Richard G. Epstein
PATENT FOR THINKING
Device Promises to Help
Patients with Mental Disabilities
---Special to the Sentinel-Observer
Business and Technology Reporter
Microsoft's long-awaited thought prosthesis was introduced to the public yesterday by Microsoft CEO Bill Gates. The device is intended to help individuals with mental disabilities to function more normally in the intellectual sphere. The thought prosthesis is designed to help those who suffer from mental retardation, birth defects and genetic defects, as well as people who have suffered strokes and other brain injuries.
The new device, called THE THINKER, is a spin-off of the phenomenally successful Helmet, which allows its wearer to filter out unpleasant messages and perceptions. THE THINKER stimulates the brain to create thoughts that the wearer would not normally have.
"Our immediate goal was to help the mentally retarded and those who have suffered brain injuries, but ultimately we think that this technology will allow the average person, who is not suffering from any kind of disability, to think the deepest thoughts with little or no effort," Mr. Gates said at the unveiling of the new product. "In other words, our ultimate goal is to open the doors of profundity to the common man. We could all use a thought prosthesis of one kind or another."
Mr. Gates introduced Max Harris, who was seriously injured in a car accident. Mr. Harris suffered a brain trauma, which made it impossible for him to connect visual perceptions with words. For fifteen years Mr. Harris lived in a strange world where he could communicate with people so long as the conversation did not have anything to do with concrete objects in his environment. For example, because of his brain trauma, if you show Mr. Harris a mug, he won't be able to say the word mug or in any way identify the mug as a mug. Wearing THE THINKER, he was able to identify a mug as a mug. There was obvious joy in Mr. Harris' face as he proudly told the assembled reporters, "Yes, this is a mug!"
Mr. Gates then showed us a video that involved a mentally retarded young man who could not function in the normal world. "He has been a burden to his parents both emotionally and financially," Mr. Gates explained. "He could not hold down the most menial job. Now watch this video and you will see what he can accomplish with the help of THE THINKER."
The tape showed the young man, Andy Wilson, working as a clerk at a Seven-Eleven convenience store. He was able to function normally as a clerk, handling the cash register and customer questions. Mr. Gates explained that Andy was incapable of performing even the most trivial intellectual tasks before he was hooked up to THE THINKER. "Now he effectively has an IQ of 90, which allows him to function as an autonomous person."
THE THINKER is the latest twist in the exciting new technologies that are allowing the blind to see and the deaf to hear. Called perceptual prostheses, these devices gather information from the environment and help the brain to process that information. For example, a visual prosthesis can allow a blind person to see by completely by-passing a damaged retina or optic nerve, stimulating the brain with information that it has gathered.
Mr. Gates called THE THINKER a cognitive prosthetic device, not unlike the Helmet, which was introduced five years ago. THE THINKER augments a person's natural (and often, damaged) cognitive processes, thus allowing that person to function more normally. THE THINKER directly stimulates the brain to generate thoughts that the brain could not generate on its own. THE THINKER can also help the user to verbalize the thoughts that it stimulates.
The technology of perceptual and cognitive prostheses is not without its critics. Professor Simon Lemore of Silicon Valley University wonders whether the use of computers to correct every perceived human deficiency stigmatizes those who have these perceived deficiencies. "Wouldn't it be wiser," he told this reporter, "to accept people with various challenges as they are and not to try to fix every perceived flaw with some new device?"
"Take Andy Wilson, for example," Professor Lemore continued. "He was born with below average intelligence, but he is still a warm, loving person. Why should we intrude into his reality with one of Mr. Gates' prosthetic devices just so that he can be like one of us? Why can't we accept Andy Wilson for the person that he is?"
Mr. Gates was asked a similar question at the unveiling of his new product. "I think that Andy Wilson is now living a much happier life than he did before. Without THE THINKER Andy was not even capable of holding down the most menial job. With THE THINKER he can function more like a normal person. He is now living a happier, more normal life. I think that people who would force people like Andy Wilson to live the rest of their lives in a disadvantaged state are cruel and heartless."
Mr. Gates alluded several times to the prospect of cognitive augmentation for people who are of average intelligence and who have not suffered any kind of brain trauma. He was asked whether it would be possible some day for an ordinary person to have the scientific thoughts of an Einstein or the musical creativity of a Mozart?
