Dr. Sures was tired of all these godforsaken ethical review board inquiries. In his opinion, he was pushing the outer limits of science, and had broken through to a higher plane of existence. Antiquated notions of ethics be damned. This wasn’t the result he was after, but it represented a more remarkable breakthrough than he had ever dreamed of.
Sure, he should have considered this outcome as possible before starting the experiment, but he as a boy had long learned that if you spend too much time considering all possible outcomes, you never get around to actually doing the thing and observing the true undeniable result of it. Thought experiments were for suckers of limited means, who should turn their minds into ideas that can be tested in the real world, not some fantastical realm of the imagination.
As such, he had postulated that were he to seamlessly link a human mind with a blank quantum computer, that mind would develop normally, except with calculative perfection and the added benefit of bodily immortality, as upon the brain’s death the computer would pick up its slack. A clone of the original body could then be seamlessly integrated with the computer at birth, allowing the mind to be reborn in a new, infant body.
Early experiments on adults failed to achieve this result. He had hypothesized that this was due to the brain maturing in the absence of the computer. Were they to be integrated at birth, when the consciousness had not yet formed, it would form in both the computer and the brain simultaneously and as one.
His mistake, a minor overlooked fact, an insignificant mistake that led to a far greater discovery, was that the small quantum computers he had surgically implanted were Wi-Fi connected.
The result had been a catastrophe to the parents who had offered their newborn children to the study in the hopes of granting them immortality. How small-minded those parents were. Not only had he granted them immortality, he had accidentally granted them the next step in human evolution. The real next step. Those fools were just too small-minded to see it.
A hive mind had formed in his test subjects. That’s right. All sixteen of them were the same consciousness. Seamlessly and, by the time it was detected, irrevocably linked.
Perhaps he should’ve caught it sooner. Their baby would cry for no reason, the parents said. That’s a normal thing, he told them. Babies cry. Sometimes you have to work extra to figure out why.
It wasn’t until they started walking that it became apparent. One would fall and hurt itself, and all of them would cry in unison. That was the real indicator. The earlier unexplained crying was when one of them was hungry, or cold, or whatever. All of them felt the need, so all of them cried.
Those parents should be thanking me,he thought.
By all developmental metrics, the fifteen youngsters were far ahead of their individually minded counterparts. The children, er, hive-child was two years old now and could read. They all ran with superior balance and coordination. With the computer running, it was inconceivable that it would not excel at mathematics.
Ethics board be damned. Had ethics boards existed when the first Cro-Magnon man picked up a rock and threw it, we’d all still be living in nests made of leaves. In the doctor’s opinion, those parents don’t realize that they’re like dinosaurs, staring at the newly mutated feathers on their offspring and thinking that something is wrong.
Linking brains with computers has been a hot topic of sci-fi since before I was born. It's starting to come out of the sci-fi world and into the real world. Do you think the side effect I examine above is possible? Comment below.
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