Jul 26, 2016
TO: Avalon Council Members
RE: “Welcome-bot” implementation
Why Welcome-bots? Because the Proxies are terrifying. Allow me to elaborate.
When the human race was spared and brought to Avalon they were greeted by the silver-skinned, glowing blue androids that represented the Aetherians. The Aetherians had designed Avalon, but rather than meet humanity in person, they used these strikingly beautiful machines as their proxies. The Proxies are nice enough, they are certainly programmed to be cordial, but there are also quite terrifying in a way. They come and go as they please, disappearing into the shadows of God-knows-where only to reemerge when help is needed, like synthetic nightmare genies.
Alright, perhaps that was a bit over the top, but my point still stands. The Welcome-bots are designed by humans with the compassion born naturally out of human beings. The Proxies (and I’m guessing, I didn’t make the bloody things) seem to be made to be as compassionate as some other race thinks will be acceptable to humans. We already have enough people disturbed by Avalon’s entire setup that they are leaving to live on other planets, we can’t welcome new arrivals with the strangely polite wraiths that first welcomed us.
But, I know what you’re saying. Welcome-bots are still going to be machines and if you are so concerned about showing off human compassion then why not meet the new arrivals with actual human beings and not a glorified calculator with manners. Worry not, because that is exactly what we are going to do. After the initial meeting with customs officials, the Welcome-bots will be able to completely brief new arrivals and answer the myriad of questions they will undoubtedly have. They’ll get them up to speed on our customs, regulations and laws. We’ll call it “orientation”.
There’s no avoiding the Proxies, to be sure, but I’d rather they not be the face of Avalon. All who end leaving Avalon inevitably complain about the Proxies and the Aetherians and whatever dark motivations they must have for the human race. Whatever your feelings on the matter, you must agree that it is in our best interest first and foremost to present a different, friendlier, more human face. A human face on a flying monitor, yes, but a little whimsy never hurt, did it?
Which brings us to Jeb Nolan’s design for the Welcome-bots and the concerns about that design. Yes Jeb is an eccentric, yes he writes poetry about cats and yes, he is a “one shower a week” type of person. But, there is no denying that his design work on the prototype Welcome-bots has been sound. I think the "flying television" set design has a certain nostalgic sensibility to it. After we’ve used this particular model for a extended trial run, we can revisit other proposed designs, although I must veto the “Hug-o-matic” droids that we proposed last week. I’ve been told that some alien species may take a sudden embrace as an act of aggression.
If we are all in agreement, we can begin rolling out the Welcome-bot prototypes to all major government processing centers, including the Avalon Intelligence Service headquarters. Let us propose a trial run of no more than a year?
I look forward to getting your feedback on the matter.
Professor Philip Thorne
Earth Historical Preservation Society
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