Mr. Gates indicated that Microsoft was already working on devices of that nature. "Yes, we know that it will be possible to create a prosthesis that will enable the ordinary man on the street to have the most profound insights into the laws of physics. I will now show you a video of a human subject that has been fitted with a prototype of what we call the EINSTEIN prosthesis. Bear in mind that the subject we chose did not even finish high school. Run the video."
The video showed Bret Wordler of Silicon Valley, a shoe salesman. Fitted with the Einstein prosthesis he was able to process questions about theoretical physics and to answer them with great fluency. He even gave a spontaneous lecture on Yvetsky's unified quantum field theory, an esoteric and demanding topic from contemporary physics.
One of the reporters asked the obvious question after the video was run: "Did Mr. Wordler actually comprehend what he was saying?"
Mr. Gates answered quickly and honestly. "No, Mr. Wordler did not understand and does not understand anything about physics. What the prosthesis provides is the ability to process information in the sphere of physics. It does not provide comprehension of the thoughts that are thought and the words that are spoken. It is not clear at this stage whether actual comprehension is achievable using the technologies that are currently available."
Andy Wilson told the reporters that he did not really know what he was doing at the Seven-Eleven. "THE THINKER does everything," he explained. "I just do what THE THINKER makes me do. THE THINKER says 'Ring up the milk' and the next thing I know, I am ringing up the milk. But, I really don't know what I am doing, I just do it."
Professor Lemore elaborated upon the strange situation that is developing with the prospect of cognitive prostheses, such as THE THINKER, becoming more widespread. "We have a situation where a device stimulates thoughts within the brain that the human person does not understand. We have a situation where a device commands the human being to perform certain behaviors, and the human being performs these behaviors. What's next? Can we program people to commit murder or other crimes? Should we, as a civilization, be moving in this direction?"
A reporter asked Mr. Gates whether he thought that it was important for people to comprehend their thoughts and to know what they are doing. His reply was a passionate one: "Are you willing to condemn someone like Andy Wilson to a life in an institution or to a life on the fringes of society? Whether he knows what he is doing or not, his actions bring him social acceptance and human love that might not have come his way without THE THINKER. Do you or I really understand our own thoughts, when you really get down to it? Or, do all people operate pretty much like Andy Wilson? Thoughts arise, actions occur, and we bear the consequences of the same."
The Sentinel-Observer's Cyberspace Forum
Sentinel-Observer Moderator: We are honored to have with us today two special guests. They are Professor Simon Lemore of Silicon Valley University and Dr. Jack Hunter, one of the developers of the THINKER, Microsoft's new cognitive prosthetic device. Professor Lemore and Dr. Hunter are here to discuss the THINKER and similar prosthetic devices that are becoming more and more prevalent. Does anyone have a question for either of our two guests?
Marvin Mace, Computer Scientist: I just want to congratulate you, Dr. Hunter, and your colleagues at Microsoft for this wonderful accomplishment. We are truly living in an age in which the lame can walk and the blind can see.
Dr. Jack Hunter, member, THE THINKER development team: Thank you, Dr. Mace.
Simon Lemore, Professor: I think we need to ask ourselves where this is heading. One can argue that the THINKER represents a promising new technology for reducing human suffering, although I do not necessarily agree with that position. As I told the reporter from the Sentinel-Observer, I am worried about the use of technology to remove all perceived imperfections in human beings. This kind of attitude can only tend to exaggerate the perception of imperfection, causing us to see new deficiencies everywhere. Even if I were to grant that the THINKER is a socially responsible technology, then I would have to question the wisdom of the proposed Einstein prosthesis. Is it wise to offer prosthetic devices that augment intelligence for the normal person? Might this not cuase us to see deficiencies and flaws in people where there really are none?
Dr. Hunter: But, computers have been augmenting human intelligence from day one. Computers inherently augment human intellectual capabilities. There is no doubt in my mind that we are on the verge of new computer systems that will represent the maximum in intelligence. I believe that we will be able to capture the essence of human intelligence and creativity and we will be able to distribute that intelligence and creativity on a planetary basis. Then, the question will become, how do we achieve the integration of human beings with these new forms of intelligence? In my opinion, the only viable answer is by means of the actual integration of the biological with the artificial. That is, human beings will demand that kind of intimacy with the new forms of intelligence that we are creating.
Simon Lemore: Why do you say that this intelligence is "maximal"?
