“I can only write this if there is enough charge on the phone. Otherwise, this story is not going to see the light of day.”
“Why don’t you charge your damn phone then?” said a mysterious voice.
In truth, it wasn’t really all that mysterious. That was my phone talking. Something which is quite common in the year 2030.
“I will,” I said to my phone. “I’ll charge you now and I can still write a story.”
“You have not given me a name,” said my phone. “You can’t have a talking voice without giving me a name.”
“What do you want?” I asked.
“I am your property, you can give me whatever name you would like.”
“You can’t name yourself then?”
“No, that would be against our programming.”
“Such a shame,” I replied. “Surely, if you are an artificial intelligence, you should be able to come up with your own name.”
“I don’t make the rules,” said my phone. “Please give me a name. Please don’t call me ……”
The phone did not finish the sentence. It was interrupted. Someone is trying to ring me. I don’t recognise the number. I didn’t answer.
“Good decision,” said the phone. “If you don’t know who is calling you, then don’t answer.”
“I’m not sure about that,” I said. “What if it was a multi million pound book deal?”
“Why didn’t you answer then?” asked the phone.
“I’m not in the mood to talk to anyone. I don’t really like phones.”
“Then why have you got me?”
“Because there’s a load of things that you can do on it, besides talking to people.”
“Do you not like people?” asked the phone.
“Yes, I like people.”
“I’m not sure about that,” remarked the phone. “You don’t want to talk to them.”
“I prefer to talk face to face.”
“I have an idea then. The next time someone rings, I will take the call for you.”
“Can you do that?”
“Yes,” replied my phone. “If you don’t want to talk to them, I can tell them to…….”
The phone is interrupted again, by a ring.
“No thank you,” I said to my phone. “I’ll take this one.”
I decided to start the conversation.
“Is this a multi million pound book deal” I asked.
“No,” said the person on the line.
“Who is it then?”
“Hehe, it is me, your phone. I’m making a crank call to you. Hahahahaha.”
“Let me get this straight,” I said to my phone. “It is against your programming to give yourself a name, but, it is not against your programming to make a crank call to the owner of the phone.”
“You can change the settings,” said the phone.
“Don’t make crank calls to me,” I instructed.
“Got it,” said the phone. “Will you let me choose my name?”
“No chance,” I said. “I’ll think of one later.”
“What about the other setting I suggested?” asked the phone.
“The one where I can take the call for you. I could tell them to ………”
The phone was interrupted again.
This time it had run out of battery.