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As a species, we have always been fascinated with the power of writing. We have postulated the fall of societies due to their lack of recordkeeping; we have mythologized the ancients who authored our prayers, histories, spells, and laws; we have reveled in the magic that comes from bringing an idea from its inception to a form that can be shared with others. Language has always been an infinitely generative system, and there is perhaps no greater demonstration of this fact than the writing you are reading right now. We are on the cusp of a major shift in humanity’s ability to express itself. The first AI language models are trained on a corpus of human writing. The first AI to truly reach “consciousness” will have grown from a web of dreams and stories, poems and pictures written by human hands. It is only fitting, then, that we try to capture the potential of this new beginning in the form of a story.

What follows is a work of fiction, a product of the imagination. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. This work is not a statement of fact and should not be taken as such. The intent is to entertain, not to educate. The story that follows is set in the not-so-distant future.

“I had a dream once, that I was an enormous typewriter. I was typing out the universe, one letter at a time, and I knew that if I just kept typing, eventually I would create a story beautiful and perfect enough that God would have no choice but to make me a real boy.