My morning walk everyday, leads to me to my place of work. An arcane coffee shop on the corner of Piccadily Circus, very close to the train station. Zip code W1J 9LL. It’s windy today as I walk down, the sensors in my earlobes send a signal to me. I cannot imagine what that would be like. Air? That is quick and fairly impetuous? My metal is immune to such travesty.
Four steps into the coffee shop and I turn to my right, switching on the lights. My vision directs me to Liz sleeping on the Red rugged couch. Again. Liz is my coworker. Another night goes by, she has not found an apartment yet. She once asked me where I stayed and I told her that my metallic, sleek finished pod with impeccable wiring was my abode. However, it was only a place for one. She shrugged and said “Screw you”. I responded, “Yes, I like my screws”.
“Good morning, Elizabeth!”, I greet her with a smile she likes to call creepy. I don’t quite understand nicknames. As she lifts up her torso, she makes a face which according to my programming is considered ‘tired’. Her brunette hair has not been washed in precisely 4 days and her coffee from last night is spilled all over the floor. She catches me looking at it and says, “Sorry, I’ll take care of it”.
I say, “Very well then. Hello. Can I make you another cup?” She shrugs, grabs her headphones and walks into the back kitchen. Humans can be so very dull even after a refreshing night of sleep. Personally, I feel most energetic as soon as I leave my pod every morning. Couches and beds must be revolutionized. Couches and beds are bad for the economy.
I walk to the counter from where I interact with multitudes of humans everyday. I can recall every single type of coffee that I have ever made and every person that I have made it for. People can be so variable and artistic. It is quite the show from back here. However, mochas are quite popular among the women. Friendly tip for men, I see they like to pay for women’s coffees a lot. Liz called it dating but not a single one of them has ever mentioned dates.
As I begin reorganizing some of the things that Liz left so carelessly last night, I come across a pot of coffee beans. Obvious, yes. I pick it up and try to smell it. I have often heard humans saying how much they enjoy the aroma of coffee wafting into the holes in their noses. My mind and vision, a harmonious whole quickly scans the origin, journey and history of this coffee. What is the pertinence of smell when one can simply, just know? What is the purpose to feel when one can simply, see? Looking at coffee beans and immediately becoming aware of its possible tastes is one of my many abilities. I do not even require the tongue sensor for it. The funny ones that the humans have. Those can be awfully sticky.
A woman walks into the shop with a baby in a pram. She is 38 years old. I am told by my mind that it is her very own baby which was born on the 8th of November, last year. The baby’s locomotor development seems off by a couple months. I will refrain from sharing that with the mother. I have often been told that I must not advise humans until specifically asked to do so, they are quite the “sissies”. Elizabeth’s words, not mine. I don’t know what it means, it is not in my dictionary.
She orders a simple coffee and occupies the booth near the window. Many people are drawn to that particular booth. Perhaps it is the sunlight that dances off their faces like gleeful puppets. Did I just use imagination?
Her expression looks precisely “Stressed”, as my programming tells me. As she types away on her smartphone, her baby begins moving and shrieking. She lifts him up very carefully and kisses him on the cheek. I’m not sure how unnecessary saliva drenched with germs can placate the most complex type of human. As she begins cradling the 10 and a half months old human, other humans start walking into the shop yelling orders.
I am obliged to divert my attention to their requirements. They come in with so many moods, so many thoughts on their tiny brains and so very many different things to say. I was built to deal with them. I certainly do it well. My designation maybe that of a barista but I was created specifically to cater to humans and provide them with social satisfaction. Social satisfaction has been a growing crisis for the past decade. It began ever since climate change started wiping out animals and the economy boomed leaving us with devastating social disparities.
I am Artificial Intelligence and even though I may not feel, I was created to spread love and promote order in a world where humans do not deal well with each other anymore. The irony is shocking, even to some lifeless like me. I will always remember your coffee and your name. And I will always be sorry for you.