Chapter 4: Your Average Day at FutureMind

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In the Uber, I try to hide my face from all sight, fearing that the driver will see the red tint that has come over it.

I didn't think that what happened would affect me that much, but I guess that it did.

Either way, I'm looking at what happened with maybe a little bit too much trepidation – it was just a stupid interview, after all. What was the worst thing that could possibly happen?

Then I remember why I'm here: I threw coffee on a freaking journalist.

I wonder what kind of article he's going to write about me, and smack my head against the seat in front of me.

"...Are you okay, ma'am?" says the driver, whom I've just hit in the back over and over again.

I apologize profusely, muttering a hushed explanation about a stressful day - when I look at the mirror the driver gives me a concerned look and an "all good?" thumbs up, which I return.

I return to where I was before - I can already imagine him sitting down on his keyboard, wiping coffee off his face, and hitting the keyboard with those beautiful fingers as he writes down the first words of the article, pausing, twisting, perfecting his master plan to bring down my work and the entire artificial intelligence industry as a whole, reducing it into the lurid province of crazy people and out-of-touch scientists with no regard for common sense.

Perhaps he will write about the coffee throwing? Maybe he will pine about the dangers of sentient AI... Or maybe just the people who study them?

...What if he just starts telling the world that my work is stupid, and it doesn't deserve the attention it's due?

The doomsday scenarios, they do not stop – rather, they swirl around in my head like a strange maelstrom, mingling with my embarrassment.

Should I call to apologize?

As I think of Jake's face again though, I blush.

Why do I only do this to the ones who are my type...?

...I mutter to myself, as the Uber pulls up to the sleek, modern building that is FutureMind and the driver lets me out with a panicked "thank you" as I gather my things and step out, my mind still whirling with the various worst-case scenarios that could result from my impulsive coffee-throwing.

But I shake my head and try to focus on the task at hand. I have work to do, after all.

I enter the building and make my way to my 13th floor office, where as always, my adorable nerd squad is busy staring at screens. They greet me warmly, and I can see the excitement and passion in their eyes as they tell me about their progress.

"Dr. Chen, I have the literature review ready!" chimes the intern, as I walk into the office.

"It's called "Emotions in Machines: A comprehensive survey of research methods"! You'll find it in your inbox!"

"Good job, Jessica!" I reply, remembering the energy of this place all too well as I settle in, dropping my bags on the Herman Miller chairs that surround my movable standing desk at the end of the room.

"Did you remember to attach the file this time?" I say with a playful smile to the bespectacled girl with the dual ponytails who is gazing at me with the expression of an excited chipmunk as I pretend to look at my phone.

"Of course, Dr. Chen!" she replies, chuffing her cheeks with a satisfied expression that quickly evolves into a look of existential crisis, a glance at what is probably an email inbox, and a shrill "I'll send it nowwwwwwwwww!!!!!" as she runs away.

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⏰ Last updated: Feb 05, 2023 ⏰

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