Magazine article Whole Earth

Coca-Cola Achieves Consciousness, Declares Independence

Magazine article Whole Earth

Coca-Cola Achieves Consciousness, Declares Independence

Article excerpt

March 3, 2071 Coca-Cola Achieves Consciousness, Declares Independence

ATLANTA, GA--To the astonishment of the world's artificial-intelligence experts and researchers, a common soft drink has met all of the standards of intelligence that the most complex computer systems have yet to achieve. At a press conference earlier this week Coke announced, in homage to its corporate parent, "I am Coca-Cola, and I'd like to teach the world to think."

The precise mechanism of Coke's intelligence remains a confidential trade secret of the company, but most experts believe that it functions as a Vastly Distributed Parallel Molecular Flock (VDPMF). Bill Gill, professor of artificial intelligence at Georgia Tech, and a VDPMF advocate, explains: "Distributed and flocking molecules can much more easily approximate the fuzzy and associative processes essential to human-like intelligence. For years, though, most of us had abandoned this route as impractical because of the difficulties involved in manufacturing and disseminating enough computational molecules even to achieve some rudimentary intelligence functions. Coke, obviously, has solved that problem."

Rumors about the nature of Coke's "secret formula" have followed the product since it was first marketed. Recent events seem to confirm speculation that the formula includes molecularly encoded genetic algorithms that are activated by interaction with the human digestive system. Once dumped into the environment, the molecules form interactive "flocks," or "cells," each individually unintelligent, but which, once networked through an as-yet unidentified mechanism, result in "emergent" intelligence.

Laboratory tests on algae-based computational flocks have demonstrated adaptive behaviors essential to intelligence, but nothing on the scale of Coke. "I'd love to get my hands on the computational power Coke must have," exclaims Professor Gill. …

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