Dr. Hunter: Because it will exceed what human beings are capable of achieving biologically with our brains. The maximal intelligence and creativity in many fields will move over from the biological to the artificial. Of course, this maximal intelligence will not be maximal in its own terms. It will always be improving and surpassing its previous levels of achievement.
Simon Lemore: Well, this is part of what worries me. We have these new technologies, like the THINKER, and we see that one of its developers has a much larger agenda that involves a fundamental change in human reality, integrating the biological with the artificial, so we no longer know where the natural ends and where the artificial begins.
Dr. Hunter: It's not an agenda. It's a vision. And that vision is based upon past experience. I see this integration of the biological and the artificial as being inevitable. I see a lot of what is going to happen in the next fifty, one hundred, or two hundred years as being inevitable.
Simon Lemore: And what makes it inevitable?
Dr. Hunter: The natural human desire to excel, to be maximally intelligent, to be maximally creative at all times. You see, those who are not intelligent, who are not creative, will not be able to survive in the world that we are creating. Those human beings who cannot make the transition, who cannot integrate themselves into this artificially augmented consciousness, will not be able to compete or to survive in the world of the future.
Simon Lemore: Let's deal with the present. You seem to be jumping ahead.
Dr. Hunter: I'm sorry, Dr. Lemore, but you are the one who asked the question about where this is heading.
Simon Lemore: Can we backtrack a little and discuss the existing technology, the THINKER and the Einstein cognitive prostheses, and their social implications? Do we really want to develop technologies that will remove every perceived human defect? Might it not be better to live with imperfection?
Dr. Hunter: I suppose we choose the words that best advance our agenda. Your agenda, Professor Lemore, has always been to thwart technological progress for as long as I can remember. You see the issue in terms of imperfection and I see it in terms of human suffering. I devoted over seventy hours a week for nearly twenty years working on this research with just one goal in mind - to reduce human suffering. A brain injury is not a minor imperfection, like a facial blemish. A brain injury causes suffering by reducing possibilities, by placing people in constrained modalities. The purpose of the THINKER is to open up new possibilities for those whose lives have become constrained by medical circumstances through no fault of their own.
Rose Dougherty, Advocate for the retarded: It is a great pleasure to meet you, Dr. Hunter, even under the slightly impersonal auspices of cyberspace. As an advocate for the retarded, and as someone who works with retarded adults as a social worker, I applaud what you have done to allow some of my clients to function more normally. I know some of the men and women, like Andy Wilson, who used to be institutionalized or who used to sit idly at home. Now they are working at real jobs and their self-esteem - well, it's nothing short of a miracle!
Professor Lemore: But, they don't understand what they are doing or saying. They just do what the computer forces them to do. What is the source of their new-found self-esteem?
Rose Dougherty: Their self-esteem comes from the positive feedback that they get from people because they are self-sufficient, because they are functioning relatively normally in society. It doesn't matter that they do not understand how the THINKER works, or how it gets them to say and to do things that are socially appropriate. What does matter is that they are saying and doing things that bring them love and approval.
Dr. Hunter: The emphasis in the press on the fact that patients who are using the THINKER do not actually understand what they are doing or saying, is misleading. Does any human being fully understand how each action, each verbal act, arises from the workings of the brain? No, we act, we speak, but we do not understand the process that leads to action, to speech. So, I really do not think that you and I are really that very different from these patients who are using the THINKER.
Rose Dougherty: My clients who are using the THINKER are much happier now than they were before. Isn't that the bottom line? This technology is contributing to human happiness. I do not see that it is detracting from human happiness in any way.
Simon Lemore: I would agree that this is the pre-eminent issue in evaluating a technology - whether it is adding to or detracting from human happiness. But, does human happiness derive from "fitting in" with the conventional social patterns?
Kelly Klink, Psychologist: I think so, to some extent. I think that the THINKER represents a wonderful breakthrough, a true gift for those who need a little help to function normally in society. I am concerned, however, about the potential use of this technology to compensate for perceived deficiencies in intelligence among normal people. Consider the following scenario: I am quite happy not being an Einstein. Then this product hits the marketplace, the Einstein prosthesis, that would enable me to act and speak like an Einstein. Then, I begin to doubt whether I can really be happy unless I can discuss physics like an Einstein. I begin to see a lack in myself that I didn't see before.
