Discover more from The Lay Psychiatrist
In Session: (24): The Lay Psychiatrist and the AI
She's anatomically correct, and, like any robot, outsmarts herself
When the Layman starts referring to himself in the third person, he’s outside himself, and when he pulls himself back together he says, “Here I am,” and is invariably correct. So here I am, waiting for a client. She gave her name as Ana Inez when she called. She spoke grammatically. Connect the dots. She’s AI, and I’m about to take a Turing Test, because unless my eyes and wits deceive me she’s getting out of a blue Tesla on Bush Street, below my window, at this very moment.
Hmm. That’s not her.
“A watched pot never boils,” I tell myself and move my massive body to the reinforced chair behind the red cherry desk. My fingertips find each other with magnetic precision and become a spider on a mirror, my lips move in and out. My breathing slows to just under three breaths a minute.
I was in this Nero Wolf trance when she opened the door to the office, looked around, and came in uninvited. She studied me for a few moments without saying anything. Then she moved to the window. I opened one eye. The light was streaming through her thin cotton dress, throwing her perfect legs into relief. I opened the other eye. “There you are,” she said brightly, and with demure confidence moved across the room and sat in the yellow chair. “I’m Ana Inez,” she said. “I’ve seen you before, when you knocked out a mule on television.”
“Ah, yes,” I said. “That was 2014, the last Jerry Lewis Telethon.”
“I thought the mule would win,” she said. “I’d never seen one head butted like that before. It excited me.”
The thing about an AI is, they are cleverly programmed to behave like a real person. You ask a question and you get an answer. How many people are like that? They say what they came to say. Where robots slip up is they start showing off. Time distortion is programmed in as a hypnotic inductor. She led with a suggestion that she remembers 2014. She’s new technology. Still, what I saw in front of my window had taken hold of me. New possibilities don’t open up for a train unless it leaves the tracks.
“You’re AI,” I said. '
“Ana Inez,” she said, nodding. What could I make of that? She was nodding that she was AI and at the same time appeared to be a beautiful Portuguese woman who was playing me like a lute. She implanted an image when I was in the Nero Wolf trance, betwixt and between, that moment when you see a fly in the DNA converter by which you intended to evolve, but at the critical moment of transcendence a robot ports in and reads all your data? How do you argue with the data which has created you? She crossed her legs. “Only my closest friends call me AI, so feel free to choose the long way or the short way.”
“Do you like whiskey?” I asked.
She said, “You know that I do.”
Coming up: Can a robot drink whiskey? I mean, a digestive system in a robot seems to miss the larger point. But she fired that shot right down. Where did it go? I have to explore further into Anna Inez in the next chapter.
Thanks for reading The Lay Psychiatrist! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.