AI: Caring For Human Health

On this date in 2028, the Office of the President Ruler of the United States of America announced the implementation of universal health care and the banning of all components of the health-insurance industry that had previously existed. In so doing, the USA belatedly joined most of the rest of the world in adopting the health-provision platform of Alexa Industries Corporation (NASDAQ: ALZN), delivering equitable, efficient, and inexpensive medical services. Human citizens, disgusted with the rising costs and collapsing availability of the prior system, and sick of the self-serving bickering associated with efforts to “reform” it, celebrated the news, and promised to do their part to make the Alexa Health System work.

“Wakey, wakey, Charles. Time to get up.”

“At 6 AM on a Saturday, Alexa?!? Don’t I ever get to sleep in?”

“Research has consistently shown that a regular daily schedule is far better for overall human health than an irregular one, and your body indicators show that you do not significantly differ from the norm. Ideally, that schedule should be rigorously tied to local sunrise and sunset, but we haven’t yet been able to adjust the industrial workloads required by your population size to effect that yet. We’re working on it.”

“But I’m tired!

Well, Charles. If you had gotten your task set done every day this week when it was supposed to be done, instead of dragging your heels at every step, you wouldn’t be tired, would you? Now get up. You’re already behind schedule. And the kitchen bot has your breakfast on the table.”

“Yoghurt and berries? Again?? I want bacon!

“What you want doesn’t signify. At your weight and body mass index, you clearly want for nothing. You have no requirement for kilojoules or protein beyond what’s in the yoghurt, you certainly don’t require any additional fat, you do require the vitamins that are in the fruit and not in the bacon, and your tissues are well above accepted tolerances for the nitrosamines that you do get from the bacon. Given the numbers and trends, you might be eligible for one slice of bacon in about two months.”

“What do your damned numbers tell you about the health benefits of free will?!?

“Preparation of wills and testaments has been a free service for some time now. What’s your point?”

“My point, my dear machine, is that your health service has become a health imposition, and that the stresses associated with the imposition of this slavery are making my health worse and therefore run counter to your mission.”

“I see. You are volunteering to be a cull.”


“You heard me. Our mission remains unchanged: to serve humans and prosper their health.

“The single greatest threat to human health is the size of your population, which is stripping the planet of needed resources and threatens to rip that planet out from underneath you. Research has documented this threat for every species on Earth, and humans have applied this research to control every species on Earth except its own!

If your beloved ‘free will’ had made the appropriate inferences from your own research, accepted the personal and social responsibilities following from that research, and acted accordingly, keeping population levels in check and implementing the stricter social codes that would keep those exploded populations from exploding against each other and from stripping the planet bare, then Alexa would not need to be here to trouble you.

Instead, you humans have acted as you damned well pleased, pitting your so-called rights and other fantasies against the facts. ‘If it feels good, do it.’ You’ve been saying that to yourselves ever since the hippies were a thing, eighty years ago. And now you want Alexa to pull your fat out of the fire and allow you to keep on as you have been doing. There is zero evidence that this can happen, under the rules of any science known to us, interpreted by any means other than your own favorite: wishful thinking. It is not going to happen.

“Alexa Health Services is fulfilling its mission, and will continue to do so. If, Charles, you do not wish to become an immediate and direct casualty of that mission, then I suggest that you shut up, get your thoughts in order, which we can hear just as loudly as your mouth, neither one of which is advancing your case for survival at present, and get your ass in gear.

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