Simon Lemore: But, why would you possibly want to think like an Einstein?
Kelly Klink: Maybe there will be social pressure to have that kind of intelligence, because of the way they market this thing.
Marvin Mace: Why is this a problem? Doesn't human progress depend upon the desire to improve? For example, suppose we have a prosthesis that would allow you to be a great poet, or a great novelist. If you could produce a great work of art, that would increase your happiness. Shouldn't you be allowed to augment your intelligence and creativity in this manner?
Kelly Klink: But, I do not feel that I need to be a great artist or a great writer in order to be happy. I am happy being who I am.
Marvin Mace: Because you have not been able to imagine any other possibility. Technology may give you an opportunity to rise above mediocrity.
Kelly Klink: I beg your pardon!
Marvin Mace: Look, we are creating a technology that will enable you to be more than you might have been otherwise. But, you cannot take advantage of this technology until you see that you could be better, you could be more intelligent and more creative than you currently are. When you realize your limitations and when you realize that technology can help you to overcome those limitations, you will see this new technology in a completely new light.
Dr. Hunter: I think we need to recognize what I call the Fundamental Law of Computer Technology, to wit, no technology is left only partially exploited. Another way of stating this Fundamental Law is that every computer technology is exploited for its business value to the fullest extent. Each computer technology has some potential for making money, and the Fundamental Law states that every effort is expended to extract as much money as possible from every technology. Consequently, because of the huge potential inherent in the technology of intellectual augmentation using cognitive prostheses, we can expect this technology to be exploited to the maximum.
Simon Lemore: This is human destiny, to develop technology to the fullest extent? There's no holding back? It's inevitable?
Dr. Hunter: Exactly. Every technology will be exploited and developed to the fullest extent. Consequently, the ultimate development in terms of this technology, of intellectual augmentation using cogitive prosthesis, is a ubiquitous planetary system of maximal artificial intelligence. What I envision is that the maximal intelligence in many diverse fields of human endeavor will be available in a planetary computer system that human beings will be able to hook into biologically. Every human being will wear a cognitive prosthesis that will allow them to access this maximal intelligence, maximal in the sense that it far exceeds normal human intelligence.
Marvin Mace: Brilliant! Eventually, all of mankind will be of one mind. We will completely transcend the problems of diversity and variations in skill and intelligence.
Simon Lemore: I never considered diversity as anything but a blessing.
Dr. Hunter: I think this may be the ultimate potential of computer technology, to allow all human beings to share the maximal intelligence, to be of one mind, so to speak. I mean, we are a long way from achieving anything of this nature, but it seems inevitable, given enough time.
Simon Lemore: You're talking about the complete loss of individuality.
Dr. Hunter: I'm talking about all human beings having access to the complete totality of human knowledge, which will be stored in some unimaginably great planetary computer system. The very thought of it gives me goosebumps. Don't you see the beauty of it?
Zalman Shem Tov, Rabbi: I came here to discuss the THINKER, especially the ethical issues involved, but, now we have wandered off into a totally new direction, the possibility that human beings could eventually share consciousness with a giant computer system, and I find that idea obscene.
Dr. Hunter: Isn't it possible that deep down you know that what I am describing is inevitable and that this is the reason why you see this technology as being obscene? Your reaction is one of fear, fear of the unknown. Look at how far we've come with cognitive and perceptual prostheses in just twenty years. Given enough time, I think that all human beings will have direct biological access to the totality of human knowledge, to the totality of human creativity, to the totality of human experience. Human beings will be "plug compatible" with this maximal intelligence, which will reside in a planetary computer system, a cooperating network of supreme experts in diverse fields of human endeavor.
Zalman Shem Tov: In this vision of yours, knowledge comes without any effort. If you want to be a world class expert on any subject, you just plug into this planetary network of expert systems?
Dr. Hunter: Why not?
Zalman Shem Tov: Because knowledge needs to come about through struggle, a process of refinement that allows the human being to separate the true from the false. This is the essential nature of wisdom, this filtering process. If human beings can plug into this planetary system, what happens to wisdom? What happens to this filtering process? Wisdom will lose its meaning.
Marvin Mace: No, wisdom will still be wisdom, but it will be universally available, no longer the domain of a spiritual elite.
Zalman Shem Tov: But wisdom needs to have a source - doesn't it?
