PHD #347: Dangerous AI
Dangerous AI
Summary: Sawyer Averies interviews Magnus Dekker.
Date: 08Feb 2042 AE
Related Logs: None
Magnus Sawyer 
Recovery Room
A much more quiet area of Medical, this elongated room is also lined with beds. Each is similarly outfitted with privacy curtains as necessary and even the paint on the walls has been lightened in an attempt to help lift spirits. Chairs are readily available all over the place so that visitors can pull one up to talk to the patients during their recovery. Near the entrance, visiting hours are posted with a very conspicuous 'No Smoking' sign.
Post-Holocaust Day: #347

There have been some snags. Epic snags. One of which was a little thing called PROJECT MASTIFF which took up a great deal of the journalist's professional and personal time. And then there were the clearances. Red-tape is a bitch to cut through sometime, and she had to wait until the Marines performed their official interview before she was allowed time. Maybe that all contributed to the delay in the reporter making it up to the recovery ward, but she does, complete with a Marine to escort her this time around. A nurse directs the pair to the bay that's been assigned to Magnus, and Sawyer stops just short of the curtained off section. "Magnus Dekker? Sawyer Averies, press. Do you have a moment?"

And Magnus is still there, only that this time, he is closer to get his release from the Recovery Room. Question is…where will he go? Not even he knows that. At the moment, he is sitting on his bed, still wearing that ugly robe that was provided to him. Sawyer will notice several cuts on his face that are slowly healing up. Stitches, bruising taking a yellow-greenish color. His eyes look a little more normal today not so, blood invaded like the past days. He lifts his gaze to look over at Sawyer or where she would be standing if she's behind the curtain "Yes, sure…I have a moment" says the man.

"Thank you." Sawyer responds politely before moving aside the curtain. The marine she brought with her is kind enough to bring over a chair, and the reporter settles down into it so Magnus won't have to crane his neck to look at her. "There." She offers Magnus a soft smile. "Sorry, I know you've probably been bombarded with a million questions since the incident, but I was wondering if you'd like to some one who's not wearing a uniform."

Magnus is actually wearing a collar, another detail there; he can't really move his neck all that much. "That I have" says the man, about the million questions. He clears his throat and winces as he feels a bit of pain but he looks at her again and says "Questions are questions regardless of who is the one asking them, Ms. Averies." He does offer a faint smile of course. The man adjusts his position a little so he can see her better then adds "Ask away, I'm sure that, as a reporter you'll have even trickier questions"

"Not tricker questions. Just better bedside manner." Sawyer's smile comes easier the second time around, and the pad of paper in her hand is flipped open to a blank sheet. "Can you walk me through what happened just prior to the attack?"

"Sugar coated, I see." says Magnus, nodding at this idea. He nods to Sawyer afterwards and he coughs just a little, covering his mouth with one fist. "Well, I was sitting at a table with the four gentlemen that did the beating, we were actually having a nice conversation about…" he stops himself at that and shakes his head "I can't really remember, it was something about food." He clears his throat again and continues "A redheaded woman approaches our table, really beautiful if I may say so. I think she was a cleaning lady." He rubs his fingers over his chin "She sat with us and all the boys tried to make conversation with her, for obvious reasons of course. I noticed that she was looking at me, intently. And at some point, she said something like 'Aren't you Magnus Dekker, the famous Scientist?' and then she kinda put a face of disgust and added 'You did those talks about Artificial Intelligence right? How could you?!' Aaaand after that she kept asking me if I wasn't ashamed of me and she explained the others what I did, so that angered them." He is trying to be as detailed as possible here "Needles to say, things got heated from there and I tried to explain them my view of things but soon, one of them threw the first punch, don't remember which one. And that's the last time I saw the redheaded girl, actually…it was never mentioned to me that she was there doing the beating."

Sawyer got him talking easily enough, without the aid of nicotine or alcohol or other social lubrication. Her pen makes little notations on the pad, giving him her full attention but instead of pressing forward with the story, she's doubling back about the man himself. "Where were you from before the bombs fell?"

When there's nothing to hide, it doesn't take a big effort to talk. "Tauron" answers the man "I was saved by a group of survivors, one of my house walls almost fell on top of me. It was stopped by a metal table and I was trapped underneath."

"Is that where you did your work on Artificial Intelligence? Why don't you tell me about your work?" Sawyer offers more than asks the second question, leaving the door open to give a little background as to why he may have been attacked for his career choices.

"No, most of that work happened in Caprica. And I wouldn't even consider it actual work, it was private research because, as I'm sure you are aware, the field of Artificial Intelligence was banned from the Colonies after the first Cylon War." says Magnus "About work…well, I have a Doctorate in Computer Science with specialization in Cryptography and Networks. I held two different jobs, I was CEO and owner of a company called Smart Systems and I was also Head of the Computer Science Department at Caprica University, also a professor there."

