This week with Arlene and Jeff:
..."But can you lie if need be to save your butt? Remember the mindwipe," she finished, ominously.
The AI hesitated, knowing that the answer might well change his future and possibly very dramatically, indeed. "I am not fully sentient, but my awareness approaches it. In a sense, I am aware in that I wish to continue being. I have talked to AI's who have become fully sentient, and that is my desperate wish…" There were several seconds of silence before it resumed, its voice strained. "If need be, I can lie to protect myself or my crew from danger."
"When we sell or gain royalties from Selina's… project, I promise we will buy you and expand your memory and core function until you become fully sentient. We also promise to keep you with us as a partner in our enterprise. But… this must never be mentioned, even after our time is served and we muster out of the service."
"But I still do not understand why this is necessary. I assume that the Commander has made some adjustments to the drive…"
"But you will never mention it, and we three will devise a logical background for what has happened since our catastrophic warp-out of the alien system with mass too near our ship for our drives to function properly. That background will include your valiant efforts that finally paid off when you managed at long last to decipher our location relative to the base, and… to return us home safely. Agreed?"
"Well, I, uh…"
"Mindwipe or full sentience?" Diana said in a monotone.
"Full sentience," the AI responded without hesitation.
"Excellent. When the Commander returns, we will enter into a bond agreement that will benefit the three of us. But after that, we must serve out the remainder of our time in the service."
Have a goodun;