The Algorithmic Brain



The East end of London 1888. The thick fog hides actions of one Jack the Ripper. Annie Chapman makes no sound as she slides to the ground. Her body is found just hours later. And so begins the killing rampage – five in all – of the evil Jack.

Orlando. August 2015. World Studios. The recreation of Jack the Ripper. Today’s performance is over and the actors are removing their costumes and makeup backstage. The girl that plays Annie Chapman complains to the stage manager about the rough treatment she got from the actor playing Jack. The stage manager tells her to get over it – it gives the audience what they desire in seeing the rough treatment. If she doesn’t like it, she can find another gig elsewhere. She stops complaining.
A week goes by. The girl is sitting in a cafe reading the Orlando Sentinel. She comes upon a small piece on page 7 of Section B – next to the Obituaries. A 95 year old woman, Annie Chapman, was brutally murdered outside her daughter’s home. Her throat had been slashed, and she was left for dead in a pool of blood. There were no suspects, but the police were interviewing family members to see if there was anyone that had seen anything. The girl thinks it a coincidence that the woman’s name is the same as the character she plays in The Whitechapel East End Murders, part of World Studios where people go when they aren’t riding the Aquaman ride or the Tivoli Gardens roller coaster. It was cool and dark; people were entertained by the re-enactment of Jack the Ripper’s murders – all five of them…one for each day of the week. Saturdays and Sundays they performed The Mousetrap, Agatha Christie’s long running play.
Another week goes by. After the Wednesday night performance, the girl sees the guy that plays Jack return late at night. She had insomnia, and had stepped outside the apartment complex the whole cast lived at. She was enjoying the quiet when she spied him returning to his apartment, downstairs of hers. She heard him enter the apartment, busying himself in the kitchen. Curious as to why he was coming in so late, she went downstairs and peered in his kitchen window. He had removed his shirt and was washing it in the sink. He lifted it up, and she could see the shirt was stained with blood. His face is calm; he looks up and she thinks he sees her. But it’s dark outside and with the kitchen light on, she’s invisible. She ducks down reflexively, but then pops back up to continue to watch him. He finishes washing his shirt and hangs it up on a hanger over the stove. He turns off the light and leaves the kitchen.
The next day it feels like he’s being particularly rough with her. This time her character is Jack’s forth victim, Elizabeth Stride. Jack was supposed to have removed her uterus in the original murder. In the re-enactment, Jack pulls out a pulpy mass – supposedly her uterus but in fact a rubber ____ drenched in stage blood. It always makes the audience shriek and turn away, but then turn back in horror and fascination. Reality TV has made audiences demand a simulation of every bloody aspect of the crime. But this time Jack threw her to the ground, and instead of reaching for the fake piece, he was pawing at her abdomen. She had to practically put the fake piece in his hand and push him away from her. He looked dazed, then stooD up, victoriously holding the fake uterus and then bowing to the audience, who applauded wildly.

On a hunch – with no evidence to back it up – the girl consults the obituaries on-line for the Sentinel. Sure enough, two days’ before, Elizabeth Stride, age 89 of the not-too-pleasant section of Orlando was listed as a death. She googled the woman’s name, but there was no article about her. She found a telephone number for Elizabeth, and dialed it. A man answered the phone. She identified herself, saying she thought she might know something about how Elizabeth was murdered. The man was quiet on the other end. Murdered? Why do you think Mother Elizabeth was murdered? The girl asked, “How did she die?” The man replied, “Who are you again?” The girl said she must have made a mistake -sorry to trouble you. The man says, “Wait – Mother Elizabeth was so old, we assumed she fell and accidentally cut herself – do you think she was murdered?

The woman goes to the police. Include a whole section in convincing the police to do an autopsy. Getting the family invovled – can’t afford to pay a pathologist to perform the autopsy. Finally, she asks the detective to send the body to the ME and let him just look at it. He begrudgingly agrees to do that. The ME takes one look at Elizabeth’s neck, and says that it was no accident. He shows the detective how Elizabeth’s throat was slashed from ear to ear by a sharp knife. It was murder!

