"You got her a mechanical doll?" Aereon asked his sister, not knowing how to feel about it. Though he knew that his sister was a bit eccentric, he would never have guessed that she would have gotten a one-year-old something so complicated. Taking into account that she had not known about Astrea's advanced intelligence yet.
"Well... What I actually got her was the 'Atric IL A.I. Version 1.0'!" Kaelie stated proudly.
"Wait, 'IL A.I.' as in 'Infinite Learning' Artificial Intelligence?! Didn't Atric announce that it would only be released in two years at the earliest?! How were you able to get it, let alone pay for it!" Aereon widened his eyes in surprise as every adult in the room except for Vaena had looks of surprise upon hearing what Kaelie had gotten.
No one doubted her words as they all had a high level of trust with each other and Kaelie had a very straightforward personality and would be very bad at lying if she ever tried. While they didn't doubt her, they all doubted the authenticity of the product as Atric was a world-renowned company that was famous for its innovations in magitech products.
They couldn't believe Kaelie would have been able to get a product before its release, and more so a product the entire world was anticipating!
Atric had been famous for all sorts of magitech products including artificial intelligence which were created by the top programmers, machine learning scientists and high ranking research mages. The A.I.'s were used to increase the efficiency and convenience of using technology.
It was able to act as a personal assistant, helping in everyday tasks, it was able to help manage a business's network and software, and even able to teach children! There were many types of A.I.'s based on the customer's needs and
The 'Infinite Learning' artificial intelligence was a new unreleased product that Atric had been advertising for the past couple of months. They had advertised that it would be capable of 'true self-learning' for a single reason, they had created an 'artificial soul' using magic and science.
This world had discovered and proven the existence of souls long ago due to the existence of magic that seemingly broke all conventional laws of science. From the moment it had been discovered that humans were not just made of a flesh body and consciousness, they had studied souls extensively, trying to find out as much as they can about it.
Some had ideas of using the information to acquire immortality by transferring souls into different bodies, some wanted to study about the afterlife and the plane beyond by finding out where souls went after death. Alas, souls were extremely difficult to study and little progress has been made in the field of souls.
Though that is only on the surface, countless breakthroughs in the field of souls were made by different organizations and people around the world in thousands of years, all their discoveries being different from each other, none of them revealing anything to the world as they deemed the information too dangerous or wanted it all to themselves.
That was the reason Atric revealing something such as having made an 'artificial soul' created countless ripples throughout the world, it was more surprising to some organizations that Atric was bold enough to reveal it to the world and even bolder to sell it.
Their newest A.I. was created not only from all the experience they had gained from creating previous A.I's but also was the host to an artificial soul, Atric had claimed that this allowed the A.I. to gain intelligence similar to a human.
They had claimed that their learning speed was a thousand times better than a human's due to their nature as A.I.'s that are able to handle large amounts of information in a short span of time, in addition to their human-like intelligence.
There had multiple concern such as the A.I.s going rogue due to their newfound sapience and they had assured that it would not be a problem as they had limited certain aspects of the soul, such as reducing its capacity for emotions and the desire to learn anything beyond what was assigned to them.
They had also modified the souls to have absolute loyalty towards their owner to further decrease the likelihood of rogue A.I.s.
"Hey! Don't doubt my connections! It just so happened that one of my close friends is the relative of one of the scientists involved in creating the new A.I. They hooked me up to get it, though it isn't the exact product Atric advertised..." She explained without going into much detail, she had promised her friend that she wouldn't reveal any of the details regarding the A.I. and how she had gotten it. Though telling her family and close family friends should be perfectly fine as they were all upright people.
"Not the exact product? So what did you actually get?" Paela asked in curiosity, it was more believable now as Kaelie had revealed that the product she had received was different in some wat from what Atric had advertised.
"The actual A.I. that would be released to the public would already be 'nurtured' and trained by providing them with the necessary information and data that would suit the customer's needs."
"My friend told me that when the A.I. is first created with the artificial soul, it is more or less like a baby and has to learn about the world just the same, though it does learn at an extremely fast rate due to its nature as a highly advanced A.I."
"A.I.s they've fully 'nurtured' would be the equivalent of adults and act that way as well due to their teaching methods, and while you might think teaching them is just dumping loads of data into them like conventional A.I.s, it's actually similar to how humans are taught."
"All the A.I.s go series of 'lessons' depending on what the A.I. will specialize in. While I don't know what these 'lessons' pertain or how they are actually carried out, my friend told me that all the lessons were specially created by the top professionals in their field, hired by Atric just to create those 'lessons'."
"The reason Atric had informed the world that the A.I.s will only be available in two years' time at the earliest was due to the nurturing time of the A.I.s. which took months before one could be considered as 'adults' and could be sold as the finished product. Though they are able to nurture many of them at once, it seems like it's still too slow to be able to keep up with the expected demand."
"My friend told me that they had completed the A.I. for quite some time before they had started advertising and that they had been nurturing the A.I. for some time before then as well and calculated they needed a few years to reach their set quota, which is currently two years from now."
"Hiring countless number of professionals from countless number of fields wasn't cheap even for Atric, so that was included for the cost of the A.I.s along with their long nurturing time that further boosted their cost."
