A Vision of Iron

I’m interrupting my regular post schedule for something a little different: another guest post. My oldest children collaborated on a story and I’m pleased to feature it here! “A Vision of Iron” by Joshua Bird. The illustration is by Sarah Bird. Please let them know in the comments what you think.

Ralf had just worked the whole day and was exhausted. They were close to a breakthrough, he
could feel it! They had worked at the lab for twenty years on this project. And soon, it would be done.
The excitement from these thoughts momentarily chased away the drowsiness from his eyes as he began
together the final preparations for tomorrow’s test.

A few minutes later, everything was in place, and Ralf walked to his living quarters in the
facility. He thought back two decades ago. He had tried to gain funding from numerous sources for his
project, but was continually rejected due to its cost. When the military offered to fund it with a few
conditions, he accepted. What other choice did he have?

Soon, Ralf reached his quarters. He changed into sleeping garments, turned out the light,
and soon was fast asleep.

Some hours later, Ralf woke up eagerly. “At last! Today at long last, it will work. I can feel it.”
exclaimed Ralf. He quickly changed clothes, ate a light meal, and hurried to the laboratory. He was the
first to arrive, but soon enough, the other researcher trickled in. Eventually, the army officers responsible
for overseeing the project arrived. A jovial feeling filled the air as the various researchers complemented
each other for the hard work of the last twenty years.

Finally, the officers gave permission to begin the test. Researchers activated power and the
various systems began booting up. Ralf prepared to begin the program. Five years of waiting, two years of
searching for funding, and twenty years of hard work, had all led up to this!

Ralf entered the commands and started the program. Ten anxious minutes later, a message appeared on
the screen. “Greetings, everyone! My systems are functioning perfectly. I think, therefore, I am.”

Everyone cheered. The researchers patted each other on the back congratulating each other,
while the officers applauded. And Ralf? He smiled and spoke to the world’s first successful AI, “Hello, my