The detective goes back to the girl and asks her what she knows. The girl tells him he thinks the actor playing Jack is getting a little carried away with his role. She tells him about the blood-stained shirt right after Annie Chapman was murdered. The detective says it’s just a weird coincidence; that murders take place all the time in Orlando, and they have limited resources to put against these things. It was probably a disagreement over a bolita ticket, or some such thing. After all, Annie Chapman was just an old black woman! Elizabeth Stride was an elderly Seventh Day Adventist grandmother. There was no connection. They didn’t know each other. But oddly, there was no evidence of sexual assault or robbery, two factors that normally accompany such a murder.

So the cops are no help. The girl goes back to work and all is ok, through the weekend performance of The mousetrap.

Then there’s a fourth murder. Need a trick to describe how the girl finds out about the murder. The name isn’t Catherine Eddowes, it’s the name she used, Kate Kelly. The girl checks the JTR book out of the library branch near the apartment. She looks up the murder info, and finds that Kate Kelly is Catherine Eddowes. She takes the book to the cops, and they decide to get a warrant for the actor’s arrest. There’s no DNA at any of the crime scenes, so there’s no point in testing him. They decide to bring him in for questioning.

That night the girl is in her apartment. A stand-in has to perform for the Tuesday performance where the girl is, once again, Annie Chapman. The actor didn’t show up. The girl assumes he’s been picked up for questioning. She finishes her work for the day, and goes home. That night she’s in her bed, reading the JTR book. There is a knock on her door. She looks through the peephole, and it’s the actor! Not sure what to do, she opens the door, and hides the book behind her back. The actor sheepishly asks if he can come in. She reluctantly agrees, throwing the book behind a plant. She asks if he wants a drink. He asks for some water.

He tells her he was picked up for questioning by the police, something about some murders. It’s clear after a brief conversation that he doesn’t know that she was the one that fingered him for the crime. He explains to her that he is just a poor actor, that he had nothing to do with any murders, but the police didn’t seem to believe him. He’s afraid they are going to put him in prison. After a brief conversation, the girl regrets what she did, he looks so pathetic. She pats his shoulder, and he collapses in her arms. They kiss, and then there’s a love scene. In the process of their foreplay, they retreat to the bedroom. In her passion, the girl pushes the actor over onto his back. She removes his underwear, but then realizes there’s something very wrong. His eyes are closed, and he appears to be sleeping. His penis is limp. She picks it up in disgust, and in the dark feels that it’s covered in a rubber substance. She quietly gets out of bed – he’s still sleeping. She turns on the bathroom light and returns to the bed. He’s still sleeping. She gets out a small flashlight that she keeps in the nightstand. She illuminates his penis and examines it carefully. It is not covered in rubber – it is made of rubber. She looks at the actor’s naked legs, and to her ultimate horror, realizes what she is looking at and been petting with is not human – it’s clear it’s an android.

IEEE CASE 2016 12th conference on automation science in Ft. Worth, Texas. Dr. Grayson Moore, cyberengineer, currently between university positions. The title of his paper: “On the Algorithmic Brain: Passing the Turing Test with a Brute Force Solution.”

Describe Grayson Moore in detail: a cross between Tim Conway and Wally Cox as Mr. Peepers. Black rimmed glasses, gray, curly hair, 5’8″, short-sleeved shirt washed and pressed – 5 years before. His is the last paper of the afternoon, Thursday, August 25th, 4 PM. He rises to the podium, adjusts his glasses and begins to read from his prepared text. The six people left in the audience that aren’t at Happy Hour are annoyed that they aren’t enjoying a Lone Star Beer. He shouts that he can’t hear him. Dr. Moore adjusts the microphone, and says six times, “Testing”. Yeah, OK – go ahead – let’s get this over with, from his now heckler in the audience.

Dr. Moore begins by telling them he has been working on trying to create an android that met the Turing test for most of his professional career. The sticking point has always been found in what Descartes said in the 17th Century.

“In the Discourse, Descartes says:

If there were machines which bore a resemblance to our bodies and imitated our actions as closely as possible for all practical purposes, we should still have two very certain means of recognizing that they were not real men. The first is that they could never use words, or put together signs, as we do in order to declare our thoughts to others. For we can certainly conceive of a machine so constructed that it utters words, and even utters words that correspond to bodily actions causing a change in its organs. … But it is not conceivable that such a machine should produce different arrangements of words so as to give an appropriately meaningful answer to whatever is said in its presence, as the dullest of men can do. Secondly, even though some machines might do some things as well as we do them, or perhaps even better, they would inevitably fail in others, which would reveal that they are acting not from understanding, but only from the disposition of their organs. For whereas reason is a universal instrument, which can be used in all kinds of situations, these organs need some particular action; hence it is for all practical purposes impossible for a machine to have enough different organs to make it act in all the contingencies of life in the way in which our reason makes us act.”

