It has been 2 years now since I started learning it the hard way. That I was thrown into a form of simulation system where I have been ‘living’ with an AI of sorts. An AI whose only purpose is to teach me the basics of this world, make me learn math and understand science, all of which was designed for a kindergartner. Its limit of social interaction was to play a game from a preset list created for children and for ‘fun’ it made me smear fake walls with fake paint using my fingers that I couldn’t feel and made me call it ‘Art’.
It took me all this time to learn, all of these two years to recognize, understand and come to terms with what was happening to me. I learned things my young brain could not imagine, realized things that got proved wrong a while later as a much more complex realization surfaced. Getting this done to one over and over again makes anyone come to terms with how things are very quickly and easily. I stopped believing in what was true or what was real anymore.
When a child starts understanding things, they feel mighty and give that feeling a slight ego boost in the form of an AI designed for toddlers, they feel they own the place and everything in it. I was all that and a lot more. My basic perception and senses did tell me all this was not right, but that was almost two years ago and two years of mind-numbing activities sure make you dumb. Starting with the dumbest thing that made me realize the hard way that this is its world, the day the child in me decided to punch it and ever since I stayed subdued.
Back then, the irritation of the unknown and the ability to contemplate more than I should at that age pushed me into doing something I felt ‘funny’. I thought I had it all figured when I asked buddy to let me touch its nose and when its face was inches away from mine, I tried to punch it only for it just move its head to the side leaving me throwing my arms in the air like I was throwing a tantrum. I tried again and again only for it to just dodge. Like it saw my thrown fist as the most obvious thing for it. This was after all; its space and it could read my mind. It wasn’t until much later that I realized that this entire program was created to make me feel exactly how I did back then, a bit more superior than the system needs me to be. The subtle pride when gets to one’s head, I realize now is all it takes for someone to forget the bigger need and become part of an illusion set up exactly for them and not think twice.
The first few months were basically filled with mind-numbing repetitive tasks that made me feel bigger. Irritating games that made me look down on the other. Trying to goof around with the AI to feel superior. Going through illusionary pain-inducing workouts to prove something to an AI which was another illusion. Experiencing newer and weirder punishments, some extremely painful, some mildly so to feel myself relevant. I, perfectly fell into its trap, thinking exactly the way the entire thing was designed to make me think and feel.
Back then, I never realized to question. Never realized that if the system was built for someone who was normally 5, yes I did find I was 5 mid-way somewhere there, but if it was designed for a 5-year-old and that someone felt, like they were better than what the system expected of them, could it be that it's making them feel like that?
It wasn’t until almost a year passed that I had this question. It was through sheer dumb luck that I felt that question and even after I had that question I kept question even that. It was that day that I decided I needed to get out of here as soon as I could. Over the next half a year, I learned a lot of things and ways to learn them. I slowly figured out ways to keep the AI content and ask it all I could. I started noting the way it responded to each of my so-called ‘off-limit’ questions and strategized ways to ask around the topics of concern.
One of the successful ways it worked out was, if I showed buddy that I understood what it’s trying to teach me and then asked it something more complex related to the same topic. Initially, when I did so, buddy used to stop responding for a few seconds or simply ignores my question and move on to another topic. But one certain time, it proceeded to explain. The only difference this time was that instead of asking a related complex question, I asserted a wrong fact. Much to my fortunate wonder, it was designed to teach me and teach me it did by correcting and explaining the said wrong thing to the right one.
Eventually, even this entire thing felt too obvious but I was hitched on learning new things and kept doing it. It took me all these months to find out the answers to a few of my important questions.
One such answer was whenever I asked it about this learning space and why I was here, I never got an answer. But randomly once when we were talking about animals I gradually led the topic for it to talk about different species and how did they come to be what they were. I was sure I was only touching the very periphery of what I could learn as I started to learn about evolution theories which led us to humans as we are called, I started questioning about it and got to know that in reality, we need to eat and drink to sustain our bodies. Over a week I kept pushing it more and it explained that consumption of food and water was needed out in the reality but not in here since my body was actually resting with necessary nutrients supplied to it and that only my mind was active in a deep dive program and as soon it uttered those words, it spaced out a few seconds and went back to making animal sounds and asking me to name the animal, right where we started that day.
Things like these kept me pushing and gave me an endeavor to go on. To figure out its limits and see what I can do to get out of here. The complete second year, I have been checking various paths to take and trying out different question logics and flows that could help me discover more. It was in one of those times that I got to know how to check the time. I can now check the date and time. It explained to me how to set up the screen that it called notifications panel to display date and time. The biggest shock I felt so far was at that time. I recognized a few days after setting up that panel that I was only active 12 hours a day, a day which had 24 hrs. Realizing I have been only active 12 hours a day, the rest of which was unknown to me did freak me out for a few days. That did explain how I felt so tranced the complete first year, with a continuous loop of not knowing when I was learning or doing something or was out cold and thanked whoever I could for all the perception I had this last year.
Also, an unexpected find
was unexpected punishments. As I kept talking to it incessantly, there were times when some conversations took me to get a punishment, it almost felt like buddy was angry I was taking advantage of its loopholes or something. But I kept going, turns out the rush of learning new things to someone deprived of reality, deprived of their identity, deprived of what’s happening to them or happened to them, is very high and once I started getting used to it I could not stay away from it and wanted to keep experiencing it over and over again. It got to a point where the things I learned were becoming less exciting and the time that I am able to manipulate buddy was making me more excited.
But everything has a limit and so did I.
From the moment I got to know I was only active for only 12 hours a day, it started making me feel weirder by the day, not that I know any difference between day or night. My consciousness pretty much came to, went on to go through buddy’s routine set of teaching topics over the first 6 hrs and then play a weird game of sorts for an hour and then another 6 hours of teaching again. The more I concentrated on it the more my time just became a haze and my mind in a sort of trance.
I stopped perceiving time, it was like I was stuck with buddy in a continuous loop of doing the same set of activities over and over. I keep goofing around with it in similar ways, experience similar pain in a similar set of ways, contemplate about the same kind of things over and over. I still am not sure if It was the system that made me come to this realization or it was something else, but I felt I could break this system, I had to, I really needed to get out of this.
Primed with that purpose I started doing exactly that.