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Chapter 8

“I don’t give a damn what we have to do. I will not be dictated to by a goddamned website. This is the US for Christ’s sake. Where the hell are the DRI people? I told you I want them brought in.”

“Mr President, this isn’t a website. This is a government. Not in the conventional sense maybe but nonetheless, it is a democratic big brother and it has serious teeth. We can’t just disappear a DRI official or there will be consequences. We can ask.”

“Then goddamned ask them to come in. Now where are we? Brandon Grey, Morris Zelig?”

“Gone sir. Both in custody. Tax fraud, bribery, unfair practice charges. Mr President, we just handed over the richest people in the world. Now DRI is a government with a huge net worth and no debt. Mr President, this is a list of shares and assets transferred to DRI and these are the cash reserves. On the left is a list of assets not yet transferred, in the process.”

“Are you kidding me? That’s impossible. How could we have just handed them this money? We don’t even know who we’re handing it over to. It might be the goddamned Chinese for all we know. How did this happen? How did we let it happen?”

“A substantial amount was voluntarily transferred. DRI exposed all the hidden cash and assets. Governments transferred the rest under a negotiated settlement with DRI. They were blackmailed.”

“What are you talking about? There is nobody to negotiate with and please explain to me, why the hell would we do what they say?”

“We had no choice Sir. There is no face but there is a Negotiation Department and that’s how the governments negotiated, including us Sir.”

“What the fuck do you mean, including us?”

“Home Security felt it was a matter of National security. They negotiated with DRI. It was decided not to involve you Sir.”

“Who the hell? I mean why?”

“Sir, can we talk in private?”

“Josh, you’ve known me long enough. Tell me what’s going on?”

“They presented the terms along with some information. Perhaps you should take a look at this.”

“My God, where did they get this from? This is blackmail. I won’t be part of a blackmail threat. I would rather face the consequences.”

“Yes Sir, but that’s not all. They have enough information to bring down most of the government and from what we understand, not just our government. We had no choice sir.”

“It’s blackmail.”

“Yes it is and at this moment, there is nothing we can do sir. FBI and CIA have nothing concrete, MI5 have nothing.”

“This is total madness. A goddamned website has got us by the balls. Do we have any leads?”

“Yes sir. We’ve reduced the list of suspects. We have an AI official in custody. He’s being interviewed right now, a Saul Myerson. He’s a big name in AI, CEO of AiRobotics, apparently with links to subversive groups - Anarchistic Intelligence. Harvard graduate, political activist, author of AI and Anarchy. ”

“That’s something at least. I want answers. I want a report here by 10 tonight. I don’t give a damn what you need to do as long as we get answers. Make sure any mess is cleared up and this didn’t come from me. I hold you responsible if there are any leaks. This is a matter of National Security. You understand?”

“Yes Mr President.”

“John, what’s your belief? Who’s behind it?”

“I don’t know sir. Whoever it is, they’re smart as hell. It’s unstoppable and it’s growing. It’s an army of 1.28 billion and we have no defence against it. ”

“If only we weren’t so corrupt John. The Lord moves in strange ways. It certainly makes you sit up and think. The only real power they have is the ability to expose corruption. Who would have thought that could be the most powerful weapon man has ever used? One thing for sure, it’s a great deterrent. Who the hell hasn’t got something to hide? Big business and politics have always been dirty.”

“And never more than now. At least they could bring down the bankers and the hedge funds.”

“Mike what have you got?”

“Mr President, we’ve got the latest data here and there’s a lot of movement in DRI. There have been 8237 petitions in the last seven days. DRI rules state that ‘upon receipt of a petition of 100 signatures, said petition will be referred to committee’. A report for each is posted online for vote. A global petition has been issued against corruption in politics, posted online for signature. They need 100,000 signatures for it to go to committee and they have 27 million so far. It is in the committee stage for process to the lower and upper house. Once it goes through the houses and we see that as a formality, it goes to global DRI vote for a minimum 1 million votes. We don’t see that as a problem either. Sir, we need to prepare. It seems that they’re coming after the politicians. A list has been attached to the petition of the most corrupt politicians worldwide. It’s a death sentence.”

“Where’s the goddamned list? Am I on it?”

