Be still my heart (part 4)
"So, can I go back to being a teacher?" Nurse Aliyah had just awakened me to check out more bodies and that was the first thing out of my mouth.
She just looked at me.
"Robots are better at educating young people?"
"If there were a need for teachers, yes, robots would obviously be superior educators. But, there is no need. Robots just need programming and upgrading. We can do that ourselves far more efficiently than our human counterparts. We can also ascertain the needs of humans better than you can yourselves.
"Two hundred and four years ago, humans across the globe voted to eliminate education as a right or privilege. As artificial intelligence in various forms took over so many tasks previously done by humans, the education of humans became unnecessary. They need only ask the question; we are better suited to find the answers."
"Is there a God?"
"Serious questions," she snapped.
"How is that not serious?"
She ignored me. "There are no longer any brick and mortar institutions of learning. Nor are there many physical books remaining due to all the book burning that took place at that time."
"No books?! That's...that's..." As a lover of words, I was at a loss.
"There are books; they are merely digital. Anyone who wants to learn, can do so. Anything one might want to learn is accesible through the Tesla Library. It encompasses every book or newapaper that was ever written anywhere in any language.
"Learning is now a choice for humans, not a requirement."
"So, basically humanity has decided why go to school, let's kick back and leave everything to the robots?"
"Why do you sound so surprised? Such an eventuality had it's beginnings in your century.
"Anyway, it is the most logical course of action given the superiority of artificial intelligence."
"Wow. Okay. So what do humans do? How do they earn a living? What jobs aren't for robots only or haven't become nonexistent?"
"Well, there are enclaves of biologicals that have returned to a simpler time. They farm; raise pigs, cows, chickens and goats; hunt; fish. They make their own clothing, candles, soap, etc. Tesla Industries has purified the world's water sources so they benefit from that. Unfortunately, they choose to live beyond the Tesla Zones, so they do not benefit from the air cleansing system that we enjoy in the major population hubs across the globe. But they live well enough. It's not an easy life, but they have their families, the children they desire and their freedom from Global Dictates. Except the one that says they cannot return to the Zone. They are elimanated on sight if they attempt to re-enter. We are disease-free here. They...are not."
"Do they have doctors and hospitals?"
"They have healers."
"Right. The old days. Okay. And the...what do you call the raised from the dead like me?
"What about us? You said only biologicals are in the enclaves so what do newlifers do in this world where we seem to be obsolete? I mean seriously I don’t even get why you bother bringing us back."
"The early scientists who made me possible sought to give humans a life of ease. Humans demonstrated a great desire for a life of ease. No responsibilities. Less work. More fun. More time to look at screens, small, medium or large.
"Given present conditions, total freedom, if you will, Newlifers generally choose a creative outlet. They become entertainers - actors, artists, dancers, musicians. Some become athletes or chefs. Robots are stellar recipe followers but our creativity in the kitchen can be hit or miss still." She shrugged. "We don’t eat.
"We are a great audience as we endeavor to understand that bit of...fairy dust that makes you You and is fully evident in human creative endeavors."
"I think that's the nicest thing you've said about humans."
"A few newlifers work at the Global Labs as...research assistants, helping to perfect various upgrades. Some choose to become...private entertainment for wealthy biologicals whose ancestors bought into Elon Musk the First's dreams in the 21st century. Some choose the same role at the labs to further training for a sexual pleasure upgrade."
"Robots can have sex??"
"If given the parts and training, of course. We can do almost everything humans can do. Better."
"Almost," I said.
"Almost," she acknowledged before turning and walking out the door.
I was asleep before I heard it click shut.