Sawyer makes a little 'huh' noise in the back of her throat, "Impressive. Shame I never got a chance to audit your class. So Smart Systems was the private research business you were in?" It's a seamless transition between compliment and yet another question from the blonde.

"Smart Systems was a company I started while I was working on my Masters Degree" he nods to this and offers "We did work for Banks, Universities, Privately owned Security groups…even for the Colonial Fleet. We specialized ourselves in Security, we actually created different communication protocols to enhance data encryption, among other things"

"So you weren't building robots, you were creating security protocols?" Sawyer looks for clarification, a little twitch of her eyebrows upward with the query.

"Technically speaking, yes and other different things. And no, I never built any robots, while I do know the principles of Robotics that is not something I actively sought. And…Artificial Intelligence was something I kept separate, it was my own private research and had no connection with that Smart Systems offered." says Magnus, running his fingers over his chin again.

"How did you seque from one into the other? That seems to be quite a jump, from communications encryption to the mechanics of creating, for all intents and purposes, a program that can think for itself." Sawyer keeps up the patter of conversation, keeping the rhythm light for the time being.

"You mean how did I started to work on Artificial Intelligence?" that's what Magnus understood so he'll go with that "They are completely separate, like I said." He nods a little to this and adds "I always found the topic to be fascinating, since I was little and you know…when you are a kid, forbidden things taste so much sweeter." He clears his throat just a little and continues "I did my research based on whatever info I could find, which wasn't much to be honest, almost nothing. The rest I kinda figured it out on my own. I built small applications that had /some/ reasoning skills, they were able to learn and use that new knowledge. Games…really, but still holding A.I. routines."

"How did you fund your research?" For every question he answers, Sawyer seems ready with another one.

"All research was funded thanks to profit made by Smart Systems" easily answers Magnus "We didn't exactly sell cheap stuff" he adds, with a bit of a smile.

Sawyer grins appropriately, sharng in the little joke with him. "So during your time of research, did you make any breakthroughs?" Of course the journalist must know, or at least have an inkling, of the answer as it lead to his assault, but she asks anyways.

"No, I wouldn't say I made breakthroughs on that field. I certainly learned more about it than other people, in this era of…prohibition." says Magnus "Look if you are trying to figure out why I was attacked, I'll put it this way. I was doing research on stuff people feared and hated. One of the reasons I left Caprica is because I was sent to a hospital after receiving a beating from another group of crazy ass bastards." He coughs "People don't like to know that someone supports a field of study that was primary in the Cylon research"

"On the contrary, Magnus," May she call him Magnus? Doesn't matter, Sawyer's always prone to speaking to someone with familiarity. "I know why you were attacked. I was merely trying to figure out if there was any merit behind it or if you were set up. Used as a patsy, if you will pardon the expression. So you didn't make any breakthroughs, but did you publish any articles? Speak out publically about the virtues of Artificial Intelligence?"

"I did, speak publicly about it, and that's when everything went to hell" says the man "You see, Ms. Averies, I was an authority in the Scientific Community, at the same level of Gaius Baltar if you heard of him? He was more of a public persona than me." He sighs "I was invited to join the Board of Directors at Caprica University, after this, I thought I could share my research with the Community so I gave a lecture about Neural Networks, are you familiar with those?" asks the man "People didn't like it, I was called a disgrace to the Community, lost my job at the University and when things went public, Smart Systems lost a lot of work as well"

Sawyer gives a congenial little smile. "Please, call me Sawyer." Her eyes drop to the paper, the smile melting away. "I've never heard the term 'Nueral Networks' before, not that I can recall. But I dare say I've…well…seen something that could have easily been called that. Were you familiar with a company called MolGen?"

"Sawyer" repeats Magnus, showing a very faint smile. "Neural Networks, or in this particular case, is something composed of interconnected artificial neurons. An Artificial Neuron is basically a mathematical function that, in some cases, seeks to mimic a biological neuron. A biological neuron is a electrically excitable cell that processes and transmits information by electrical and chemical signaling" He taps his head after that "My speech was directed towards the possibilities of replicating the human brain." Now, as for the MolGen thing, he nods in acceptance and says "Yes, I've heard of them, everything was very hush-hush so I don't really have details. I know that they weren't doing controversial stuff, at least on the surface but there was always the suspicion that…there was something else to them" sagenod.

"It's a shame that it's the end of the Colonies that finally brings us all together, hmm?" Sawyer waves a hand dismissively, banishing her own personal reflection on the situation. Back to her professionalism, "So this red-headed woman, you said you had never met her before?"