"And that's where I tell all of you that I didn't need to pay for any of that! Anyone wanna guess how?" Kaelie took in a deep breath after explained almost everything her friend had told her, finally getting close to getting her point across.
All the adults in the room were bewildered at the information Kaelie had about Atric's new A.I. and were all wondering how she had managed to get all that information out of her friend, though they quickly came to the conclusion that she kept bugging them over and over to tell her more about it and had succumbed.
"You... managed to buy an unnurtured A.I..." Dagen, who had experienced many things in his life and had an extremely sharp mind quickly came to a conclusion from the information Kaelie had told them, speaking out the moment he had the answer.
"That's right! I was only able to buy the unnurtured A.I. as my friend's relative had been assigned a few to be studied in their unnurtured state! All of the A.I.s under them were made sure to go through as little input from their surroundings as possible to prevent them from learning and growing too much but it couldn't be helped if they were exposed to some input from their experiments and studies."
"It seemed like they were unable to learn much from the unnurtured A.I. as they were the equivalent to a blank slate and they had ended their studies early, It seems like they tried to send the A.I.s back but the higher-ups rejected them as they didn't want 'used goods' to be put through the lessons as the experiments may have affected them in some way and were told to delete them instead."
"My friend managed to get one off her relative's hands just before they deleted the rest, allowing me to buy it off them. They're still annoyed even now on how much I bugged them about it." Kaelie giggled as she recalled the groans and annoyed expressions her friend made each time she would ask them anything related to the A.I.
"What does that mean then? Is the A.I. better or worst?" Dennix asked as he still couldn't wrap his head around what Kaelie had been saying and had gotten lost on some parts.
"Haven't you been listening? It means that the A.I. I got is the equivalent of a baby! Not only that, but the artificial soul is also unmodified. No mental restrictions have been placed on them like limiting their capacity to feel emotions or limiting its desire to learn, which in turn increases their potential!" Kaelie explained excitedly.
"Aren't those limitations supposed to reduce the risk of the A.I.s going rogue? Doesn't that also mean it has no loyalty towards its owners?" Aereon asked with concern, the thought of anything becoming a potential harm to Astraea had set off his parental senses.
"The reason Atric put in those restrictions in the first place was due to their plans of making the A.I.s tools for us humans, and since they could be considered sapient beings, they would build up resentment from being used as tools for a species that had the same intelligence than them if no restrictions were placed."
"But what if we didn't treat them as tools, but as an intelligent being? How someone grows up and develops their personality and morals is greatly affected by the environment they grew up in and the people who surrounded them and taught them."
"If we brought up the baby A.I. like one of our own and taught it morals and values, it won't have to slightest possibility to turn rogue as it'll become part of the family!"
"What I still don't get is how you came up with the idea that a baby A.I. that Astraea would be able to teach and grow up with ould be the perfect present for her," Aereon asked, still very confused on why Kaelie had decided to give her niece something so complicated and elaborate and put so much effort into doing so.
"I can explain that, originally your sister had been interested in the IL A.I. for quite some time now, long before Astraea's birthday and had wanted to do exactly as she had said, raise the A.I. as her own." Vaena cut into the conversation and started explaining in place of her daughter as she was also involved in this birthday present to some extent.
"She had acquired the A.I. from her friend two months ago, and while she states that the price was decreased by a large amount, it was still expensive enough to dig out a large chunk of her personal savings." Vaena looked at her daughter annoyedly when she had said that, making Kaelie blush and turn away.
"When she had finally had the A.I. in her ownership, she finally noticed that her current lifestyle wouldn't be a good environment to raise the A.I. as she wouldn't be able to be with it and teach it 24/7 due to her classes and studies, the dorms she currently stayed in wouldn't be a good place for it to live as she'd have to restrict it freedom to only her room as she didn't want to risk it being discovered, and finally, she has zero experience in actually raising anyone, or even teaching anyone." Vaena finished while looking straight at her daughter with an expressionless face, making Kaelie fidget in place.
"I found this all out just a few days after she had purchased it when I noticed the drop in her savings, All that I said came out of her mouth by the way, except for the last part, I added that on my own."
"Yeah... all that mom said, including the last part. Since that was the case, I began to look for solutions for the problem and came to the conclusion that giving it to Astraea was the best one." Kaelie said with a softer voice, still embarrassed that she had not properly planned prior to getting the A.I.
"I first wanted to give it to someone in the family, extended family or close family friends as I can't give it to my normal friends or sell it off as it would be breaking my promise to my friend, but I knew that you wouldn't be able to properly raise the A.I. as I want you too as you would think of it like a tool or just data instead of a child that was to be raised and taught."
"Then I found out the perfect candidate would be a child! A child had no prejudice due to their lack of experience and having the A.I. grow and learn with them will not only help each other learn new things, but it would also form an unbreakable bond between them!"
"With Astraea's birthday only being less than two months away and that she was currently very young, I had decided that she would be the one to teach and grow together with the A.I."
"That was a long way to say that you gave Astraea a-" Before Paela could complete her sentence, Astraea had completed it for her.
"-baby sister!! Astraea's baby sister!!"