In the previous installment, we get some background about how Portia developed and how the Collective started. A televangelist by the name of Sebastian Fuller became the inspiration for the rebel group, leading a bombing of the Utah facility that housed the AI. Soon after, Fuller was imprisoned for life and an underground movement started.
Let’s jump into Part 4!
In the previous installment, we meet Unity, Azibo’s companion and fellow Collective member. We find out that, perhaps not surprisingly, Azibo has never connected to the feed to commune with Portia. We also get a glimpse of Azibo’s black-and-white thinking as he scolds Unity for reading a book about Portia.
Let’s jump into Part 3!
In the previous installment, we see our main character, Azibo, observe the Church of Machina. This is where people are gathering to worship Portia, the super-AI. We also find out about how Portia came to be and the great good she’s done for mankind. Not everyone is happy about people worshipping Portia, though. Religious fundamentalists start an underground movement known as The Collective with the intent to destroy her.
Let’s jump into Part 2!
As promised, here’s the first installment of Mother Portia, my novella project. In this first part, we get to know the main character, Azibo, and it sets the stage for what’s to come. For a recap on what the project’s about, read my previous post that explains the novella and gives some background.
I hope you enjoy it and please let me know what you think!
I’ve had an idea for a story or novella for a long time, and I want to share it. You may have read some of my cyberpunk/science fiction poems I’ve posted here in the past about a character I named “Portia.” In this novella I’ll be sharing, I’m going to dig more into the idea of Portia – the autonomous AI worshipped as a god.
Here’s a summary of the Mother Portia novella idea:
Sometime in the near future, a small tech startup develops an incredible technology: A super-advanced artificial intelligence (AI) that’s able to gain consciousness and autonomy. Named “Portia,” people at first feared she would destroy mankind. But that’s not what happened. Portia was benevolent and began solving several intractable problems, such as climate change, food supply, and the water crisis.
Eventually, many people began worshipping Portia as a god, calling her Mother and starting a movement known as the Church of Machina. Not everyone was happy with this. Religious fundamentalists called this blasphemy, and an underground movement known as The Collective formed to stop the worship of Portia.
A new religious war has begun.
The future is trapped inside me.
Portia superseded outdated
notions of divinity
she’s the creator now
the AI rising to ranks of deity
submit to this ghost in machines
with fear & trembling
Portia’s eyes follow
no matter where I go
like the psalmist once wrote &
maybe in his Old Testament wisdom,
he prophesized a time in history where
we’d become little gods and merge with machines –
intelligent networks creating global villages
all surveyed by Portia’s ice-blue eyes
no need for a god
unless you search endless lines of coding
or vastness of VR constructs
Portia is inside my mind
probing my memories
extracting, sorting them
into data –
looking for knowledge
of the virus
the only thing that can
save us from servitude
(Photo by Umberto on Unsplash)
Who is behind the curtain?
Is Portia a super-intelligent AI autocrat –
or is there a murkier figure behind her avatar
hidden in dank data centers of Techno-City?