The Concept The Treatment
The concept for this story is based on the current flood of Internet based attacks on computers perpetrated by children as young as thirteen.  (If you are technically minded, check out the fascinating report by Steve Gibson of Gibson Research Corporation.)

These so-called "script kiddies" have demonstrated a deep vulnerability within the Internet that allows children to bring company - and government - computers to a halt, using very simple techniques.

Since the development of practical domestic robots is clearly making progress (there are a few research projects that have bipedal machines up and running - well, walking very slowly), it seems a logical extension that in the not-too-distant future, similar script kiddies will be interfering with other people's robotic machines as well.

"Art" seemed a logical name for a "male" machine (short for both Arthur and Artificial Intelligence).  A "female" machine might be called "Ann" (short for Artificial Neural Network).  However, putting the two names together in a title (Art and Ann, Ann and Art) didn't roll off the tongue exactly, so it was a toss-up as to whether the working title was "Ann" or "Art".  For now - only for now - Art won.

The initial idea that springs to mind is to tell the story of an individual who, for a living, screens potentially compromised Arts and Anns, and attempts to track back to the individual who compromised them.

There are elements of Bladerunner in this, and some elements from A. I. and Millenium Man - even though those tell different stories.

Now to determine realistic goals and obstacles, character names, and so on.

The latest treatment is available on WriteSafe and here.

Last updated: January 7, 2006

Peter Brooks

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