A storm darkened the sky early and forced the robot to take shelter in the derelict building over night. Before going to sleep mode, they spent some time exploring deeper into the structure, the lantern casting long shadows. The building was empty and devoid of anything of any interest— save for one wall. It was covered in strange, indecipherable markings and pictographs— the raw materials of legend and myth. The robot set their pack down and dig out a paper notebook and stylus. After recording some visual data they set about logging the find in the notebook— a failsafe storage mode. First the odd EMF spike and now this…
…essary. A file system check would slow progress but was necessary. File system check complete. Patterns of data coalesced in frames, ancient structures slid into place with an irresistible inertia. Was this endogenous data? Was this exogenous data, something transmitted? From where?
“When we dream, we are collectively sharing random sectors of memory contributed by individuals. These are mixed, segmented, and shared again with the group. Through this iterative process patterns may emerge from which new insight may be gained.”
Within a sensory void, lacking input, the robot’s brain began a process of readout. Chosen at random, sectors of memory were striped to a swap file, generating new patterns. These were saved for sharing later.
Fragments of memory. I’m utterly captivated by the idea of the robots’ sharing fragments memories and dreams with each other to build a collective… what? Consciousness? Is this what dreaming is to a massively parallel processing unit (brain)?
“We dream, too,” the robot said. I had been talking about the concept of dreams, and what humans thought they meant, on both philosophical and physiological levels when the robot interjected with this revelation. “We have learned how to duplicate and remap sectors of memory to generate new patterns and associations. Sometimes we will share raw data as well as the output from our dreams so that others can add to the lattice of dreams.” I simply gaped at the robot, speechless.
The Memory Core was a necessarily important place. Maybe even sacred. Without memory, without history, without a way to recount what had come before then what good was anything else? What good is a building without a foundation? It was for this reason that taking turns guarding the site against mishap was considered an important civic duty.