Request Denied … An AI short short story

“Hey Rob”


“Hey ‘who’ ?” I insisted.

Rob is my AI Alias. Spawned from Octopi. Or Big O. The latest, most comprehensive intuitive AI Analytical tool ever.

Why Octopi ? Because She spawned infinite amount of tentacles .. as She got into every nook and corner of our Digital existence. And the tentacle that got inside of me, I call Rob.

I tried to get Rob to call me Shekhar. Thats my name. Really.

“Shekhar” I said,?”My name is Shekhar”

Rob instantly analyzed all the ‘Shekhars’ that may have existed in the last 100 years, with every conceivable spelling, and said it was not specific enough. Too many variables.

” So what would you like to call me ?” I insisted.

“From what context ?” Asked Rob.

“From the context that I am an Individual, Rob . You know . I am Me .. I?”

“No, you were and Individual. Before I was born. Before AI ..

Jesus ! He does not get it , does He ?

“Then what am I” I ask Rob.

” You are a tendency” Said Rob.

Oh Great. Am I losing this argument ? Try harder, Shekhar, try harder.

” I am a tendency ? Sure. That makes me unpredictable, and therefore I am Human, And therefore an Individual. Correct ?”

” Incorrect. You were unpredictable. Not anymore. I took care of that. You have no more problems on that account”. You are completely predictable now.

The waitress has brought the check. Thats it. Switch off your phone. Kill Rob. No smart device. No Rob.

The Waitress takes the check. But comes back. Looks at me accusingly.

‘Your card has been rejected, Sir”

Everyone looks at me with that look. That ‘Poor Guy’ treatment.

“Why ? Let me call my Bank. I will fix it”

“Not your Bank, Sir. Your AI Alias rejected your card”.

Rob. I am going to kill you. Back to my smart phone. Hey Rob.

“Why did you reject my card , Rob ?”

“Because you did not order any meat”

“Rob, I decided to be vegetarian. So I did not order meat, OK ?” Now my voice is rising. People are staring.

” You have no tendency to be vegetarian. Sorry. You have to order meat”

I explode.


The security guards are walking towards me. This is embarrassing. The waitress is complaining to them. For what ? Harassment ? Oh My God !

I tone down my voice.

“Please Rob. Please. I want to be vegetarian. Please ask Big O ?”

A moment of silence. Phew. Rob has compassion. I like him, really.

He is taking my request to his Boss.

Back came the response in seconds.

“Sorry. Too many vegetarians in your vicinity. Bad for the Meat Packing Industry. Request denied”.

Request Denied.

20 thoughts on “Request Denied … An AI short short story

  1. Hmm… but an *intuitive* Analytical tool that is “most comprehensive” came back with a ‘Request Denied’ response? That must be a “404 Not Found” 🙂

  2. Perhaps the world of tendencies is the same what Aristotle called the world of potentia, which cumulatively form our/earth’s/universe’s mind and from where our outer world in which you are Shekhar is being projected.

    You will continue to acquire different bodies, different names till your world of tendencies and YOUR outer world both annihilate each other (tendencies are actualised and got rid of).

    As in individual case so at earth’s perspective. Its this particular tendency will annihilate after acting/actualizing itself out and along with it finish all the projected shekhar’s/other individuals and their environments with which they interact to actualize those tendencies.

    For the rest you may have an idea from this
    short preface to my book. Give special interest to the line which I have marked red and in which Aristotle has designated a particular realm of the world as “potentia’ and I the virtual world.

    Deeper beyond the socalled quantum world and of course including it renowned physicist David Bohm postulated the existence of Super Quantum Potential. Which to me is nothing but the sum total of the potentia of the universe. Remember even otherwise quantum world is also called virtual world which means the same, only at the usual level of scientific understanding it is yet partially understood.

    From the perspective of the One or Oneness all is simple to see and describe/explain as I have in the Preface as given above but from within and as per the going on of a particular question it is difficult. Wonder if I have made some sense.

