Mayor Claar’s android double malfunctions at Village Board meeting (Fiction)


Anonymous employees at the Village of Bolingbrook’s IT department confirm that Mayor Roger Claar’s android double malfunctioned during the 6/12/18 board meeting. 

“It almost shifted into combat mode during the Trustee Comments portion of the agenda,” said Blake, who asked that we not use his real name.  “That would have been embarrassing since now we’re broadcasting each meeting on Facebook, and people were actually watching the stream that night.”

According to the employees, the android detected two former members of the opposition group Citizens for a Better Bolingbrook in the audience— Bonnie Kurowski-Alicea, and Robert Bowen— as well as Will County Board member Jackie Traynere.

Alice, another employee who asked that we not use her real name, explained:  “I didn’t realize it at the time,  but Roger 2.0 can’t distinguish between someone attacking a viewpoint and a physical attack.  Someone, I won’t name him, forgot to add that small but important piece of code to his programming.  So anyway, when 2.0 saw those people in the audience, it assumed that it was about to be physically attacked.  That’s why it was about to go into combat mode before I hit the manual override button.  This same someone thought it was more important to create a ‘cool’ android rather than a safe android.  I could say something about programmers watching too much anime, but I won’t.”

She went on to explain that in override mode, the android couldn’t talk.  So, she called Claar and told him that he would have to control the android from his study at home.

“Roger wasn’t happy,” said Alice.  “He said he was about to post an epic rant on Facebook, and I was ruining his concentration.  I told him that if he didn’t take over, the android would be mute for the rest of the meeting.  Since people were actually watching this meeting on Facebook, it would be in his best interest to take over—  Unless he wanted residents wondering why he was speechless after (Trustee Robert Jaskiewicz’s) comments.  Roger said some words to me that you can’t publish, then took over.”

Blake said he was glad no one was killed but was disappointed in how the meeting ended:  “Roger 2.0 was going to give a speech about the Bolingbrook Pride Picnic.  It would have been the first coherent speech written by an AI.  Instead, Roger decided to complain about people complaining on Facebook.  I still can’t believe it.  Don’t print this, but I don’t think Roger 1.0 would have passed the Turing Test that night.”

Blake also explained that this was the first significant test for the android.  “Sure the Bolingbrook First trustees use android doubles at all the meetings.  But honestly, it doesn’t take much computational power to vote yes and praise Roger.  This was the first step in Roger’s goal of a fully automated Village Board!”

Alice is less optimistic:  “This is really part of Roger’s dream to upload his brain into an android so he’ll be the mayor of Bolingbrook forever.  What Roger is going to figure out is that he’ll only be able to upload a copy of his brain to an android.  The soul, for lack of a better word, will still be with him.  Plus the copies will get degraded over time.  He’d be better off investing in stem cell research to keep himself alive forever. If he asked me.  He won’t.”

When asked to comment, Claar’s receptionist said he was at a debriefing, and could not be disturbed.

In the background, a woman who sounded like Charlene Z. Spencer said: “So what did you think of the Pride Picnic?”

A man who sounded like Claar said, “There were a few good things, and there was one bad thing about it.  It was a family-friendly event.  There were no communist newspapers.  The men didn’t wear Speedos.  The women were clothed.  The attendees were friendly, and I made a new ally.”

“Great.  I’m glad you went and found some good things.  So what was the bad thing?”

“No VIP tent.”

Also in the Babbler:
New World Order to announce the location of new Illinois UFO base this week
Psychics predict Mayor Claar will tweet within the next 20 years!
Space Alien arrested after threatening to separate Claar from his family
God to smite Bolingbrook on 6/18/18