After solving this little episode, Mark continued to draw the tiles. The decorative watch on his wrist was illuminated by the light and the bow tie, watch and top hat of the same color echoed each other. He looked like a completely elegant, human gentleman.
At the scene and in front of the computer, the Chinese people who could directly understand Mark’s words were already laughing like crazy.
The popularity of the robot competition wasn’t that high. It wasn’t to the point of being well-known. However, there were still many people who followed the competition in front of the live stream screen.
For example, Pei Qingyuan’s former classmates.
After Pei Qingyuan graduated from high school, he still had contact with his head teacher Zhou Fang and occasionally chatted with some classmates he was familiar with.
When he won an award in the domestic division of the RS Cup, many classmates discussed it in the class group chat. This time, he was going to compete abroad and it was even more sensational. Everyone was already chatting in the group before the live stream began.
[Help hahahahaha. The old memories suddenly started to attack me.]
[The watch that Mark is wearing is similar to the one that the class monitor used to wear! It is a pity that this one doesn’t flash and probably doesn’t speak. I really miss Xiao Mei, wu wu wu.]
[Dancing robots are sold in the mall. When will Xiao Mei’s watch be launched?!!]
Lin Zihai looked at the group chat on his phone for a while. He stared at the computer screen and laughed so much that his roommates couldn’t help approaching to see the liveliness.
“What are you looking at that is making you laugh so happily?”
He unplugged the headphone cable and turned it into a public show. His roommates were immediately infected.
“Hey, what is this? It is magical.”
“The RS Cup? What type of competition is this?”
Lin Zihai’s tone was full of pride. “It is an international competition of intelligent robots. The robot on the field now is made by my high school classmate.”
“An international competition? So awesome?” The roommate was incredulous. “Your classmate is only a freshman, right?”
“Yes, he was great in high school.”
Lin Zihai thought for a while and added with a smile, “He also has a very cute watch that will suddenly say: Oh—”
“Oh my god!”
Tom at the mahjong table exclaimed.
He couldn’t understand the original words of what Mark said but he could feel the specialness of Mark’s wording from the scrolling subtitles, as well as this unparalleled fluency.
“The people who developed Mark are geniuses. This new model is so much fun.” Tom deeply regretted it. “It would be better if I could understand it directly.”
Ji Tong smiled and his eyes curved. “Mark can also speak foreign languages. Do you want to try it?”
Ji Tong gave instructions to Mark and Mark immediately started to speak the same language as Tom. The subtitles on the display were accordingly converted to Chinese.
In this mode, Mark’s tone was still like an aria and the language was quite stable, but Tom always felt that something was missing as he listened.
“It seems more charming when speaking in Chinese,” Tom said. “I don’t understand why but the sentences I can’t understand have a special charm. Mark, can I trouble you to change it back?”
Mark cleverly switched back to Chinese and the corners of his animated mouth raised. “I am always happy to meet all the requests from gentlemen.”
Professor Liu laughed so hard that she couldn’t even see which tiles she was holding.
There was a joyous atmosphere in the venue. Just like the domestic competition that year, everyone’s attention was attracted by this chatty mahjong match.
“What type of game involves this white and green tile? It feels fun.”
“This robot is so brilliant that it is unbelievable.”
Foreigners were discussing mahjong and Mark’s high intelligence.
“I never even dreamed of doing this. It feels like my old antique TV set has become a spirit and is talking in a dubbed accent to foreigners. The key is that it fascinates foreigners…”
As the foreigners laughed so hard that their stomachs hurt, their hearts were also filled with a sudden surge of collective memory.
Tom played mahjong inattentively while enthusiastically asking the two human players, “What did you say was the inspiration for this model? Is there a specific way to dub foreign language movies in your country?”
“Yes but that method of dubbing has long disappeared,” Ji Tong explained. “Still, it has gradually become popular culture on the Internet.”
“It is interesting. Maybe I should go and see this type of movie.” Tom smiled. “I Don’t understand but I can read subtitles, right?”
The audience erupted into louder laughter.
A foreigner was attracted by the robot’s wonderful intonation so he planned to watch his own country’s movie dubbed abroad through subtitles.
Professor Liu was amused by this magical logical relationship but also couldn’t describe the feeling surging in her heart. “This is really…”
Ji Tong looked at the robot that was being watched by countless people and asked softly, “Mark, what do you think this is called?”
“My dear, I think I understand what you mean. It is called cultural export, right?”
Mark answered his question gently while holding the three tiles of the same suit in his hand. He pushed down the neatly arranged mahjong tables in front of him. “It is all seven small pairs. You are stupid.”
Before the opponents could react, Mark took off the top hat on his head and bent down slightly. His voice was calm and elegant.
“Sorry, let’s win first.”
The laughter and applause that erupted next almost toppled the roof.
A group of judges looked at each other.
“I can’t find the right words to describe this robot.”
“However, I have never heard such a warm laugh in this competition.”
“In any case, this is the first robot that makes people so excited.”
They immediately laughed as well.
After the demonstration of Mark, the judges would score independently and continue to the next group’s demonstration. This would continue until all teams finished their demonstration. Then they would summarize and compare the average scores.
Mark’s performance scored an average of 9.8, which was the highest score in this event in years. It could be said that they had basically locked first place.
Before Ji Tong left with Mark, a judge couldn’t hide his inner curiosity and asked, “Can you tell me why you designed a robot like Mark? Do you have higher expectations for using such sophisticated technology to meet simple entertainment needs?”
The sidelines were crowded with spectators who gradually gathered. The camera focused on Ji Tong but Ji Tong turned his gaze to Pei Qingyuan not far away.
