Dialogue of Trees

Scientist Ray Kurzweil defined the acceleration of the development of technology as the Law of Accelerating Returns. He reckons that technology is growing exponentially, that human could make the progress of the entire 20th century with only 20 years in the 21st century, and we are here right before the “explosion”, what will happen decades later might threaten all human beings. Long time ago Albert Einstein compared technological progress to an axe in the hands of a pathological criminal. Technology has made our world increasingly open, and for the most part that’s great. But all of these openness may have unintended consequences. Our openness can be used against us.

Kowloon Walled City in Hong Kong had been reckoned as “City of Crime” and “City of Darkness” as a consequence of improvisation and organic growth through the last decades before it was finally demolished in the early 1990s. In the story Confidential Records, the virtual underground city inherits this characteristic and functions as a shelter and final frontier to fight against the AI regime. In the future as futurist Ray Kurzweil predicted, Pure Blood Humans revolted in various ways such as cyber warfare, illegal army, assassin team, etc. Human-beings work as a community phenomenon, “bombing” the city aboveground attempting to take back sole sovereignty. While in the eyes of majority, in this case, the artificial intelligence that is being produced day and night, is nothing but a practice of terrorism, a political violence against “civilians”.

How do we define terrorism in this case? Terrorism itself is one of the most controversial and contested question, because it is so politically loaded. The idea that one person's terrorist is another person's freedom fighter might be an explanation, because it goes back to the cause of why people become terrorists in the first place. This also brings up multilateral problems like, what is the definition of terrorism in the future? Does fighting against the government equals committing a crime? Is killing a robot an offense?