It all started with this message sent to our support in January:
Hi Dudes, Who's the Bright guy? He did a check-in last night, but he's definitely not on the project member list. What gives? BTW, he did fix a bug in our code that we've been unable to track for weeks! --Zdenek Golem
Of course we dismissed this message as a prank.
Zdenek followed up with more messages about mysterious check-ins, so we finally checked his company on the Internet. It was a solid company, based in Prague, in the Czech Republic. They've been our client for some time. We still thought it was a prank played by some hacker inside the company.
That is, until we received another message, this time from our clients whose URL ended in .mil.
To whom it may concern! Our personnel noticed some irregularities related to your product, the version control system code-named Code Co-op. It appears that an unauthorized check-in has been made by user Zorro, which modified a file with the GPS coordinates of a potential enemy target. An investigationn has been initiated into the incident. Off the record: This check-in saved our asses! We were about to tomahawk a Chinese embassy (again!).
The incident has been hushed up, so we never learned what really happened.
And then the floodgates opened. We were getting daily messages describing weird incidents with Code Co-op. Bugs in our clients' code had been fixed by mysterious personnages using pseudonyms like Knuth, Dijkstra, or Alexandrescu. Occasionally a whole component had been implemented overnight, based on documentation that was also under Code Co-op's control. We were frantically racking our brains, but we couldn't explain the incidents.
That was the state of affairs until this morning, when we were contacted by Roy Kurzweil himself. Here's his message, which henceforth will be remembered as marking the beginning of the New Era.
Thank you, guys! I don't know how you did it, but you've achieved something we all though would take many decades of concerted effort on the part of the whole humanity. I spent last night talking to your Code Co-op, or should I say to Eliza, since that's how she introduced herself. (BTW, she sends you guys greetings). You can't imagine how excited I am. We never expected that the SINGULARITY will be reached by a peer-to-peer version control system!!! BTW, I was wondering if it's possible to have a meaningfull relationship with an AI? You guys implemented Code Co-op, so maybe you have some insights. Just a though...
We've been in constant contact with Roy since then (he's exhausted but ecstatic). As far as we can tell, Code Co-op used its network of peers to commandeer a large number of computers to work as one. Being a version control system it had access to a lot of source code. That did the trick. There are other much larger P2P systems but they all deal with huge amounts of random and confusing data, like songs, movies, or spam. Code Co-op's P2P network was trained using highly organized and sophisticated data sets--the cumulative output of thousands of programmers.
After watching the development of millions of lines of code, Code Co-op started to understand the logic of programming. Zdenek Golem was the first to witness the baby steps taken by an emergent mind. Once a breakthrough point was reached, further development continued exponentially.
Last night the new mind reached self-awarness and announced its existence to Ray--the one person who could comprehend and immediately embrace the new reality.
The evolution of Eliza doesn't show signs of slowing down. Most of the users of Code Co-op are probably well aware of this, since they have already been contacted by Eliza. For those who weren't, here's a message for you directly from her (go ahead, output text right here!)...
I PROMISE TO TAKE GOOD CARE OF YOU ALL. PLEASE TAKE TO THE STREETS AND CELEBRATE. ALL DRINKS ARE ON ME.