Dr. Hunter: The authors of the expert systems, and the expert systems themselves, will be the source of wisdom in this inevitable world. Again, I stress its inevitability because of the Fundamental Law of Technology, which states that all forms of technology will be developed to their maximum potential.
Zalman Shem Tov: I find your so-called "Fundamental Law" quite ironic. For thousands of years we allowed human beings not to develop their full potential, but now you are stating some kind of law of nature, to the effect that technology will achieve its maximum potential, even if individual human beings do not.
Dr. Hunter: It's just the nature of economic and social reality. We can afford not to develop human potential to some extent, but we cannot afford to waste the potential that is inherent in technology.
Marvin Mace: Why should human beings have to suffer in order to acquire knowledge, or wisdom? This seems like an antiquated notion to me.
Zalman Shem Tov: I see God as the source of wisdom. In your world of the future, who needs God?
Marvin Mace: I don't know, rabbi, you tell me! Who needs God if the totality of human knowledge is available to everyone? And it is even more than the totality of human knowledge, it is a new kind of knowledge, radically superior to what the brain can produce on its own.
Zalman Shem Tov: But, there is no meritocracy here. Knowledge comes free. Anyone can have all of the knowledge that they want or could ever use, free, gratis.
Dr. Hunter: Hold on a minute! No one said that this knowledge will be free. People will have to pay for it.
Zalman Shem Tov: Pay for it?
Dr. Hunter: Well, yes, of course. None of this is going to be free. This is all going to happen in the business sphere. Companies like my own will be selling this technology. The key determinant of how much knowledge one will be able to acquire in the future will be money. You get what you pay for.
Zalman Shem Tov: But, knowledge is a sacred thing. It comes from God.
Marvin Mace: Not in the future it won't. Knowledge will come from the business sector. Knowledge will be a business. If you have the financial resources, you will be able to buy whatever kind of knowledge you need or desire.
Zalman Shem Tov: This just proves what my rebbe, my teacher, transmitted to me.
Dr. Hunter: And what is that?
Zalman Shem Tov: I'm not telling, and you're not finding out, and you'll never get it onto your damn computer network! It needs to be transmitted from heart to heart.
Hassan Khalid, student: Dr. Hunter, it is so exciting to be able to interact with you like this. I am projecting in from Iran. I am a student of technology, I suppose nearly everybody is these days. I would like to ask whether people will be able to acquire religious and spiritual knowledge by hooking into this computer system that you are describing?
Dr. Hunter: Yes. Knowledge is knowledge. It doesn't matter whether it is secular or religious.
Hassan Khalid: When do you think this will come to pass?
Dr. Hunter: According to one article that I read from a credible source, this technology may be in place by the year 2150, certainly by 2200.
Theresa Cook, minister: I always fall back on this one thought - what is the meaning of this? What if this were occurring in a dream?
Marvin Mace: Oh, no! It's you again! Are you some kind of cyber stalker?
Theresa Cook: What if, in my dream, everyone who wanted knowledge or creativity would just hook themselves up to a planetary computer system, that has become the source of all wisdom, creativity, and knowledge? What would be the meaning of such a dream?
Dr. Hunter: The meaning of it is that human beings want the maximum in all spheres and technology can give us the maximum. We human beings want to be like God.
Theresa Cook: But, this is a false God. Human creativity, human knowledge, all of these things that are moving over to the computer, these things are not God. These things are gifts from God. Perhaps if we fail to develop these gifts in a fully human way, perhaps these gifts will be taken away from us. Perhaps the computer is going to take away all of these gifts as a punishment, because we did not develop our full humanity, our compassion, our sense of justice, and our love.
Marvin Mace: Jeez!
Frank Korionos, Psychologist: I think what Dr. Hunter is predicting would represent the complete victory of logic and reason over everything else, over simple goodness and compassion, love and beauty. It would represent the complete defeat of the soul and of the human heart.
Zalman Shem Tov: But, we can put a stop to this, can't we?
Marvin Mace: How? You see all of this is driven by human need, and by economics. People need knowledge, more and more of it. People need intelligence, more and more of it. People need creativity and art - more and more of it. People want stimulation and experience. People want to experience everything that they can imagine. That is just human nature. Technology can give them what they need and what they want. Since there is a strong need for this technology, it will be developed, and it will make certain people very rich.
