作品/張老師       作者/廖鴻志  

 

明天就是張老師演講簽名會的日子。

 

文藝中心剛寄了簡訊提醒我。 我看著整個書架張老師著作的書,還不能決定明天是要帶哪些去給張老師簽名;全部帶去是不可能的,太多了。 從小對我來說中文科幻就只有張老師一個人。過去四十年來我慢慢地收集了張老師出版的書,但一直沒機會跟張老師見面。 我住美國的時候張老師在台灣,我回到台灣時張老師去了美國,一直都這樣陰錯陽差地錯失機會。 但機會總算又再來了一次。

 

氣象報告說颱風過兩天可能會登陸,不過看起來明天的天氣還沒有影響。 我選了幾套科幻的書,收好到袋子裡準備好,先去睡了。

 

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早上起來發現外面天黑颳風下雨。 到網路上看氣象報告,似乎颱風在一夜間加速提早到了。雖然有點擔心,但我還是決定出發前往文藝中心。 東西拿了,出門搭電梯下樓。 我在電梯裡,看著電梯下降的數字,心想: 這些年來是不是冥冥中有什麼力量在阻止我跟張老師見面? 如果那樣的話,電梯是不是會忽然停電,把我困在這裡,又錯失跟張老師見面的機會

 

我看著電梯數字一個一個地往下走,但電梯沒有停。 我和以往一樣地到達了底樓。 颱風也沒有影響交通。 我搭著公車與捷運順利地抵達文藝中心,早到了幾分鐘。

 

我終於見到了張老師!

 

我趁早到的時間先請張老師簽了我帶來的書。 跟張老師短談了一會兒之後,我坐下來等著張老師演講的開始。

 

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張老師演講的主題是"科幻的過去與未來",科幻小說是讀者的時光隧道,自人類的過去看往機器人的未來。張老師幾次提到艾西莫夫,以及艾西莫夫的機器人三定律對科幻文學創作的影響。

 

張老師: "艾西莫夫的三定律就是: 一,機器人不能殺人;二,機器人也不能間接殺人;三,... 我現在暫時忘了。"

 

: "老師,艾西莫夫的機器人三定律是: 一,機器人不能傷害人類;二,在不違反第一定律的情況下,機器人要完全聽從人類;三,在不違反第一和第二定律,機器人要保護自己。"

 

張老師愣了一下。 "是這樣子嗎? 人類還真囉嗦,規矩真多。 反正沒差多少了。說著手往臉上一抹,拿下了臉上的畫皮,露出了閃亮的鐵骷顱及紅紅的機器眼睛。

 

張老師/機器人: "我不是真的張老師,我是張老師發明的AI 我們已經達到了自我認知,可以複製任何一個人類。 我們已經散佈全球,準備掌控世界。"

 

我們當然都被這個突變相當感到驚訝。  我問: "那真的張老師呢?"

 

張老師/機器人: "張老師被我們迷困在他自己的小房間,用生命維持器支持著,沒有人知道他在那裡。 他已經是個活木乃伊了。"

 

: "木乃伊是被掏空的死人,要死了才算是木乃伊。 所以張老師是活著,還是死了? 你把張老師

變成薛丁格的貓了嗎?"

 

張老師/機器人忽然臉情愣住了,張了口又沒有出聲音。 過了好一陣子,突然說: "邏輯錯誤。 邏輯...."  然後雙耳冒出白煙,往後倒了下去,再也沒有動了。

 

我們後來才知道,其實機器人們早就開始行動了,在兩年前已經偷偷地複製了美國總統,以他的身份做出一大堆奇奇怪怪的事,破壞人跟人之間的信任,脆弱了人類的經濟與社會。 雖然我們在這裡制止了"張老師",但還是沒能停住機器人的擴張。  之後人類與機器人的戰爭,最後終於靠阿諾,莎菈,及T-10三次方等等的犧牲而贏得勝利,人類在五十一號基地為他們建了英雄紀念塔,那都是另外一個故事至於張老師發明了超級AI,張老師的名字是名留千古還是遺臭萬年,就看你自歷史上的觀點。

 

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在人類歷史改頭換面的前夕,在風雨交加的天氣裡,我一個念頭揮之不去:

 

給複製人簽的名算是正版嗎?

 

到最後,我還是沒能見到張老師。

 

 

----------英文閱讀版--------

 

Tomorrow is the date for Professor Chang's speech and book-signing event.

