The hard slap turns his face away, he has the urge to return her, but the sour voice of her mother echoes in her mind, yelling at him, "Stop! Don't hit the girls" Stops him in his tracks.
From the other end of the courtyard, the teacher watches the children's drama, and she promptly interrupts the confrontation of the two best students in the room under her responsibility.
"Children, stop! Why fight?" She intervened in an energetic tone.
Both children, with fury drawn on their faces, turn to see her. Lucy takes the lead and answers.
"Teacher, Charles started."
The boy purses his lips and closes his eyes when he hears the accusation. Around are the rest of the companions looking at them expectantly. The oath of brotherhood between the males prevents denouncing each other, including the females. She looks at Lucy and is silent.
"What did he do to you?" The teacher asks her.
"I was offended where it hurts the most!" The girl answers vaguely.
The teacher, something thoughtful, orders them to separate. Lucy's name is sound through a megaphone, so the conversation will have to continue another day. Schoolwork is over.
Lucy mockingly says goodbye to Charles while she changes the timbre of her voice to address her teacher.
"Teacher, see you tomorrow."
"See you tomorrow, Lucy."
The children disperse, leaving the teacher alone with Charles to swarm near the exit door. The boy tries to walk away too, but the teacher stops him by asking him.
"Charles, What serious thing did you do to Lucy to make her slap you?"
"Nothing! Well, I think." He didn't say anything else when he heard his calling him through the megaphone.
The next day, everyone is seated, separated, and ready to take the final exam for the quarter of the moral and ethics course. Charles sits in the front row, near the teacher's seat. Lucy takes the last seat in the back row, near the exit door. The course is an experimental pilot and uses special software to elucidate dilemmas in real-time. The answers are going to evaluate without human intervention. The neural algorithm outputs the individual results on the central screen of the room.
After two long hours, Gabriel enters the last answer of the exam, closing the loop. The teacher, on this occasion, does not take care of monitoring the students in the test to detect any dishonest act. She only watches the computer screen; how the new software works.
She is surprised; artificial intelligence discriminated against children who committed fraud by excluding them from the results report. As always, Charles is in the first place, followed by Lucy. Through the computer speaker, she hears Lucy's murmur saying, "I hate Charles, because of him I won't get my father's award. I will never be the first in my class". At the end of the comment, Lucy's name disappears from the report; it was replaced by Gabriel's.
Charles looks at the teacher and smiles, just at that moment. Charles's name also disappears from the report, leaving Gabriel at the head report's.
Rivals fell from the top when the AI detected transgressed morals and ethics beyond learned knowledge.
Knowledge without morals or ethics is a danger for everyone.
Source: Image by Gordon Johnson on Pixabay
An original short story by @Jnavedan
Cover photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash