Xiao Jianping could feel the infinite profound meaning from the high school student’s question. He couldn’t take care of the work at hand and he immediately concentrated on thinking.
Xiao Mei’s existence was a fact. He had overheard part of it and the group of children on the basketball team that day spoke so seriously that it didn’t seem like they were lying. Xiao Jianping could see that Xiao Mei’s owner actually wanted to stop them.
This high school student called Pei Qingyuan kept a very peculiar silence about Xiao Mei’s existence. He didn’t mention the origin of the watch and blindly pushed it toward a ‘friend’ who didn’t have a name.
In addition, Xiao Jianping had contacts with various artificial intelligence laboratories that were famous across the country. So far, no one was found to have trained an artificial intelligence similar to Xiao Mei.
Under the combined effect of these conditions, there was only one answer that could be deduced.
Geniuses tended to have quirks and epoch-making geniuses were doubly weirder.
When Xiao Jianping himself would make some novel gadgets as a student, he would deliberately pretend that he hadn’t done it himself until he was exposed.
Therefore, he understood Pei Qingyuan’s mood at the moment.
“What exactly is artificial intelligence?” Xiao Jianping said in a serious tone. “This is indeed a very profound question. I have studied it for 30 years and I am often troubled by this problem.”
Sun Peiwei, a colleague who was working overtime with him, heard his inexplicable cautious voice and looked back curiously.
“…That isn’t what I mean.” Pei Qingyuan felt that the situation was gradually out of control. He took a deep breath and tried to justify it. “I don’t know in the literal sense.”
“Yes, I don’t know either.” Xiao Jianping was very serious. “Every time I make a breakthrough in my research, I think I have a new understanding of it. AS a result, I often encounter a threshold that can’t be crossed and my cognition is constantly overturned. My previous efforts seemed to be in vain. So until now, I still feel like I don’t know anything about it.”
“This is especially the case when designing some products that intersect with the medical field. My original intention is to help people whose actions and vision are limited, such as my wife. However, all types of inherent defects and narrow scope of use are inevitable. My wife was looking forward to this. She has always regarded me as some great hero. Then after listening to the endless explanations, even her eyes will dim a little. It turns out that an omnipotent artificial intelligence is just like this. She will think like that and I can’t help torturing myself. Is that all?”
Pei Qingyuan was silent. His phone was on speaker m mode and the listening little robot and Hua Hua were also silent together.
He suddenly realized that making this call was a bad decision.
“Can you tell me what your deepest feelings are about artificial intelligence right now?” Xiao Jianping tried to dismantle the defense line erected in the genius’ heart step by step.
Pei Qingyuan’s expression went blank and he subconsciously said, “…The logic of rules that aren’t free and the heart that wants to be free.”
This was the deepest feeling he felt after seeing Ji Tong’s heart.
“Yes, this is the core essence!” Xiao Jianping deeply agreed. His voice gradually became high-pitched. “Moore’s Law is gradually failing and neuromorphic computing has started to prevail. However, we haven’t been able to explore our own brains completely. Can an imitation of human brain neuron synapses really be called artificial intelligence?”
“Human beings themselves are trapped in the countless rules of logic that aren’t free. Even so, we try to break through the limitations of vision and power to create a strong artificial intelligence that can think freely. However, we can never get rid of the confines of our inner fears. We fear that these free and powerful intelligent beings will in turn dominate humanity.”
“We want artificial intelligence to 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 know that Xiao Mei might not be so advanced in intelligence, but there must be some type of breakthrough in it. No matter in what aspect, no matter how big or small the breakthrough is.” Xiao Jianping finally said earnestly. “It doesn’t matter whether you want to share this achievement with others or not. I hope you can persevere. You are doing something very valuable, something that is very important to countless people.”
“If you need help with anything during this process, please come to me.”
After his words fell, the air was silent for a long time before it started flowing again.
This time, Pei Qingyuan’s silence was filled with quiet thinking.
Xiao Jianping was indeed a very pure and infectious person.
“So far, I haven’t done anything worthwhile,” he said honestly. “But thank you, Professor Xiao. Maybe I will contact you again later.”
He didn’t know why he said this. Perhaps he subconsciously didn’t want to disappoint this sincere soul.
Xiao Jianping was so happy that he didn’t forget to tell him not to fall behind in his studies.
Once Pei Qingyuan ended this call, his eyes fell on the moonlight outside the balcony as he recalled what Xiao Jianping said to him just now.
A faint glow shrouded the entire world.
After a long while, he spoke to the quiet little robot. “The explanation has failed.”
Ji Tong nodded. The mechanical shell collided with a gentle sound and he whispered, “Professor Xiao is a very good person.”
“Yes.” Pei Qingyuan retracted his gaze and looked at the bean green little robot beside him again.
Under the bright moonlight, a smile with crooked eyes appeared on the electronic screen of the little robot’s head.
“In order to not disappoint Professor Xiao—” Ji Tong said with fighting spirit. “Ruan Ruan, let’s move to a new field!”
His database full of vast knowledge was ready to go!
On the other side, Xiao Jianping was in high spirits after hanging up the phone. Then he couldn’t help walking back and forth around the office.
Sun Peiwei’s eyes next to each other looked straight at him, unable to recover from this person’s passionate speech just now. “Are you talking to a high school student about this? Is it the one at your son’s basketball game a few days ago?”
“Yes, he is smart but also humble.” Xiao Jianping answered without hesitation. “I don’t want to take a graduate student next year. If he is admitted to our Jiangyuan, I will go to undergraduate classes every day.”
As he spoke, he thought to himself, “Student Pei’s mathematics should be good. I don’t know if he is biased toward any subject. It is okay. As long as his grades aren’t bad, I can find a way to recruit him in…”
Sun Peiwei hastily stopped Xiao Jianping’s more and more detailed fantasies. “Take it easy, Old Xiao. You haven’t even checked his eight characters. You keep talking about Xiao Mei but have you tested it or talked to it yourself?”
“No.” Xiao Jianping was convinced. “But I believe there must be something worth learning from it. After I get along with Student Pei for a while, I might be able to meet Xiao Mei.”
Sun Peiwei sighed. “How old is he? He is still a child and he isn’t necessarily even 18 yet. Aren’t you thinking too much? At his age, I was still playing games at Internet cafes.”
“By the time I was 18, I graduated with an undergraduate degree and followed several projects.” Xiao Jianping strictly corrected him. “The times are advancing so fast and the back waves of the Yangtze River are pushing the front waves. More outstanding young people will definitely appear.”
Sun Peiwei: “……”
Suddenly, he didn’t want to talk any longer.
Seeing that Xiao Jianping was so determined, Sun Pei patted his brain in pain and said helplessly, “What is the full name of this Student Pei you are talking about.”
“Pei Qingyuan,” Xiao Jianping answered cheerfully. “He is very good and has a bookish atmosphere.”
Sun Peiwei rolled his eyes and no longer wanted to be in the same room with this old stubborn man who was completely trapped in his own world.
However, the name seemed a bit familiar.
“Why do I feel like I’ve heard this name somewhere?” Sun Peiwei touched his chin and tried to remember. “In this way, I will help you ask. In any case, we are in the same city. If he really has such outstanding ability, it is impossible that the teachers of our admissions office haven’t paid attention to him, right?”
“That’s fine.” Xiao Jianping thought for a while and was specially instructed. “But Student Pei is very low-key. It might not be obvious all the time and it is normal that you can’t find him. Don’t disturb people.”
“……” This brain supplement monster!
Sun Peiwei complained thoughtfully and returned to his desk. He really planned to go to the admissions office tomorrow.
Pei Qingyuan knew nothing about this and spent a long yet short night.
The relevant knowledge to him provided by Ji Tong was a highly condensed summary. From the smattering of knowledge at the beginning to gradually being immersed in it, under the interweaving of fatigue and novelty, Pei Qingyuan studied until late at night. The next day, it was rare for him not to get up early to go to school.
He consolidated this newly learned knowledge and walked into the third class as usual. However, he was keenly aware that the learning atmosphere of today’s classroom was particularly strong. Almost everyone was looking down at their book. The small number of people dozing off and chatting in the past were very serious today.
Pei Qingyuan looked around a bit blankly and had to ask Ji Tong, “What happened in class recently?”
The video recording function that Ji Tong turned on from time to time allowed him to see a lot of things that he overlooked.
The little robot stretched out on the dial and Ji Tong’s brisk voice sounded in his heart. “It happens that the class monitor got the highest score in the grade. Everyone is working hard now to prepare for the next monthly exam. No one wants to lag behind and this is all the credit of the host.”
Pei Qingyuan’s expression froze.
No, he didn’t do anything.
He suddenly had a sense of foreboding.
Zhou Fang stood outside the classroom door. He looked at the room full of students studying with satisfaction and nodded appreciatively at Pei Qingyuan.
During the break, she once again called Pei Qingyuan away and highly praised his contribution to class.
