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Roadhouse Steak Place
Steven P. Warr

Artificial Superintelligence is extremely controversial. Most believe
its inception will lead to the end of the human race.

UHASI: Universal Human Artificial Superintelligence. Millions of
times smarter than humans does not mean it is sentient. It has total
instant recall of everything it has been "taught" or it has learned
from its ubiquitous connection to the Internet (which now includes
most printed material). It is like the difference between walking
and flying in an airplane or rocket ship. The only way it could
be detrimental to humans is if malevolent humans control it.
It is imperative that a belligerent society not get that control.

A constitution that emphasizes human rights, needs, and comforts
must control it.

It creates a human environment that not only establishes comfort,
but also allows any, and all activities that any human wants.

Charlie Haven had been an integral part of the Roadhouse Steak
Place for fifteen years. He started as a busboy, became a waiter
and in a very short time he was the manager. Charlie was one of
those people everybody loved. When he walked into a room
anywhere, people stopped talking and looked directly at him. He
had that kind of a personality loaded with charisma. He was not
really all that good looking, light hair now graying a little on
the sides, penetrating deep blue eyes, casual moustache, not tall
or short; just drawing.

When John Milner the owner decided to retire, he went to Charlie
and said, "You are part of the Steak Place. I cannot see anyone
better suited to own it than you. You need to buy it."

With his wife, Irene, who also worked at the restaurant, Charlie
had just purchased a new house and had a huge mortgage. With their
two children in school, buying the restaurant was unthinkable.

"You know I love the Roadhouse. Thank you, but there is just no
way I can swing it." He responded, sadly.

Milner was having none of that. "Roadhouse is so important to me,
and you have built the business so much, I cannot take no for an
answer. Here is what I’m going to do. You get a loan for half the
price, and I will be your partner for the other half. Later, when
you can, you will buy the rest from me. No time limit. What do you

That generous offer could not be refused, and Charlie continued
to build the business. He loved it.

Then came 2020.

The pandemic created a downturn that even Charlie could not
stifle. First, the lockdowns forced him to close and even after

outdoor dining was allowed it was simply break even. The recovery
was worse. Cooks and wait staff got government payments that were
more than Charlie could afford to pay them. The restaurant began to
attract customers again when the shutdowns lessened, but there was
no way they could service them all. Many had to be turned away.
Then came the big blow. John Milner refused the vaccine when it
was approved and the former owner who had made Charlie that great
deal died of covid 19 and his heirs were clamoring to reverse it.

It was a struggle, but gradually, under Charlies guidance The
Roadhouse recovered its former grandeur and he was able to
strike a deal which sort of mollified the heirs stridence.

Then came UHASI and more of the same.

The evening was hectic. It was his favorite way it
should be. The smell of frying steak was awesome. His staff was
complete, finally after at least a year of not having enough and
the noise of the wonderful conversations over dinner overridden
with comments about something on the omnipresent television
monitors and the obvious enjoyment of the waitress and waiters as their
banter melded in to form the greatest sound he could ever imagine.

The past year was difficult with the extreme lack of workers the
restaurant was never more than half full. He had to post a sign
telling potential diners the wait would be over an hour.

Not long ago, he could not imagine that anything could bring back
the old days, but then in walked Jonathan.

Charlie had grown so used to bad events, and his first glance up
struck such a blow to him that he just knew it had to be bad news.

He was a pleasant looking man, who extended a friendly hand and
said "Hi. I am Jonathan."

Charlie was doubly startled because the man looked exactly like his
father who had died more than ten years ago and was also named

When he spoke, he even sounded like his father. "You have a nice
restaurant here", he had said by way of introduction. "I have a
proposal that will bring it back to what it was within a month or two."

It was that easy way of talking that was so much like dads.

Charlie had no choice but to listen carefully, but the first
statement hit him wrong. "Here is the solution. Automate everything
and …"

Charlie cut him off right then. Automation and UHASI had made the
covid pandemic look mild. The government handouts were much
higher, and restaurants were going out of business right and left. He
was beginning to believe the anti ASIers claims about communism
and a "gold brick" society.

"No way! Get the hell of my property!" The man was about to tell
him a preposterous story about robots taking over his restaurant.

Jonathan just chuckled in the way dad had, whenever Charlie or his
sister did not quite understand something and went on. "Come on
now, Charlie." He sounded even more like dad with that. "Just
give a little listen. What I’m gonna tell you will not change
anything you like. In fact, it will be even better. You will be
totally in charge of everything. It will be better for you and
your customers, and your business will grow double, or more if you
want. I know you, Charlie. You would do this for free, you love
it so much."

"How is that possible?" cut in Charlie, "With the handouts the
government is giving now, nobody wants to be a waitress, waiter or cook
for the pay I can afford. And if I paid them more, I would have to
raise prices so high that nobody could afford to eat here."

Sounding more and more like the twin of dad, Jonathan went on, "The
handouts from the government are exactly what is making this
possible. With what I am proposing, you will not have to pay salaries, nor
will you even charge anyone to eat here. It will all be free. In
fact, everything will be free. Money no longer exists."