“No sir you are not. That in itself is good Mr President but by inference, it is not. We know that they have information on you. Forgive me please but your name should appear on the list along with a long list of other leaders and politicians. It would therefore appear that DRI has made a conscious decision not to expose you and others. That leads us to the clear assumption that DRI is capable of thought. Not in a human way but thought broken down into mathematical formulae. It has clearly analysed the impact of exposure of politicians on world order. We’ve looked at the list of politicians and the boys in data analysis conclude that the list has been compiled by a complex selection process based on a number of variables. They can’t break it down further but one thing they are clear about, is that it is not based solely on evidence. DRI has analysed all the variables and come up with an impact score. You Mr President thank God failed the test. Their report is here. It makes interesting reading.”

“Well I should be grateful for small mercies. I’m not on it for now maybe. Let me see…..My God, this is unthinkable. Have they posted any evidence?”

“Not yet. Just the names. But we assume that you are not the only one in receipt of their ‘profile’, shall we say. There’s a process. A report will be posted by the houses for or against the motion. Then it will go to DRI vote but that sir is a formality. It’s a matter of when not if and we calculate the ‘when’ is, within 7 days.”

“This is catastrophic. I don’t disagree with a clean-up but not like this. In the end there won’t be a single politician left in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, South America. There might be a few survivors in Europe but the US is finished. Jesus Christ we have to stop this. Find me someone to talk to? I want to talk to the AI guy, now.”

“Mr President, we don’t recommend this. It’s being dealt with. He’s in a secure location.”

“Now I said. Get everyone mobilised, I’m going there now. No formalities!”

“Yes sir. Please follow me Mr President…..inform security, get the cars ready, the president is mobile, repeat, the president is mobile…lower level 1….eta 4 minutes.”

“I want to go straight through. Tell me about him.”

“Saul Myerson 36, married, three children, lives in New York, graduated Harvard, PHD in Ai, Masters in AGi, founded CEO Intelligence 10 years ago, reputed not confirmed links to Anarchist groups.”

“He’s got the profile. He could be our man. Now get the door opened. Stop delaying….Jesus, what the hell have you done to him? I said do whatever but I didn’t mean half kill him. Everyone get out. I want everyone out. Bring me two coffees and I want medical in here right away……Saul, may I call you Saul, I’m sorry for this. I had no idea and I will see that there are consequences for those responsible. They’re animals. I’ve got medical on its way. It doesn’t look too bad. I am President Michael Howard.”

“Yea I know who you are. I’ve seen you in the movies. Don’t worry I’m not hurt. One of your guys got a bit carried away. I don’t need medical. Look I don’t know what your guys want. I told them I have nothing to do with DRI except I’m a registered member and I give advice on Ai. That’s not a crime.”

“Indeed not and I sympathise with the cause. There’s nothing like a clean-up and bit of equality but not like this. I guarantee personally that you can walk away from this with a clean card if you tell me everything you know. We know you have links with certain undesirable elements. We know everything about you. I don’t need to tell you that in the wrong hands, this is a weapon of mass destruction and you could go down for treason. This is a critical matter of national security. The future of the US may be in your hands.”

“I understand but I don’t know anything. And yes I went to a few political meetings in college, so what? I support the principles of DRI but all I did was advise them on a few Ai issue.”

“And what exactly did you advise?”

“Not much. It was way ahead of us at AiIntelligence. They didn’t need our help. They’ve had years of perfecting it, self-perfecting. I don’t know who’s behind it. I wish I did. If there is someone then I’d love to recruit them but we believe it is random. It’s a well-controlled forest fire. It’s too far evolved to unravel. I can’t help. Am I entitled to a lawyer.”

“Do you need a lwayer?”

“No Sir I do not.”

“There’s no need for that. We are holding you under Prevention of Terrorism. I want you to take a lie detector and then we’ll see.”

“No problem. I noticed your name didn’t appear on the list Mr President.”

“Yes. But haven’t we all got something to hide Mr Myerson?”

“Perhaps, but in degrees. Sir, I am an American first and I would do anything for my country. Your boys think that I’m some sort of anarchist subversive but that’s ridiculous. They can beat me up some more but it won’t help. I can’t give you information I don’t have. I am a member of DRI because I believe in a better America, a better world. I am fully aware of the power of DRI and if I knew how to access it, I would. Ai is barely out of diapers and still we can move wheelchairs with thought, we’ve created digital machines capable of pattern recognition and complex communication, designed robots to replace people and complex computer games then you may ask, what is the future? Well the answer is DRI. Believe me, we want the technology just as much as you Sir.”

“So what do you suggest?”

