Short Story: The Prototype

Heuristic programming

A branch of artificial intelligence, which uses heuristics — common-sense rules drawn from experience — to solve problems. This is in contrast to algorithmic programming, which is based on mathematically provable procedures. Heuristic programming is characterized by programs that are self-learning; they get better with experience. Heuristic programs do not always reach the very best result but usually produce a good result. Many expert systems use heuristic programming.

A definition from Webopedia

The corridors of National Academy of Robotics (NAR) were slowly getting empty. The night was setting in. Everyone was strolling towards the car parking along with their co-associates. Students were excited as they were returning back to their hostels. It was an exciting day as the national conference on Heuristics just ended in a happy valedictory ceremony.

Students and research scholars from various universities and research centres were a part of this conference. Hundreds of real working models of robots were displayed and the functionalities were show cased. The conference hall was gleaming with flash lights, exemplary technology and scientists.

“Am I the only one working today in the lab?” thought myself. It was so much tiring today. I’m the Junior Heuristic Engineer working in the robot programming wing RPW-954A of the NAR. Everyone was busy with the conference. I had to work today as well. I haven’t taken a break in the last three hours.

Heuristic programming was little tiring for me. I was staring at the monitor breaking my head into the small piece of code that was supposed to be programmed into the brain chip of the nHR305 robot.

This code was pretty complex as I had to deal with Hex values. I was stuck in one of the conditional operation.

Life was pretty hectic, I was getting drained out. I needed proper rest. But I wanted to complete this module by today so that I can start with fabrication of ICs into the boards. I’m still in simulation phase.

“You, still here?  Its almost 12.00 mid night,” asked one the phase engineer who just came in.

“Yes, Malcolm, I’m working on something. It will take some time, you carry on” I replied.

I started working on the code again.

●●●

Natasha was very much happy. She was the young Indian technical heuristic developer to have made the world’s first working prototype of the Heuristic Robot. She was all in cloud nine. More than she was happy, she was hungry too.

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Short Story: Virtual Memories

I opened my eyes to look at the alarm clock which was waiting eagerly with an evil grin on the table, kept exactly beside my head to wake me up with its irritating frequency of sound that it emits. It was 6.30 AM. The seconds hand was sweeping the clock’s face with intermittent pause for each second tirelessly to count the time that ticks right away.

Mom and dad were packing up bags. My vision was hazy, eyes still laden with the gravity of sleep. They were actually starting for a mini pilgrimage tour which was arranged by one of our neighbors in his Travel Package.

“Ashwin, wake up. We are leaving for the tour. We’ll be back tomorrow. We may reach late. Milkman will come at 7.30, get the packets and keep it in the milk tray. I’ve made breakfast and it is in the kitchen. Get up and lock the doors”

“Ye….aaaah (**Yawn**)”

I got up and slid the door latch and came back to bed. Closed my eyes and tried to sleep. But I was not able to sleep. I felt lonely and this loneliness was not allowing me to sleep. So I quickly got up and logged into my system to check mails.

There was a forward mail containing rare images of the some deity. I kept scrolling and in the end there was a message which asked me to forward it to at least 20 people, ignoring this mail may bring ill fate to me. On forwarding the mail, some miracle may happen in 1 hour. I usually don’t believe in these chain mails. And I hate spamming friends’ inbox with this kind of mails. I just thought for a moment and didn’t know what struck me, I pressed the Forward Button, entered few mail IDs in the To List and hit the SEND.

I launched iTunes & played some music track, so that I don’t doze off. Just then, I heard someone knocking the door. I remembered the milkman. I got up, walked towards the door and opened. There was no one. I came out and looked in all directions in search of milkman. There was no one. I looked disappointingly into the mailbox which was tugging the grill gate outside. Someone patted me on my back.

“Who are you?”

“I’m God”

The man appeared very simple in his white pyjamas. Well shaved. Well kept hair. I could not believe that he is God. I felt, he is talking rubbish early in the morning.

“Wh…What?”

“God! I said”, repeated the man-in-white

Well, I assumed this guy is gone mad or an escapee from an asylum. He looked harmless mature to his age that invited some dignity in his speech. I thought he must be from the neighboring house and is playing with me.

“Can we go to terrace and stroll for a while. It will be a good breathing experience in this morning”, he offered.

“Errr…OK in a minute”, I said and entered the house, put the system in Sleep mode, locked the doors and we walked up the stairs. By the time we reached the terrace, he went straight to the wooden cot which was there and offered me a seat. I hesitantly sat beside him.

“You are…errrr” I started again

“I’m God my son. The almighty! If you don’t believe me let’s have a conversation and in the end it is up to you to believe me or not.” The deal seemed to be vague. How can one believe one as a God with mere conversation? But I somehow wanted to get rid of this man. He must either be a neighbor or a jerk or a jerk neighbor.

“Hmmm…fine” I said

“Son…Tell me what you do?

“I’m a Software engineer” I said.

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