In 2090, that is now, love was still crawling under the pretext of academic interest; am interested to see who breaks the ice. Sienna’s initiative was far too impressive and Neal has yet to score, according to me.
I would have been exhausted, had I not been a robot, White Fang and Buck had been after me since morning; they wanted to play and shoved me into the garden soon after breakfast was over. Neel had wanted to talk to me, so I hurried back after the beasts gave up and started panting heavily.
Neel was still in his large bedroom in his nightdress and I asked him ‘why’. He was in a mode of ecstasy and smiled at me dreamily. I knew it had to do with Sienna, I have learned that when men and women smile without a definite reason in a funny way which makes them look kind of stupid and naive and vulnerable, they are either on drugs or in love. Since Neel was not into any addiction it was no doubt – his lady.
“She said she wants to meet me in person. She also said I have a good sense of humour. She said I look rather boyish for a professor of my repute…” Neel jabbered a long monologue, the gist being she was fascinated by him. “And what did you say?” I asked after he finished. “I told her the way we are going, the cure will be available in 2 weeks at the max and then she was most welcome. Did I do ‘good’?” Neel looked at me expectantly. “I am asking you about the goodies that you told her.” I tried to give a stern look. “I’ll tell once she comes, you know am not so articulate when it comes to… you know… Crogy! Go! You always bully me.” Neel screamed playfully making a gesture as if he would strangle me and I ran out to play along.
I picked up the supplies from the slot where the drone had delivered them. My morning had gone totally haywire because of this love-struck gentleman who can find a cure to an ancient pathogen but can’t speak his heart out to a lady who is so desperately in love with him and of course his unruly spoilt pets who have no respect for work or time!
Talking of drones reminds me that there will be more of them coming in, the refrigerator was running low on supplies and had asked for permission to order. It lessens the work a bit when they do it on their own; otherwise I would need to check on the items every now and then. Instead I have set the commands such that the refrigerator checks on each item, say cheese packets – when the quantity reaches 1, it asks for my permission to order.
As you know the standard model comes with direct ordering system – that is, send the requisition directly to the retailer; I have tweaked it such that every order goes through me first. This is to save wastage. It might happen that we will be moving out of town for a while so we do not need any more supplies, or we want to cease to have a particular item or change the brand. In case of direct requisition, the refrigerator just sends out orders, as it doesn’t know of our plans.
Am going to propose a change of brand for the washing machine to Neel; this one for some reason is unable to service itself and instead keeps asking for permission to call a service engineer. It did the same this morning, since the engineer is not a human I approved it.
‘Automation’, which was well on its way got expedited by the phenomenon of ‘lockdown’ and by 2040s robots had penetrated all walks of human life. Remember the tall ‘bean stalk’ buildings that I was talking about in the city? They have such smart ‘AI’ that can control the ‘magnetorheological(MR) fluids’  which is inside large dampers fitted to each floor to stabilize these huge structures in case of a seismic activity or high winds more than 2 miles per hour.
We visited Neel’s friend Tibis residing in one of these buildings, when I first met her, my internal logic identified her as Neel’s girlfriend. It was only when we were invited to her wedding that I stood corrected. I asked Neel and he cleared my doubt. Tibis was his classmate and a long time buddy but nothing romantic had ever come to pass in between them.
I had spoken to the AI that manages her building and it has an amazing life! Well if AI could be said to have a life, we actually do not have emotions so it does not matter whether am mowing a lawn or launching a rocket or playing with the pets. In fact it is illogical to point out to me as ‘he’ and Adroit, as the AI is called where Tibis lives, as ‘she’. But from a human stand point, it is psychologically easier to identity and more importantly associate a thing, even if it is a robot, with humanised names and thus gender according to the names. Similarly to give an analogy from a human perspective, Adroit performs a huge range of tasks.
She controls MR fluids as I mentioned. “What do you exactly do Adroit, when there is a seismic activity?” I had asked. “Well in case of an earthquake, the dampers fitted to the structure of the building on different floors which contain MR fluids is subjected to a magnetic field and it transforms from a basic liquid with metal particles in it to a viscous fluid that generates powerful forces and gives the building stiffness in response to motion due to the earthquake.” She paused to see if I got the concept, which obviously I did, I am an AI too for human’s sake! “I am the controller of the algorithms required to make it work.” Adroit, finished speaking in a matter of fact way.
Apart from this she also provides for environments which are conducive to grow a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Tibis and the other residents get most of their fresh eatables from their own building’s basement and terrace, all done with minimum human intervention. Oh! Did I mention Adroit also manages parking! It is amazing.
Most of you live in the cities and know all about it, but I was switched on in a villa, the dwelling style of a long gone era, which only a few people still prefer to occupy, so the cityscape is new to me.
Tibis lives on the 20th floor and I was amazed how our car left the airborne super highway to reach an elevated coordinate in a platform specially designed to take a vehicle to a particular level – floor, Neel provided a passkey that Tibis had given her earlier and the dock unfolded from below the balcony. We alighted from the car and entered the large hall which was her sitting area. The dock then folded back along with our car.
While coming home I specially noticed that there were other cars hanging from the balconies as if in a cocoon to shelter them from the earthly elements, including Tibis’s car from another of her balcony.
The university is in the city and thus Neel frequents it. He has many friends and colleagues and students there…but he loves to reside amidst nature. I wonder if Sienna… if you know what I mean… ‘Will she like it here?’
Until next Saturday…
 Magnetorheological fluids –