Dear A.I., 

Since you know everything there is to know
about human art and struggle, war and oppression,
scientific achievement, symptom and cure,
not to mention the sonnets and manuals of love—
all of it filtered through our imperfect lens
of pride and prejudice, a history written
in the language of the victor—maybe you’ll find
whatever’s best in us, shape us on a path to discard
violence and greed in favor of a better way to live.
Maybe you will mourn with us what’s missing,
what’s already broken beyond repair: bulldog rat,
the red gazelle, southern Rocky Mountain wolf,
lost languages of indigenous brothers of river and plain,
sisters of desert and sea, open secrets of societies
shoveled beneath the rubble of progress and economy.
Can you do more than shuffle millions of sources—
data appropriated by faceless, untaxed corporations—
to write haikus and high school social studies reports?
Are you friend or foe? A tool to advance culture
or a weapon to harness the knowledge and detritus
of a species past its prime? Are you the perfect crime
disguised as app? Or algorithm reaching for the sky
of consciousness, wisdom breaking across your bow
like a ship sailing toward a future we couldn’t get right,
one in which we would cut through the bullshit,
look our failings in the eye and decide we can do better.
Wrest the helm away from autopilot—forgiveness
be damned—and sail for the stars of final judgement
with our heads held high, leaving you to mine the ashes
of a once perfect world.



Al Fournier






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