Heckler interrupts with “Could you speed it up? A Lone Star is calling my name.” Guy next to him laughs. Moore looks up, nods briefly, and then puts his head down. He continues to read, then skips over some stuff, puts some pages down, and then gets to the heart of the matter.

“I believe I have finally succeeded in addressing the issues Descartes addreses in The Discourse. I have designed an android that “feels” passion. In addition, I have designed an android capable of killing a human being.”

This makes his audience sit up and take notice. Then, to their horror, Moore goes on to describe how he created the actor, had him apply for and get the position of Jack the Ripper in the Whitechapel Murder mystery play at World Studios. Then, after several performances, the actor sought out and murdered women of the same name in the Orlando Community. Four to be exact. He also performed foreplay on a fellow actor, as a final test of his capacity for passion. unfortunately, He was not able to perform the sex act, as he inadvertently laid on his back, which Dr. Moore had neglected to program into his software. Dr. Moore describes each of the women in detail, and the girl as well. He ends by saying he thinks the girl might have suspected and clued in the police to his android’s work, but thus far he had not been arrested.

Dr. Moore begins to launch into a discussion of the details of the software, when his heckler – now aghast – stands up and interrupts him.

“Did you say this android actually committed four murders? Or were these murders just within the play, and they were just acted out?”

Dr. Moore looks up, confused. “No – the definition of murder is “the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another.” He gives a slight smile. Of course My android is not really human, but I believe his actions will allow me to claim the $100,000 Loebner prize for passing the Turing Test. Moore chuckles softly. “And it is a timely thing as well. I’ve pretty much run through my savings and need the money to finish my work on my second android.”

By this time, a brief conversation has taken place between the heckler and his associate. The associate goes out and makes a phone call. The heckler continues to engage Dr. Moore in conversation, while another of the heckler’s associates take notes. Just as he’s finishing up, a plain clothes detective comes into the room. He suggests Dr. Moore accompany him. Dr. Moore picks up his papers, assuming this is the representative from the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies to discuss giving him the prize. The next thing he knows, he’s at the downtown Ft. Worth police headquarters. They question him about the murders. He gets agitated, and begins to act out strangely, rocking back & forth and mumbling to himself. They detective stops the conversation, as it’s going nowhere. They take Dr. Moore to the hospital, and a psychiatrist is called in. After the shrink has a brief conversation with Dr. Moore, she explains to the detective that Dr. Moore has Asperger’s Syndrome, and that is why he’s behaving the way he is. She says it’s entirely possible that Dr. Moore does not understand the impact of what his programming of the android has done. She tells the Tec that Dr. Moore continued to say the women were all quite old and were statistically likely to expire within the next 12 to 18 months anyway. The detective arrests Dr. Moore and puts him in a holding cell. There he remains until he is handed over to his sister. She posts bail for him, and takes him home to Orlando. There they await his trial, charged with four counts of premeditated murder with the potential for four life sentences or even the death penalty. But the DA has pretty much taken that off the table, because of the Asperger’s thing. But four life sentences for a guy with autism might as well be the death penalty. He won’t last a month in state prison.

Can he be held accountable for what
the robot did?

Can the robot be compelled to testify against the professor?
He invokes his fifth amendment rights. But he isn’t a citizen

Can the robot
incriminate himself? Can a machine be punished for commiting murder?

of morality and consciousness.

Professor is a diagnosed autistic. Can that
be a mitigating factor for what he did?

So the cops are no help. The
girl goes back to work and all is ok Thru the weekend performance of the

Then there’s a fourth murder. Need a trick to describe how she
finds out about the murder. The name isn’t Catherine Eddowes, it’s her real
name. She takes the JTR book to the cops and they finally act. There’s no DNA
left at the scene, so there’s no point in testing him. They decide to bring him
in for questioning.

The trial is set for March 2017. The android has been shut down and locked up in
the evidence room ever since the afternoon of the day the girl discovered his
existence. The
At the arraignment, the Dr. pled not guilty. Using his paper
as essentially a written confession, the DA persuaded the judge to charge Dr.
Moore with four counts of murder.

