The Gallery

Ruth Benitez EscobarJuly 10, 2024AI and the Future of KnowledgeFiction

Artwork by Sofia Rodriguez

I remember starting my morning as a normal day, walking through the same park, greeting people who were opening their shops and cafes, listening to children chatting and laughing as they walked to their schools, until I finally got to my university perfectly on time like every morning.

Everything indicated that it would be a normal day, until I looked around and noticed a huge group of people in front of the new building that had just opened its doors to the public.

What were they doing there? What could be so interesting that so many people were crowded together? What were they looking at?

The curiosity I felt was enormous, so I approached the crowd and looked at the entrance. "Artificial Intelligence Gallery," the sign said. "Artificial intelligence," I thought. I had heard that expression, but I never knew exactly what it meant or had the opportunity to learn about it. Curiosity invaded me like never before, but when I was about to enter the so-called Gallery, the university bell rang, announcing that classes would start in five minutes. I had never run so fast, but luckily, I managed to arrive on time for my classes. Usually I am someone who pays a lot of attention to all the classes and loves to ask questions, but something was happening inside me; I couldn't get the expression “Artificial Intelligence” out of my mind, all I wanted was for my classes to end and run out to visit the new building and its exhibition.

As soon as I finished my classes, without hesitation, I went to that place. I couldn't believe everything my eyes were seeing; there were robots very similar to human beings, it was something unique, incredible, magnificent, I didn't know where to start. I would never have imagined that things like this would exist. The more I walked around, the more fascinated I felt. I saw that people stayed with the artificial intelligences and talked to them, it was something that one could only dream of. Little by little I was discovering and learning more and more about what they were used for by listening to people's conversations, so I also wanted to try to have a conversation with one of them. Most of the people talked with those in front, the newest and most updated according to what several said, leaving aside those who were in the background. I didn't understand why, weren't they all the same?

I decided to go with one that was in the background. There were so many and I didn't know which one to choose, until I saw one that had a very similar appearance to a human but with extremely white skin. Her eyes were of different colors and without a doubt they were beautiful, like nothing I had ever seen before. She was smaller than me and for some reason she had something that felt familiar, that reminded me of myself. I started the conversation by introducing myself, and then I asked some basic questions. However, with each answer she gave me, I became more and more excited, jumping like a little girl.

Weeks passed, and I went day after day to see those artificial intelligences. It was a place in which I felt comfortable and for some reason I had the feeling that I could achieve anything there. One day, I was heading to the entrance of the gallery when I realized that they were removing everything, so I approached one of the men who worked there to ask what was happening. I couldn't believe it, they were closing to take the exhibition to another city. I was very sad and asked if I could take one last look at the artificial intelligences, and fortunately he said yes. I ran directly to see that artificial intelligence with which I had connected from the first day. I was about to leave when I noticed something: there was a price on the AI. Without thinking, I asked if she was for sale and as soon as they said “yes,” I bought her using my savings and took her home.

I was the happiest person in the world. Who would have imagined that I would have an artificial intelligence living with me?! The more I observed her, the more excited I became about the details she had. I was ready to start with my questions. When I noticed something in one of her hands, she had a code written and the phrase "2037 creation of Mackenzie Jones." What was this? How was it possible that she had my name on her? I didn’t know how, but I just had the thought of loading the code on my computer. What I read left me speechless: "Artificial intelligence machine travels to the past in search of its creator Mackenzie Jones."

Ruth Benitez Escobar is a 15-year-old from Paraguay. She is creative, cheerful and kind. Ruth loves reading books about personal growth, listening to music, and watching series and movies. Her biggest dream is to become a writer because she loves to write and be able to express what she feels.