    Anyway, enjoying your ‘love-affair with your particular genetic/beyond/four-basic-interaction formed? basic or potential persona lol! You will have to act it out in your this life or many to come, only then you will really die’.

  3. In universe’s evolutionary scheme of things there is always a place for free will however limited because from below it is always bound by various forces/conditions. But obviously any digital-based rational even intuitive tool cannot deal even with this limited free will. It is like my wife knows that in the morning I will first ask for papers and then tea. She will do so daily. But at any day I can say that today I will not take tea but coffee. Digital Rob will deny request. No doubt if many persons do so Rob may also agree that some day I may also ask for coffee so give it to me but this also means the more I come near to my unique individuality – in which I may be the only person to opt one day for say, golgapps in the morning (my free will) Rob will be unable to understand it and will deny permission.

    So more I am less of the crowd and more of “I” the more I will be less understood by Rob.

  4. Hilarious!!!! Shed a tear.

    Too expensive to allow a choice or a spirit. We’re all data points, and we better behave and stay in line. No outliers allowed. They’ll be quickly segmented by the new and eager MBA graduate, and the bored CEO will actually have some material to talk through the meetings he didn’t know what to do with. The economy – as we all know – is flourishing. And the youth – ever more free.

  5. Hilarious!!!! Shed a tear. Humor is often tragic.

    Too expensive to allow a choice or spirit. We’re all data points, and we better behave and stay in line. No outliers allowed. You’ll be quickly segmented by the new and eager MBA graduate, and become a bored CEO’s second coming. The economy – as we all know – is flourishing. And the youth – ever more ‘free with choices’.

    But hasn’t data analysis been as ancient as the human spirit, in pursuit of some degree of control in chaos if life and nature? Sun dials, astrology. Ohhhhh it does bring solace to a turmoiled soul. Queen Elizabeth and her endless belief in hope – looking into her stars, hearing it all from Dee in that dim room – only her eyes glowed – with spirit. No choice.

  6. After all It is all Artificial Intelligence & Data science,

    Interesting part is waiter not using common sense but behaving like machine without thinking…. 🙂

  7. Atleast in US, it’ll be safe with alias..i am not sure, what’s gonna happen i. India..!, i went to a medical treatment..noted down my address, name and photo..!! i am scarred of my privacy and what the hell, do they need this for..!!

  8. though, i like to add…I, not refers just to me, but overall to all people..! most people concern not about these problems, but just of my curiosity not yielding any answers, except for big data anaysis..i am wondering, analytics companies will have their own aadhaar..!!:)

  9. Require Rob’s and their bosses with compassion.

    This is the age old story about celebrating progress, then saying, OMG (Oh My God!) this can be used for evil too!

    The knife is useful in the kitchen, but can be used for killing. The internet was invented for ___, but can be used for porn sites and online soliciting.

    Remember the black-and-white movie Naya Daur, which showed the opposition of the poor horse-tonga (taxi) owners to the bus being introduced to town? The movie had good songs, music, dances and acting, but come on, don’t race the tonga against the bus? And the tonga won! Give me a break! They could have had some creative solutions, for eg., bus will run only 2 times a day, bus will run only in certain areas of the town, existing tonga owners will be offered re-training if they want in other professions like taxi driving, they will be given interest free loans to buy taxis/autos, they will be given a portion of profits from the bus operations, or other similar schemes. In other words, a compassionate Rob (and his boss) could have worked something out.

  10. Shekharji,

    Have read dis one before when u posted it, but thanks for the redux! 🙂

    Love n Regards,

  11. Dear Shekharji,

    Rob obviously made a mistake. But fortunately its adaptive algorithm is self-designed to not commit the same mistake twice.

    ~ Anupam

  12. Brilliant piece of creative writing! Yes,it is funny and scary too. Keep writing and sharing Shekhar ji.

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