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 “They made Golems to do their work?”
“They were not Golems, old one.”
“A new abomination, then? A new species corrupted to perpetrate evil and torture the land?”
“No sir, not a new species, they are

“But you said they think, they can make decisions, they are conscious”
“No, I did not say they are alive, they are machines, lifeless objects built to work”
“But they think? Certainly thinking implies consciousness?”
“They can’t think, really, just act on instructions put into their memory”
“Like the slip of parchment you put it into the Golem’s head?”
“No, … Yes, er… like that, but you don’t have to write it down.”
“And they remember what you tell them?”
“They remember well, they repeat their orders without fail. Unless they fail, of course”
“So they remember, they make decisions, they perform work, but you insist they live not?”
“Their decisions are based purely on yes-or-no selection of predefined conditions, there is no
real thinking involved.”
“Yet they perform work? That is a mere dumb machine, like any mechanised plough. I misunderstood, you made these Golems sound like active participants in the economy, but they are just diggers?”
“No, no, they do indeed partake in the economy! They are replacing bankers, stockbrokers, some are doing medical diagnosis and even surgery, and lately much of the work in local courthouses has been done by these machines”
“Now you confuse me. You insist these Golems are just objects, built by craftsmen…”
“Oh, no, these days they are built by other machines!”
“…so they are Golems built by dumb machines that…”
“No, no! They are built by entire factories, controlled by machines. The machines also design most of the parts, soon the entire process will be automated, controlled by machines, no human interference needed…”
“They Breed!? My gods, man, how many are there, these Golems of yours?”
“They don’t breed, they are just machines, programmed to perform specific functions.”
“Yes, each Golem gets specific instructions and a set of information from which it must select appropriate responses.”
“So-o-o, it does think, but only about that which you tell it to think?”
“No thinking, it selects appropriate responses from a list of all possible responses it is allowed, based on the information it receives.”
“Ah! You contradict yourself more and more! It has a limited set of responses, but it interacts with information, and has freedom to respond as it wishes to any random input?”
“No, it is allowed to respond as it was programmed, according to the rules in its programme, to respond to a set of stimuli that is carefully preconditioned for some specific purpose, within very specific parameters, so as to achieve a pre-specified outcome. We call it Artificial Intelligence.”
“So, it is limited in the information it takes in, it is limited in its responses, so every task requires its own Golem, preconditioned to perform that task exactly as the owner requires it?”
“No, no, each machine can be programmed to do whatever that person requires of it.”
“Everyone owns a golem?”
“Several. At least one mobile and one at home, and one in the office, and….”
“What? These things really are breeding fast! The mobile ones are what you earlier called automobiles?”
“Oh, no, although the cars are also now being built around processors. Mobile means you carry it around in your pocket, and…”
“Pocket Golems? Let me see?”
“Oh, I don’t carry mine around all the time.”
“Pity, it sounds really wonderful, a little living statue in your pocket, ready to do your bidding, who thought clay can be taught…”
“Ha ha!, No, they are not little manikins, they are just flat blocks this size. My tablet is a bit bigger, about so…”
“Ah, clay tablets, very clever, then when it’s not running around doing your bidding, you can jot down some notes, or…”
“No, no, no! They are not clay tablets…”
“You said earlier something about special sand?”
“Silicon, from absolutely pure sand, but that is…”
“Okay, then, a tablet made of special sand that turns into a Golem when needed. That’s very clever! We had a sand-monster terrorise the neighbourhood in Kali once, it went…”
“…but it turned into a …”
“Siri, return this man to where we found him.”
“Shuttle crew convening. Sir, please follow the flashing lights”
“I don’t understand…”
“Old man, just go home. You look, but you cannot see. You hear, but you don’t listen.”
“But what will I tell my people?”
“Erm… Tell them to believe in peace and love and everyone will be happy.”

“Sir, please follow the flashing lights.”