Review of Keeper of the Code by Nick Thomas

So I’ll start off by saying this, I listened to this short story casually while cooking.

Keeper of the Code by Nick Thomas is a short story published in Clarkesworld Magazine in April 2023. The story takes place on a fictional planet where a utopian society, I think, has developed. The protagonist has the responsibility of looking over some kind of data code, and one day, while looking through this code, he found messages from another planet called Planet One. The messages were cries for help from a planet where the conditions were terrible, and people were suffering. The protagonist is faced with a dilemma of what to do because the people on the new planet were told that there was nobody left on Planet One.

There is controversy because either the higher-ups in this utopian society know about this and are trying to keep it a secret, or they don’t know about it, and there’s a tragedy happening on Planet One. The story touches on the idea of super intelligent AI that’s been almost deified at this point. The idea of these super intelligent artificial intelligence robots has been around for decades now, and there’s a lot of talk about generative AI right now. There is a concern about not letting AI get to a point where it is beyond our comprehension, which is somewhat touched upon in this story.

The story also touches on the imperfections of society and the prejudices against people of different races, ethnicities, and genders. If we don’t take into consideration when we’re developing these AI models, we may perpetuate the biases that already exist in our current society.

Though I may have missed some details listening to this story while cooking, it was still a fine enough experience.

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