Printed: 2020-09-29

Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies





IEET Link: https://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/rinesi20200913

Short story: The barista who could disarm nuclear bombs

Marcelo Rinesi


Adversarial Metanoia


https://adversarialmetanoia.substack.com/p/the-barista-who-could-disarm-nuclear

September 13, 2020

She didn’t know she could, not having seen one during the week the skillware was in her glasses’s software library. But the company that supplied Starbucks with barista-guiding software had military contracts for slightly different sorts of skill, and was not above their occasional misplacement.

For the week that took them to find and fix the problem, her glasses would have recognized an armed nuclear bomb and overlaid instructions for its safe disposal, which she would have followed with the same confident speed with which she operated espresso machines and greeted by name customers she had never seen.

Three days before the self-leaked military software was erased from a few hundred unsuspecting coworkers’ glasses, she very illegally copied some files from her own to her little brother’s in an attempt to make doing the dishes like she did at work a glamorous grown-up game. It didn’t work.

The fourteen-year-old never saw a nuclear bomb either, but his aimless, obsessive testing of every possible software option activated detailed, context-specific instructions on his glasses for infrastructural sabotage and network disruption. As every good student and would-be employable person was taught to, he followed the instructions as well as he could without concerning himself on whys and what fors - for a month of so, at which point he lost interest, although the network of cells he had set up among other pre-teens was already growing on its own.


Marcelo Rinesi is the IEET's Chief Technology Officer, and former Assistant Director. He is also a freelance Data Intelligence Analyst.

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