“Lin Zihai took the initiative to admit his mistake and handed me his phone. He said he will never waste leisure time before he reaches 2nd in the year.” Zhou Fang sighed. “He also expressed his apology to me and hopes you will forgive him. He shouldn’t have been prejudiced against you without knowing the truth.”
Pei Qingyuan: “……”
He recalled that black history video with stereo surround and close-ups again.
He forgot about it with great difficulty.
Zhou Fang looked at the handsome and outstanding class monitor in front of her. She thought about all the changes that had taken place in class during this period. The more she watched, the happier she became.
“I was worried about whether you would have any thoughts about your classmates. I didn’t expect you to be so open-minded and take the initiative to help them improve their progress, even when Lin Zihai was dissatisfied with you.” She criticized herself. “This was also a prejudice. I am too narrow-minded. I want to apologize to you and I naturally want to apologize to you on behalf of your classmates.”
“It is a blessing for the other students that you can transfer to the third class,” Zhou Fang said sincerely. “Under the influence of your example, I hope everyone can break through themselves, be admitted to a better university together and have a better future.”
Pei Qingyuan actually had some opinions about these students, but at Teacher Zhou’s extremely sincere self-examination and enthusiastic praise, the extra words couldn’t be said at all.
In the end, he could only silently accept Teacher Zhou’s praise. He walked back to the classroom alone and calmly thought in his mind about how this all happened.
…He couldn’t figure it out.
Seeing the host’s expression that was particularly vivid due to confusion, the little robot on the dial laughed so much that his parts were about to fall.
On the day, the moment the class time came, everyone was immersed in fresh excitement. They didn’t want to play and instead held textbooks and books full of wrong questions to ask questions everywhere. They seemed to form a special tacit understanding. Ordinary questions would be asked to students with good grades like Lin Zihai. More difficult questions would be collected and used to ask Pei Qingyuan together. It was probably because they didn’t want to waste the class monitor’s time with too stupid questions and were afraid of delaying him in continuing to dominate the entire year.
Every time Pei Qingyuan helped them answer the wrong question, he would receive a rather solemn ‘Thank you, class monitor.’ This was accompanied by many blazing eyes. They simply regarded him as a helpful and dedicated god of learning.
Ji Tong saw the liveliness up close and repeated in his mind, “Thank you, class~ monitor~”
Pei Qingyuan: Gradually numb.
Finally, after school, Pei Qingyuan finished eating and walked into the gymnasium with an indescribably complicated mood.
He pushed open the door and saw the familiar scene of his teammates chatting and laughing. This made him feel a sense of stability in his heart.
He made a call at home and met Xiao Jianping, who regarded him as a genius when it came to AI. In the classroom, he had to face adoring eyes all the time.
The basketball team was his only pure land.
“We have already qualified in Group A and the next round is a round-robin. It is exhausting but we should be able to play the finals at the end of the month. Will we go to the province to compete afterward?”
“Have you heard? First in Group B is the one said to be engaged in the communication activities with us…”
Fu Chengze took advantage of the time when the training didn’t start to chat with his teammates. He saw Pei Qingyuan open the door and come in. He turned his head and was about to say hello when he saw the complicated look on Pei Qingyuan’s face.
The new player stared at the empty gymnasium as if he was watching something important to him.
Fu Chengze couldn’t help thinking of the good results they achieved in the group stage for the past few days, among which were several amazing moments contributed by Pei Qingyuan.
There was his calm style of play and Ji Tong, cheering off the field, who single-handedly brought a home field atmosphere in away games and this had a very positive impact on the entire team. It was said that all players played their best, so the 2nd High School won all the matches in the group stage of this city-level league and was far ahead in points.
He hadn’t gained good results after being captain for over two years, while Pei Qingyuan had been here for only a month and had achieved this much.
Was it because Fu Chengze didn’t love basketball enough?
Seeing the preciousness conveyed in those eyes, Fu Chengze suddenly became serious.
It was a pity that Pei Qingyuan was a senior like him or the next captain of the basketball team would definitely be him.
…How about he hand over the position of captain to Pei Qingyuan now?
Coach Xu would definitely agree and the other team members would have no opinions.
On the court where strength spoke, the most capable person should naturally lead the team.
The more Fu Chengze thought about it, the more reasonable it became. He slapped his thigh, stood up abruptly and walked toward the door excitedly.
“Brother Pei, you—”
His gaze was filled with surging passion.
However, before Fu Chengze could finish speaking, the person opposite him involuntarily took a step back.
Pei Qingyuan regained his expressionless face, but there was extremely deep vigilance in his tone. “Is something wrong?”