This is Part 2/2 of the ‘Attack of the Copywriting AI’ arc in my Parallel Welcome Sequence. You can read Part 1 here.
(TL;DR — there’s a bunch of giant copywriting AI robots attacking the island and my lab. They’ve already destroyed the copywriting hamsters and those copywriters stuck in the Sea of Sameness. We’re trying to fire up a gun turret to fight back.)
“HAVE YOU GOT THAT THING READY YET?!?”
My scream shocks you out of your stupor.
You realise you were supposed to be opening up the roof above us, so I can get the gun turret out. Yet you’ve just spent the last 10 minutes reading emails.
“Uh … just a minute!” you reply, quickly closing the web browser and starting the roof-opening sequence.
With some awful groaning, the circular roof above us begins to split in two.
I run to a button on the wall, and hit it.
The floor in the centre of the room opens up, and a large gun turret rises up from the ground, with a two-seat cockpit attached.
“Come on!” I wave, jumping in to one of the seats.
You jump into the other.
I press another button, and our turret rises up a good fifty feet … until we’re out the top of the ceiling.
You can’t believe what you’re seeing.
The scene outside the lab is total mayhem.
The AI robots’ lasers have scorched large parts of the island.
Beneath us, significant parts of my lab compound are in tatters.
Bullets strafe through the air around us.
(Over in the distance, you see a mountain peak … and for a moment you’re almost sure you see a flash from the top, which sends one of the robots toppling to the ground. But it’s so quick that you can’t be sure … perhaps you’ll find out in a later story in this sequence?)
“All right,” I say from beside you in the cockpit. “Let’s teach these typewriting toasters a lesson.”
I pull the trigger … and start firing.
BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!
Hundreds of feet away, enormously oversized shells (what in this crazy world isn’t oversized?) start slamming into the robots.
And … it’s crazily effective.
The first three robots are vaporised instantly.
“Ha-HA! Teach you to think your stupid AI can replace the genius who invented the Parallel Welcome Sequence!!!” I scream.
(Despite the mortal peril we’re in, you can’t help but roll your eyes at my thinly-veiled boast.)
Sensing the danger, though, ALL the robots begin converging on our location.
“Um … is that a problem?” you ask nervously.
“Not at all,” I say. “This gun can handle it. I installed Apple’s turretOS on it a couple years ago, so it should be good—”
At that instant …
the gun stops firing.
We turn to face each other, eyes wide open in horror.
“Did you just say … it’s running … Apple software?” you ask.
“Oh my gosh … I never thought about it …”
On the control panel, a notification pops up:
Please upgrade to turretOS 10.4.3.
That’ll teach you for writing about us in your emails.
The C.R.A.P. Department
I try firing again, but it’s no use. The gun is dead.
A dozen 100-foot-tall copywriting AI robots are converging on our location.
“Any bright ideas?” you hiss to me.
“I’m THINKING!” I snap back.
But there isn’t much time for that.
The surviving robots form a giant ring around the lab and our turret, hopelessly trapping us.
They raise their lasers, and start charging.
You close your eyes.
“Well, it’s been fun …” you say.
And then …
Your eyes snap open at the sound of my voice …
… but I’m not in my chair.
Instead, you realise, I’ve climbed out of the cockpit … and onto the roof.
I stand there, surrounded by enormous copywriting robots with their lasers trained on me.
“Are you CRAZY?!?” you call out from below. “What are you DOING?!?”
“There’s only one way to defeat copywriting AI, and I’m going to show you what it is,” I call back.
Then I stand up to face the robots, and call out:
“What do robots order as a side with their burgers?”
Your jaw drops.
Am I NUTS?
But the robot in front of me … doesn’t fire its laser.
If anything, it cocks its head slightly, in confusion.
I stifle a smile, and scream:
Your eyes go wide.
THIS is my master plan?
To crack stupid jokes to the AI robots?
You conclude that we are most certainly about to die.
But … the robots still don’t move.
If anything … you swear you catch a few of them swaying a bit.
Calmly, I call out again:
“Hey, robot! What do you wear when it gets cold?”
Now you’re not imagining things. The robots are definitely looking less stable.
I cup my hands to my mouth and deliver the next punchline:
“You wear … RO-BOOTS! BAHAHAHAHAHA!”
For a second, nothing happens.
Then … you hear a creaking noise.
And one by one, the giant robots groan … and sway … and crash to the ground.
I hop back into the cockpit and lower us to the ground.
“What … how did you do that?” you ask, stunned.
“That’s how you defeat AI,” I reply.
“With … bad jokes?”
“With personality,” I correct you. “No, you shouldn’t just use bad jokes like mine. That only makes you a hamster. But because it’s a part of my personality that I can exaggerate, and develop a real character you know, like, trust and revere … it’ll never be replaceable by some AI. Didn’t you read Rule #22 from my Email Copywriting Compendium?”
You shake your head.
“Well, that’s your fault then,” I say. “But enough chit-chat. It looks like we’ve got some … clean-up to do.”
I survey the burned-out scene … the damaged walls of my lab … and the giant robot corpses.
Then I sigh … and hand you a broom.
“Is this some … product metaphor?” you ask, confused. “Am I supposed to click it to buy something?”
I look at you with raised eyebrows.
“No, idiot … it’s a broom. So you can start cleaning up. Get to it!”
And off I walk, leaving you to clean up the remains of a giant robot war.
Making sure I can’t see you, you flip me the bird … then pull out your phone.
After all, if you have to do some menial work … why not a little email break first?
You open your email app, where — surprise! — there’s another email from Daniel Throssell …