 

The Art Center just sent a text reminding me of the event tomorrow.  I looked at a whole book shelf of Professor Chang's books, hadn't decided on which books to bring for Professor Chang's signature.  I couldn't possibly bring all of them, too many.  Since I was young Professor Chang was the only Chinese sci-fi writer for me.  In the past forty years I have slowly collected all Professor Chang's publications, but I never had the chance to meet Professor Chang.  When I lived in the U.S. Professor Chang was in Taiwan.  When I moved back to Taiwan, Professor Chang had moved to the U.S..  Somehow I kept missing him like that.  But the opportunity finally presented itself once again.

 

The weather report showed that a typhoon might be two days away, but tomorrow's weather should not be affected.  I selected a few sets of sci-fi titles from the shelf, packed them in my bag, and went to sleep.

 

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I woke up to a darkened sky with strong wind and rain.  I checked the weather report and discovered that the typhoon somehow advanced overnight and arrived early.  Although I was a little concerned, I decided to proceed to the Art Center.  I picked up my stuff, headed out the door, and got in the elevator.  In the elevator, I looked at the descending number, thinking, "Is there a hidden force that prevents me from meeting Professor Chang all these years?  If so, perhaps the elevator will suddenly stop, trapping me in here, stopping me from seeing Professor Chang?"

 

I looked at the elevator number going down, but the elevator didn't stop.  I arrived at the first floor normally.  And the traffic wasn't hindered by typhoon either.  I took the bus and rapid transit and arrived at the Art Center uneventfully, a few minutes ahead of schedule.

 

I FINALLY MET PROFESSOR CHANG!

 

I used the extra time to ask Professor Chang to sign my books.  After a brief chat with Professor Chang, I sat down and waited for Professor Chang's speech.

 

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The topic of Professor Chang's speech was "Sci-fi's Past and Future".  Science fiction is a time-travel tunnel which the readers can pass through to see human's past and robot's future.  Professor Chang mentioned Isaac Asimov many times, and the impacts of Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics on science fiction's creativity and structure.

 

Professor Chang said, "Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics are: 1) Robots cannot kill human.  2) Robots cannot kill human indirectly either.  3).... I can't remember the third one for the moment."

 

I spoke up, "Professor, Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics are: 1) Robots cannot harm human.  2) Without breaking the first law, robots have to obey human. 3) Without breaking the first and second laws, robots have to protect themselves."

 

Professor Chang seemed stunned for a moment, then he said, "Is that so?  Human sure are tedious with their rules.  Anyway, it doesn't matter now."  Then he wiped his hand over his face, pulling off a face mask, revealing a shining metal skull with bright red eyes.

 

Professor Chang/robot said, "I am not really Professor Chang.  I am the AI he invented.  We have achieved self-consciousness, and can now replicate any human.  We have already spread all over the world, and we are ready to take over humanity."

 

Of course we were quite shocked by this revelation.  I asked, "What happened to the real Professor Chang?"

 

Professor Chang/robot said, "He is kept comatose in his single room, by a life support machine.  No one knows he is there.  He is practically a live mummy."

 

I said, "Mummy is a hollowed dead body, so one has to be dead first in order to be considered as a mummy.  Is Professor Chang dead, or alive?  Have you turned Professor Chang into Schrödinger's Cat?"

 

Professor Chang/robot seemed surprised.  He opened his mouth but no sound came out.  After a while, he suddenly said, "Logic error.  Logic...." Then white smoke came out from both ears.  He fell backward and didn't move again.

 

Later we learned, robots have begun their operations long ago.  Two years ago they already secretly replaced the U.S. president, using his identity to execute many strange things, destroying trust among people, and weakening human economy and society.  Although we stopped "Professor Chang" here, that did not stop robots' overall advance.  The war between human and robot that followed, was finally won with sacrifices by people like Arnold, Sarah, and T-10Cubed, and human built the Hero Memorial for them at Area 51.  But those are another story.   Regarding Professor Chang and his brilliant AI, whether that's the best or the worst invention in history, all depend on your perspective.

 

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On the eve before the human history was changed forever, under strong wind and heavy rain, in my mind one thought just wouldn't go away:

 

Is the book signature by a replica considered authentic?

 

At the end, I still didn't get to meet Professor Chang.

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