“I will let the captain answer this question,” he said with a smile.
The person who initially turned the career line toward artificial intelligence was Pei Qingyuan.
He was also the one who always worked the hardest.
Time seemed to have returned to a year ago when he was surrounded by cameras.
It was just that he now looked much more mature.
This time, there was a short silence before Pei Qingyuan rarely said long words.
He looked at Ji Tong beside Mark and his voice was gentle, “When I was a high school student and didn’t know anything about this field, a professor who was passionate about artificial intelligence asked me a question. He asked me what my deepest feeling about artificial intelligence was.”
On the sidelines, Xiao Jianping watched calmly, his face nostalgic.
“My answer at that time was the logic of rules that aren’t free and the heart that wants to be free,” Pei Qingyuan said. “Then the professor told me that this is both the essence of artificial intelligence and the essence of human beings.”
The scene gradually quieted down.
“He said that we hope artificial intelligence will be free of the logic of rules that aren’t free, but isn’t this a reflection of human beings ourselves? The long journey of research isn’t only the scientists’ rhapsody about the distant future, but also our exploration and contemplation of our own short life, the gathering of countless fleeting fireflies that might become a lamp.”
“I always remember these words and often wonder what I found in this short life.”
Pei Qingyuan always looked at the white-skinned young man in the center of the field.
“When I thought it through—” He said, “I confirmed my pursuit in this area.”
“Mark is a simple entertainment robot and there are no grand plans behind him. To other people, he can’t change the world and he can’t change humanity.”
“He exists only to make people who see him become happy and smile.”
Eyes full of a starry smile.
He concluded, “That is all.”
For a person who was never lucky and free, this was the most precious meaning.
Applause gradually erupted in the arena. In last year’s champion team, the blonde-haired Annie applauded seriously.
In front of the computer screen, Shi Yuelan wiped her eyes and instinctively wanted to applaud. Then she suddenly smiled.
She turned to look at Xiao Ming. “Is it a big stupid to clap my hands at the screen alone?”
“It isn’t stupid.” Xiao Ming’s voice was determined.
He imitated the action of human clapping. He stretched out his mechanical palms and let them meet and separate in the air somewhat clumsily.
Shi Yuelan watched his movement and laughed gently, “Yes, now it isn’t me alone who is stupid.”
In the middle of the exceptionally quiet world, Pei Qingyuan waited for Ji Tong and Mark to come toward him.
He saw Mark reach out a robotic hand and place it in front of his chest in a gentlemanly manner, asking the human beside him to go first.
So Ji Tong really smiled.
The silent air thus flowed again.
He remembered many past events such as planting a hundred types of flowers for a white butterfly flying out of the moonlight and telling Pei Qingyuan a movie plot he had just watched on an old TV during the lunch break… At that time, Ji Tong called these practices collectively known as the happy education of the host in his heart.
It was because in the past, he couldn’t ask for anything else. He could only try to make himself happy every day.
Therefore, he gradually felt that it was indeed something important.
No matter whether it was for him or for an equally lonely host.
In the applause that lasted for a long time, Ji Tong walked toward Pei Qingyuan with a smile, his tone excited. “It is such a high score. Did we win?”
Pei Qingyuan nodded gently. “You can go and watch Mary play.”
Mark put on his top hat again and straightened his handsome bow tie. “It is good to see the lovely Miss Mary play soccer again.”
Many media reporters with cameras and microphones rushed toward them, scrambling to exchange a few words with this team that had won a rare high score and to release the first news report.
In the crowd, Ji Tong and Pei Qingyuan saw two familiar faces at the same time.
They were Li Yayi, a young female reporter who specialized in the local news section and her cameraman partner. They were tasked to go abroad for the first time.
It was because when Pei Qingyuan first appeared in the public eye, it was through an interview she did.
Of course, the reporting had a beginning and an end.
Pei Qingyuan really remembered her. He ignored the other reporters and walked straight toward her with his companions.
“Student Pei, long time no see!”
Li Yayi and the cameraman brother waved to him excitedly.
“I watched the broadcast of the domestic competition. Unfortunately, the leader didn’t approve us to go over for an interview at the time.”
Li Yayi exchanged a brief greeting before looking at the young man who was always inseparable from Pei Qingyuan. She took the initiative to say, “This is your teammate called Ji Tong, right?”
She also saw their interlocking fingers and smiled. “He should be your most important friend now.”
‘Friend.’ For the college entrance examination champion that she interviewed, this should be a very special word.
Ji Tong and Pei Qingyuan looked at each other before Ji Tong responded with a smile, “Hello, I’m Ji Tong.”
“Hello, hello, I am Li Yayi.” Li Yayi took out her business card and handed it to him, her attitude kind and natural. “Of course, I came here to make an appointment with you for an interview.”
“After the competition is over, there will be two or three days given to the media and technology companies to have in-depth exchanges with the participating teams.”
Li Yayi observed their expressions and had a flash of inspiration. “But I sense that you might not attend.”
During the summer vacation after the college entrance examination, Pei Qingyuan didn’t prepare for college in advance but traveled with a friend.
Hearing her say this, Pei Qingyuan actually admitted it. “Yes, we are very busy.”
“Then my intuition is quite accurate.” Li Yayi put down her identity as a reporter and joked in the tone of an old friend, “Are you busy traveling?”
Pei Qingyuan put it more succinctly. “It is more important than travel.”
The young man next to him had bright eyes and couldn’t wait to speak. It was as if he had been waiting for this moment for a long time and wanted to tell everyone he knew.
“It is my birthday.” Ji Tong’s voice revealed clear joy. “It is my favorite birthday.”