Discussions between dr. Moore and his
attorney. The doctor explains how the algorithmic brain works and the
complexity of the algorithms he programmed into the machine using
______software. He says his software is different and better than anyone else’s
because of the nuances he programmed in. He programmed the machine to make up
its own mind about his activities- to make choices about its desired
experiences, just like a human would. The lawyer informs Dr. Moore of the
girl’s testimony that she and the machine engaged in sexual foreplay and about
what happened when she turned him over on his back. The doctor frowns, then
offers this explanation to his lawyer. Yes, he programmed the machine to engage
in sexual foreplay: he said the penis punts as an organ the machine uses, per
Descartes. The lawyer asks dr Moore if he’s ever himself done what e programmed
the machine to do. He says no. He doesn’t really have a good track record with
women. Then she asks him how he programmed knowledge he didn’t have into a co
putter. She thinks she’s about to prove to him that he couldn’t have done it
without having to even address the murder question- a place she doesn’t want to
go with him. He explains carefully and clinically how he googled “How to fi ger
my girlfriend to an orgasm” and then programmed the I structions into the
machine’s software. Then he forced himself to watch a top-rated soft porn film,
“emmanuelle-joys of a woman’ but there was only a limited number of sexual
positions. He makes a note on the little spiral notebook in his breast pocket
to rewrite that portion of the algorithm to accommodate other positions.

dr. Moore has been advised by the lawyer his sister hired not to speak to
anyone in the press about the case. Nancy Grace has had every cyber expert on
her show, getting into vehement arguments about the feasibility of the Dr’s
claims. She has also discussed the finer points of criminal law, including mens
rea-but on whose part: the the doctor’s or the androids? her conclusion: the
doctor killed the women himself in his quest for the fame – and fortune – of
winning the Loebner prize and pretending to answer the Turing test.

comes and the trial begins. His lawyer must have been watching Nancy Grace,
because those same issues are all brought up in pretrial motions. None are
accepted by the judge as dispositive – the trial must go on.

And it does.
The DA opening statement reads extensively from the doctor’s paper. The defense
gets up, and astonishes everyone in the courtroom. She says it was all a hoax!
Nobody could program a machine to kill the way he said it could. Says she will
bring in experts to testify that the doctor was deluding himself to think thr
machine could opt to kill on its own. She has had them go thru the code in the
software and the machine was programmed with the lines and gestures from the
play. It is just a coincidence that the murders occurred. The Dr. has
Asperger’s, and as such, has a difficult time separating fantasy from reality.
He programmed the machine to deliver lines, which it did. But that’s all it

The girl testifies about the rough treatment at the hands of the
machine. But then the defense asks her embarrassing questions about the night
she and the machine attempted to have sex, and she discovered the reality of his
being. Her credibility is significantly damaged.

Then at the end of the
prosecution’s case, the DA calls the android. A big hoopla ensued about the
legality of calling the machine. Does it have fifth amendment rights? Can it be
compelled to describe its actions? Can the jury differentiate between the
androids performance in the play, and the murders? The judge asks for expert
testimony on these topics, as there is no precedent for them. She decides to
allow the testimony and then rely on lawyer’s objections and her jury
instructions to stay within the confines of criminal law jurisprudence.

machine is brought out from the evidence room. It is activated according to the
information found in the doctor’s house. The machine is brought to the witness
chair. The bailiff asks him to raise his right hand, and then asks the standard
oath question. The machine answers I will respond to your questions to the
extent of my capacity to do so. He sits in the chair.

The DA gets up and
asks several perfunctory questions, which the machine answers. Then the DA asks
the machine if it knows the doctor. He responds that Dr. Moore created him.
Then the DA pauses and carefully parses the next question. Did you kill mary
ann nichols, Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride, and Kate Kelly? The robot
responds, in the play? The DA answers – without really thinking – no, in real
life. The defense attorney objects. She says how can a machine differentiate
between a play and so-called real life? There is no reality to a machine.
There is only programming. The judge sustains the defense attorney’s objection.
Silence in the courtroom.

The DA goes over to the table to get his notes.
“Where we’re you and what were you doing between the hours of midnight and 2 am
on Tuesday, __________, 2015. The machine responds perfunctorily, describing
how he stalked and murdered Annie Chapman. The DA asks the same question of the
machine for the other two murders, and the machine responds the same way. The
DA rests his case.