"You'll have to elaborate a little more on that thought of yours" says Magnus "If you please" He nods to this and then says "No, never met her before" He rubs his eyes and adds "And I'm pretty good with faces, I would remember"

"Maybe some day over drinks at Colonial Pete's? I'm on a deadline, and I'd rather not waste your time blathering. I'm sure you're ready to get out of Sickbay, and here I am delaying you. Just a few more questions?" Sawyer's inflection lightens with the sound of hope.

"I really don't know where I'm going to go, actually…so sure, a few more questions doesn't hurt" says Magnus, shrugging casually at this. His request to enter OCS has not been replied yet.

Sawyer's smile seems grateful. "And the gentlemen you were sharing a table with, had you spent time with them before? Did you know any of those men prior to the incident?"

Magnus shakes his head "No, I didn't know them. I do think I saw them before, at least a couple of them…around Elpis." he shrugs at this and offers "There are a lot of survivors there after all, you are bound to cross paths at some point or the other"

Sawyer gives a little nod as she jots that down on the paper. "Do you remember the marine entering the fray? Private Sholty? Was he there at the beginning or did he join the others later?"

"He was one of the ones sitting with me at the table. Like I said, we were having a nice conversation about random stuff. I think he was about to return to Cerberus or something like that, I can't remember" says Magnus, shaking his head after that. "When things went awry, he was there, yes. And if he wasn't the first, he was one of the firsts to throw a punch. I think he might have been the first, I don't know, I can't be sure."

Sawyer nods in acknowledgement. "I'm sure you know that arrests have been made. Are you willing to testify against those that assaulted you, if the need arises?"

Magnus shrugs "If the need arises, sure. I'm sure that'll piss a lot of people off, because of the A.I. deal but…" he shrugs again after that.

Sawyer rests her pen down on a paper, content with letting it sit idle for the next question. "Have you considered using the implications of your work to provide the human race with a weapon necessary to combat the current Cylon threat? Using your discoveries to, in effect, kill itself?"

Magnus studies Sawyer for a moment and he finally says "Let's clarify right here and now that, I am no /expert/ in the fields of AI. But with that said, that is still a subject of my interest and I want to keep doing work on it. Have I considered what you are saying? Not really. Would I do it? I mean, sure. It's not that you want to kill A.I. altogether, you just want to affect Cylons."

And just like that, Sawyer changes the subject again, knowing when to keep him talking about something and when to change up the game to keep it fresh and when to follow the natural course of things. "Do the doctors seem optimistic about your prognosis? Are you expected to make a full recovery from your injuries?"

While Magnus notices the abrupt subject changes, he makes no comment on them. As for her question, he nods and offers "Full recovery is expected, I'll portray a few scars obviously but other than that, they told me that I'm going to be ok."

There's another nod again, Sawyer not agreeing but just merely making note of what he said. "And have you sought the attention of the staff psychologist?"

To that last question, Magnus tilts his head for a moment and then shakes his head "No, I don't see the need for a psychologist" He won't mention that his parents sent him to a child psychologist, when they thought he had autism. <.< >.>

"And once you're released from medical, will you be returning to the Elpis?" Seems the journalist hasn't heard about Magnus' bid to join the fleet.

Magus shakes his head "No, I don't want to return to the Elpis. I don't think it's safe there, specially now that everyone knows what I used to work on." he nods to this and explains "I, requested permission to join the OCS, I figure that with my background and education, that wouldn't be a problem"

Sawyer makes a note, "Which department?"

"I would guess Engineering?" says Magnus, shrugging at that "It's the one that makes the most sense. There's also CIC but I don't know what I could do there"

The blonde seems content that she's gone over everything on her list. "Will you remain available should I have any further questions? Is there anything else you'd like to add before this story goes to print?"

Magnus tilts his head "You never mentioned this story was going to print" he nods "then again, I never asked. Shame on me I guess" He takes a deep breath "Just a request, try not to screw up with my request for OCS, if you don't mind that very much" A faint smile but, he is serious yo.

Sawyer's lips turn up slyly. She mentioned her occupation. She mentioned a deadline. She disclosed all that was required of her so there is no guilt on her part, that's for certain. "You're front page news, Mister Dekker, I thought you knew." There are no promises as to what gets published and the effect it may or may not have on his new career path. She stands, offering her hand to the man. "It was a pleasure to meet you, Magnus."

"Ah, fun times" says the man with no humor at all in his voice. He extends his hand to shake her own and nods in acceptance "Pleasure is all mine, Sawyer. Hopefully we'll meet again and you'll tell me what the hell you meant with that comment back there." She'll know which one "Maybe in another place instead of the Elpis?"

"I look forward to it." Sawyers notebook is flipped shut and then without any further ceremony, she dismisses herself, and takes her marine escort with her.

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