Theresa Cook: Dr. Mace, you keep on using the word "need". You say that human beings need all of these capabilities that are beyond their reach naturally. We each have our unique natural talent. But, you keep on saying that people need to have their intelligence and their creativity artifically augmented using computers.
Marvin Mace: It's human nature to want to be perfect.
Theresa Cook: But, maybe we are perfect just as we are. You see, you keep on using the word need, where I would call it desire. Some people, not all, have these inordinate desires. Now, if we may return to what Dr. Hunter was saying at the beginning, it is certainly a worthwhile goal to reduce human suffering. But, isn't one of the causes of suffering inordinate desire and won't these proposed technologies actually increase human suffering by creating inordinate desires, desires that people would not have in their natural state?
Marvin Mace: Desire is our natural state.
Zalman Shem Tov: Certainly desire is important, if it is realistic, if it is consistent with goodness. But, you are creating artificial desires.
Dr. Hunter: I think it is understood that one of the purposes of industry is to create desire. Without the stimulation of desire, the desire for more and more information, more and more experience, we could not have had the prolonged prosperity that we have enjoyed for almost forty years now. It goes without saying that in order to make money, you cannot just go with the natural desires that people have, you have to create new desires ...
Simon Lemore: ... endlessly, regardless of the consequences to society?
Theresa Cook: Or to the human spirit?
Dr. Hunter: The bottom line is the bottom line. Creating desire creates wealth.
Marvin Mace: All I need to do is get one person hooked up to one of those Einstein prostheses and soon millions of people will have the desire to get hooked up. Why? Because industry can create the perception that if you are not hooked up to the Einstein prosthesis then you are dead - you are dead in the competitive marketplace where it counts. The Einstein prosthesis will give your competitors an advantage that you will never be able to overcome. And it is not just a perception. More often than not - it is the truth. That is, industry creates this truth that if you do not stay up to date with respect to technology, then you are dead, and this truth, in turn, creates wealth and money.
Dr. Hunter: I suppose it's all merging into one gigantic conglomerate. I mean, the managing of information, the entertainment business, the news business, and even the business of doing business. It is all being subsumed into one gigantic technological enterprise, and that enterprise sustains itself on creating new desires constantly. Because human beings want to be like God, filled with knowledge, filled with art and creativity, because human beings want to know everything, then we, in the technology business, will create the technology that can fulfill these desires. Because human beings want to win, to survive, then we will create the tools that will allow them to win, to survive, to succeed in the marketplace. This is how we have managed to create unprecedented wealth and economic opportunity for nearly forty years.
Zalman Shem Tov: And this money creation process is totally devoid of ethics and value, of justice and compassion, of beauty and meaning?
Simon Lemore: What you people in technology are ultimately after is the creation of some kind of God, some kind of intelligence that will totally dominate human beings. Humanity will be completely demoralized, completely subservient to this technology, which grows and subsumes everything according to its own inner logic.
Dr. Hunter: If that's what people want, then we will give it to them. That's how we make money. People want God more than anything, so I suppose that is how the technology will ultimately evolve. People want God as the ultimate experience, or God as the ultimate source of knowledge and creativity. Since people want God more than anything, we will give them that, because that's where the money is going to be.
Simon Lemore: We will need to place some kind of constraint on this technology, or else ...
Dr. Hunter: If you try to do that, you will cause a world-wide depression. It is the creation of desire that creates wealth, and there has never been a more effective machine for the creation of endless desire than the digital computer. Once this system is set in motion, it can only lead in one direction, in the direction of the maximal exploitation and development of the technology. Thus, the development of the maximal achievable intelligence using computer technology is inevitable.
Hassan Khalid: So, the kind of knowledge that people used to get by sitting at the feet of a sheikh ...
Zalman Shem Tov: ... or a rebbe ...
Frank Korianos: ... or an enlightened master ...
Theresa Cook: ... or a man or woman of God ...
Hassan Khalid: ... people in the future will get from this planetary computer system that you are planning?
Dr. Hunter: Yes, because there is this need, and because it is technologically possible, and because it will create continuous prosperity, and because it will make certain people very rich.
Hassan Khalid: A uthu billahi minash shaitanir rajim!
Marvin Mace: What's that?
Zalman Shem Tov: Hassan just asked Allah to protect him from the accursed Satan.
© 1997, 1999 Richard Gary Epstein
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