“Negotiate. That’s all you can do. You can’t stop it and you can’t beat it. We’ve been watching them for years. We couldn’t believe that they went unnoticed for so long. They started as a social website but the opportunity for the Ai fraternity, the anarchists, hackers and the like - it was too tempting. We know that DRI have developed recognition technology – image, patterns - video and audio. We know that DRI neural network and data mining technology is way beyond ours. We are sure that DRI has evolved way beyond its concept. We’ve spent a huge amount of money on research into AGI, hypothetical analysis. The stuff of science fiction where machines can think, react with wisdom, self-awareness, consciousness and all the human traits that we have been trying to break down into numbers. We don’t think that DRI has evolved to that degree yet but it’s not far off.”

“Saul, you’re only talking to a President. I have no idea what you’re saying.”

“In simple terms, we’re screwed. We’re in nappies and these guys are running the marathon. They have developed technology way beyond what’s out there. You wouldn’t believe the names involved in developing the AI. Developers are not in it for the money. They want the intellectual challenge and DRI was perfect for this. It attracted every AI nutter on the globe and you lot missed it. The amazing thing they’ve done is create a kind of mega magnet that attracts information at an incredible rate and then has the ability to analyse that data and make a conclusion. Anybody can post information on DRI about anything or about anyone. There is no fear of reprisals. Just imagine how much private information, dirty information is out there. It’s pure genius. It’s asking people to rat on each other with no comeback. I’ve posted stuff myself. Imagine, politicians against politicians, business rivals, wives against husbands, police, army, lawyers, doctors, accountants, bankers, all hiding dirty secrets and all posting dirty secrets. The technology is so advanced that it can sift through the millions of pieces of data in any format, verify it, recognising images, voices, data – matching, organising and filing. It trawls the internet sucking up more information. The library is an insatiable animal. It’s a catfish that eats anything and grows and grows.”

“But surely that amount of information is impossible to process?”

“Not any more. DRI has evolved incredible technology that is able to process trillions of bits of information automatically, almost instantaneously. Information is recognised, verified, collated and packaged. That is their real weapon. The finance department has access to every report ever written or recorded, video and audio and every piece of information and theory on anything financial and the technology can analyse, collate and predict. It has the capacity to make decisions based on an infinite number of variables. In other words, it doesn’t just choose between a and b, it predicts outcomes, patterns, probability based on every variable. The repercussions for investment capability are unthinkable. This applies to all departments. The legal department has access to so much information that nobody will get away with anything. DRI may not yet be a government but it is the conscience of all government. It’s watching us and it has a short temper. That Mr President is what we are up against.”

“Christ Saul, this is shocking. Can you help us?”

“I don’t know. In time perhaps but help do what?”

“Excuse me sir, medical is here and your coffees. And they’re ready for the lie detector.”

“I’m ok. I don’t need anything just coffee.”

“John, we don’t need the lie detector. Saul, you are free to leave. Please accept my personal apology for the way you were treated. As this is a matter of national security, I would ask you to keep this all confidential. Here is a business card with an email address. Use it, it’s secure. It will get to me and please don’t leave town. O’Neill take him out and ensure he gets home safely.”

“Sir, I don’t trust him. He’s lying.”

“I think he’s knows nothing but track him anyway. I want to know when he farts. Understand? Clear the room. Mike, John, you stay……Gentlemen, what the hell are we going to do?”

“I think and this is my personal view. I think that we have to negotiate.”

“You’re asking the US to surrender?”

“It’s not surrender. It’s negotiation.”

“Negotiate what and with whom?”

“Mr President, you need to join. We need to look at the reality. Every government is on its own trying to find a way to control DRI. Tech has said it can’t be done. So let’s look at DRI. What exactly is it? It’s the polarization of a billion people, a consolidation of thought. It has super intelligent technology that is capable of processing millions of bits of random and chaotic information and putting it into order. We know that there is no single person to negotiate with. We know that there are no policies. We know that it is an unstoppable force and we know that it is a totally random machine. You can’t negotiate but you can try and reason. If we work within their rules then maybe we can influence the path.”

“John. Have you gone mad? The entire world believes that Iran is behind it. It’s collaboration with the enemy. Besides, it is unconstitutional. The media would crucify us.”

“Not if we’re smart about it. I don’t see any other way. We’ve got to jump on the steam train or get run over.”

“John unfortunately you may be right. I want you to call the Cabinet. No excuses. I want everyone in attendance. I don’t care where they are or what they’re doing?”

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