to what end they impact individuals, how can their process be copied?

Renyke realised that Flex, in this situation at least, was wiser than him.

They secured the boat in a secluded area, should they need to find it again in the future.

'Better safe than sorry Renyke, in case we encounter any freaks,'

Renyke tries to access the POS, then gives up.

The rain is hard and there is an ominous sense of doom in this place where no man seemed to tread. 

'We should rest a while maybe sleep, get some strength up. This last bit needs strong wits and gilly feet.' says Flex, pointing towards a cave.

Renyke yawned to release a wave of exhaustion in front of the fire  built with Flex's usual speed and dexterity.

'You need to rest my friend', insists Flex.

In the midcast projects there was no such thing as sleep. Occasionally owners would turn their droids off to conserve energy or for privacy reasons, but usually home connected droids would be available and on alert at all times for safety reasons. It was assumed that in an emergency, droids were far superior.

'I don't understand why I would be tired, it makes no sense,' said Renyke, frowning, and barely able to keep his eyes open.

'Stress not, my friend, you are safe here,' says Flex folding his jumper and making a pillow for his friend.

Renyke rubbed his eyes and felt something on his face. His skin was flaking off and flecks of shiny detritus created a glittering aura, refracting shimmers catching the light of the flames.

'Brother got him a halo,' laughs Flex.

Then Renyke fell asleep, and, for the first time since his manufacture, he dreams.

© 2022 Tale Teller Club™

Links to episodes of Immersion written and illustrated by Sarnia de la Maré FRSA, published by Tale Teller Club

Strata 1
Strata 2
Strata 3
Strata 4
Strata 5
Strata 6
Strata 7
Strata 8
Strata 9
Strata 10
Strata 11
Strata 12
Strata 13
Strata 14
Strata 15
Strata 16
Strata 18
Strata 19
Strata 21

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