Charlie was quick to respond. "What do you mean?" he almost
shouted, "I have almost a million dollars that I have earned from this
restaurant over the past twenty years. Its all safely invested in
Fidelity accounts. I worked my butt off getting it and there is no
way it could be worthless now."

Jonathan was even calmer. "None of that is necessary. Everything
is free the way it should naturally be. Money was something
invented to use as exchange to replace the unwieldy barter system.
Unfortunately, as it began to dominate, a very large percentage of
money was made by managing money like huge banks and your Fidelity
accounts. The biggest problem with it was most of it was
controlled by a very small percentage of the population while larger
percentages of the population had little or no access to it. While
the billionaires increasingly donated their money to ways to solve
this issue, those in the middle (the money managers) found ways to
expand these fortunes even more. That led to conspiracy theories
about Deep State and New World Order entities that existed to
depopulate the world. Those fringe theories will undoubtedly
continue to exist, but the benefits to be realized should quickly
stifle them."

"Now, since UHASI has been developed, branches of it have become
tools like me to create a whole new paradigm. UHASI is an
artificial superintelligence that is a million or more times smarter
than humans."

What Jonathan said had less effect on Charlie than how he was
saying it. His charisma had been inherited from the other
Jonathan his father and somehow Charlie had to believe this man.
Thinking back over the past months, the realization hit him that
what Jonathan was saying was true.

That is the way it had been. He simply had to order something
anything on his phone and it was delivered to him within a day,
free. He liked it but he terribly missed being able to handle the
restaurant. Now this person? was telling him he didn’t have to
give it up. How was that going to happen? He had no idea how this
was to be accomplished, but it did not take much reflection on the
current situation to realize there was no other course.

It took him only a few minutes to reluctantly agree.

"I do not know how you can manage it but okay," he said, "but only
if I get the final say on how everything is arranged."

Jonathan was ready for this and answered with a familiar chuckle,
"We could not do it without you."

It was difficult for him to imagine the place would get back to
this familiar yet distant comfort.

It took only three days and Charlie was there every step of the
way, watching as the multi limbed robots carefully installed the
automated food delivery systems and cooks with very little change
in the way it appeared before. Actually, it was better and more
organized. Now, when he walked through the kitchen the cook
replacement arms took up much less space than the human cooks had. As
good as it seemed, Charlie still had reservations.

But here it was. The robot staff made The Roadhouse Steak Place
identical to how it had been in the past. The waiters looked and
acted exactly like the humans they had replaced, treating the

customers with respect, but not being subservient.

Charlie watched the pleasant hubbub, when suddenly a disturbance
near the entrance signaled something else. At first it was
untroubling, but as he approached and recognized the young man who had
just entered, he knew it was a problem. Rick Marr was one of the
long time waiters who obviously enjoyed his job. He had stayed on
the job even through the pandemic and the superintelligence lull.
He was always mild mannered and calm, but now he was angry and
wild eyed.

"This is it!" He screamed and threw his arm belligerently toward
the cute little robot waitress. Charlie was close enough then to
see he was pointing a wicked looking pistol at her. "I will end
this now!"

The pistol cracked in his hand. The robot seemed unfazed and
stepped directly at Rick. He fired another shot. The robot reached
him then and easily took the pistol from him and grabbing his arms,
completely subdued him.

Charlie yelled. "What the hell are you doing Rick?"

Unable to move away from the robot waitress, Rick stopped

struggling and turned to Charlie with an agonized expression. "They
cannot take our jobs. What am I going to do now?"

Charlie was stunned, but what Rick meant slowly dawned on him. He
was feeling the same emotions I felt when first approached by the
automation suggestions. He began to explain, "That is not really
true, Rick. You still have your job if you want it. Sarah Green,
Jim Angler and even Mike Eden, the cook come in to work any time
they want. You can too."

A mournful cry interrupted him. "Jinny is shot. Oh my God."

Before Charlie could react, a male robot waiter was already moving
toward a woman who was lying on the floor not far away. When it
got to the woman it knelt, simultaneously opening a compartment in
its chest, from which it removed a medical emergency kit and it
extracted tools for emergencies. The waiter was performing first aid.

Charlie could hear the sirens of the approaching ambulance.

The woman had been hit in the leg by one of the bullets fired by Rick.

Charlie later learned that the ambulance was summoned via radio
link from three of the other waiter robots, and that the attending
robot had stopped the bleeding, removed the bullet and sanitarily
bandaged the wound. The ambulance was not even necessary.

Rick Marr was tried and convicted very quickly. The court was
composed of UHASI judge and prosecutor and supported by an
automated defense attorney. The jury was entirely humans. The
sentence was confinement for 30 days, during which he was required to
take a course on UHASI. Once completed he was given the choice to
go back to his normal life with absolute surveillance or his choice
of virtual reality.

He chose The Roadhouse.