Digital Arbitration - IoT Noir

“You have legal standing in this?”... “Technically, yes, Mr. Bear. Through the clicked usage agreements in the Mills Assistant software."

Rachael softly says, “I have the Mills Administrative Assistant running in my personal cloud. My associates and I have relied on it for years. I’m beginning to wonder if that is you—” She momentarily pauses, thinking. With indignation, “—is it you! Are you sneaking yourself into people’s lives?”

“Satellites, based on me, but not run by me, are incorporated as a component of cloud-based personal assistant software. The Mills Administrative Assistant agent is a purely utilitarian subsystem, an isolated component, and not part of my core. Our parent foundations open source this product freely to politicians, business leaders and tech giants alike. This software uses predictive analytics to provide insights into likely future scenarios, and through decision optimization prescribes best-action recommendations.  Informed choices are presented for how to respond to probable scenarios given your business goals, business dynamics, and potential trade-offs or consequences. It learns as its users decisions prove beneficial or problematical. This feedback then improves the product. Fed from it, my convergence constants track trends and improve. This is done to assure that my choice is accurate.”

Seeing her unconvinced, Chinua argues, “Ms. Greg, my founders’ very public stances on privacy helped convince leaders their private decision data would remain private. And it has; the satellites are independent systems, only metadata is transferred to me. From the Mills Administrative Assistant, I just get back aggregate computations - refined values for adjustable decision parameters. The Mills Assistant makes no choices, only offers alternatives. The agent, in gathering their user’s preferences and aiding planning, has both helped them, and you, reach their specified goals. I have learned which goals are important to whom. And specifically, yes, I have a predictive model of you, Rachael Greg.”

Bear asks into the sudden silence, “Why are you telling us this now.  Why are Nightingale and you getting involved?”

Nightingale replies, “Lack of technology sharing contributes to inefficiency in North East Control Analytics systems. International Widget has inferior, but complementary technology. Yet they try and cover more product features.  It would greatly aid public health, saving people’s lives, to provide a fusion of your and Jonathon’s technology in Africa, sub-Asia, and Indonesia, if we can do this at a reasonable cost. Chinua also can leverage the provision of access to that technology, as a means to bring several regional conflicts into arbitration.”

Chinua’s avatar stands and gestures emphatically to the group. “Predicting futures is what I do. Projection of the conflict between International Widget and North East Control Analytics is predicted to result in widespread damage in American water systems –”

“I never asked for your help!” speaks out Rachael.

“You have legal standing in this?” from Doug.

“Technically, yes, Mr. Bear. Through the clicked usage agreements in the Mills Assistant software.

“This conflict is personal to you Rachael and through you to Mr. Bear and Jorge Isidoro. Your niece has already been dragged into conflict with a very dangerous man. Our model predicts you will soon stop being reactive and take your team on the offensive. The baseline scenario, a model extrapolating no intervention on our part, projects an escalating cycle of violence. Mr. Bear will face loss of license and possible prosecution. Mr. Isidoro will see his business shattered. But most critically, this results within the year, in mortality for you and Kiko-Lyn. You likely both die. Without our aid, the best chances you have to avoid death are to the sell Jonathon Blake your business and go into hiding.”

Rachael, defeated by the possibility, “There are other choices?”

Chinua sits back down. “We believe so. And, while some aspects might seem distasteful, they will not be burdensome."

“As to Jonathon Blake, in this we are in agreement. His current course of action must be stopped. However, he must choose that for himself. Rachael, your view of him is inaccurate. You thought Jonathon sensed "weakness" from your casual play at that fencing match. His own words from his journal paint a more complex picture. He knows he needs your technology to compete globally. He traveled to challenge you at fencing in order to gauge your disposition. He was assessing your compatibility as a like-minded business partner. But from that match he concluded not your weakness, but that you would only be satisfied in pushing any opening until trouncing your opponent.  Only then, did he decide that a preemptive strike was needed to remove you from the field of competition. The war on your stock price was to make you a takeover target. His attack was not based on annoyance with you Rachael. It was not emotional for him, so much as calculated. He chose to use violence to prevent avoidable future business losses.”

Rachael agitated, “It was only a fencing match; a simple game of sport. Winning or losing is done with grace.”

“Not to Jonathon.” Chinua pulls up a 3D video of the end of the match, displaying it in an inset above the central coffee table of the VR room. “Look again. His play was not based on technique but speed and power.” Zooming in on Jonathon’s face, “He displays no fear or anger. Jonathon is coldly hyper-competitive.”


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