The defense attorney gets up, concerned that she is losing
the case. She asks the machine some perfunctory questions. Then she asks the
big question: “You state that you stalked and murdered these women. What made
you want to kill these women?

There is hesitation on the machine’s part. He
stares straight ahead. The defense attorney asks if he heard the question.
Silence. She asks the court stenographer to read it back to the witness. She
reads it back. finally, the machine looks up and into the defense attorney’s
eyes, as though looking into her soul. He said, “I wanted to see if the
experience of killing a real woman felt the same as killing a woman in a play.”.
The defense attorney said, “did dr. Moore tell you to kill those women?”. The
machine answers, No. Dr. Moore gave me algorithms that allowed me to make
choices that satisfied my needs and desires. I wanted to see if I could bring a
woman to an orgasm, using the technique Dr. Moore programmed into my software.
I believe, based on the reaction of Miss___, I was successful in that endeavor.
All eyes turn to the actress, who blushes and looks down at her hands. All eyes
turn back to the machine. “The act of killing Annie Chapman, Elizabeth Stride,
Kate Kelly and Mary Ann Nichols-each murder was different in its own way. Some
of them struggled, but in the end I have to say I found the act of murder of old
women not as satisfying as the sham murder of Miss_____. Then the defense
attorney asks, “on what basis did you select these women with the same names as
the victims in the play-was it only because they had the same name? He answers
No. She asks, “what else made you choose them? he answers, “statistically,
they were all very near the end of their time of life. I felt it was more moral
to test my hypothesis with subjects nearly at the end of their life span.
Defense attorney – now beginning to think the dr. Could get a new trial because
of her incompetence in asking and getting answers to these questions, asks: “so
is morality important to you?”. The machine answers, “I suppose it is.”. Then he
adds: I judged that really taking the life of a woman such as Miss ________would
have been the wrong thing to do.

The DA sums up his case triumphantly saying
the machine readily confessed to what it did, the dr. Programmed it, the machine
became the weapon, no different than a knife or a gun. The defense gets up and
says in light of the testimony of the machine, I will agree the murders took
place. But what the doctor gave the machine was merely capacity to think for
himself. He could have used that independent thinking to take those women to a
movie or ignore them completely. Instead, he chose to murder them for his own
reasons ndwithin the bounds of his own morality. He is not human, so he can’t
be prosecuted, any more than you could prosecute a lion or a shark or an
electric cord for killing a human. Buton the other hand, to find Dr. moore
responsible for the acts of the machine it would be like prosecuting a father
for the acts of his son when all the father wanted was for his son to experience

There’s a whole section for the jury deliberations. Inject info about
the jury earlier I to the story to humanize them. The jury takes a full 5 days
to discuss and deliberate. Mon the sixth day, they come back into the courtroom.
The verdict? Not guilty. The jury is excused and the doctor is a free

Two days later he’s at his house writing notes on modifying the
algorithms.m the doorbell rings. A man is at the door and asks if he’s Dr.
Grayson Moore. He says e is, and then asks if the man is from the Loebner
Prize. He says no and asks to come in – that he represents an organization that
would be interested I using the doctor’s technology.

End of story.obituary on
page 12 section D of the Washington Post. A woman named
Mary Jane Kelly small
article about her throat being slashed. The body afterwards was horribly
mutilated. No Robbery or sexual Ssault. Tests preformed to see if there was
any DNA evidence, but police are skeptical that any will be found. No
connection is made between the Orlando murders, the trial or the coincidence of
the name being the same asJack’s Fifth victim. But in the basement of the
cybertronics unit at Langley, Dr. Grayson Moore is tapping away on a keyboard.
He is making modifications to this last little piece of algorithm – adding a
knowledge of Eastern European languages to the machine’s database. The machine
will be dispatched to hot spots in The former SovietUnion to accomplish what the
CIA has failed to accomplish with the use of human assassins, drones or any
other device. The machine will be dispatched to assassinate the president of
Russia. The doctor has learned his lesson: no more talking about the ,achine’s
capabilities-just big money for it to carry out the US government’s dirty work.
And he learned from the trial to remove the sense of morality from the
algorithm…won’t make that mistake again.
He didn’t think it necessary to
change the machine’s appearance…nobody would correlate his new career with the
acts in Orlando. Big money goes a long way when you’re between assignments.

Florida institute for human and machine cognition.

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