Original article was published on Artificial Intelligence on Medium
“We got a great show for you tonight everyone,” said Bobby Bobberson, famed TV sports announcer. “It’s been months in the waiting but the Pro Ball entry game is finally here.”
“I gotta tell ya, Bobby, these players are hungry,” said Tommy Tommerson “Since all private sports teams went under and the feds came up with Pro Ball to keep these athletes employed, they’ve been training hard for this entry opportunity.”
“The rules are simple enough. Its full contact dodge ball, fighting pit style,” said Bobby.
“Every champion for themselves in the stadium today,” said Tommy.
“At the dropping of the Big Gavel they all run from the touchdown line to grab a ball at the 50-yard line,” said Bobby. “They run back to touch their starting point, and then the fight begins. There is no foul line, just field boundaries. There are no teams. If you’re hit you’re out but any catch and you gain hits you can take.”
“A catch does not bring anyone back in as its everyone against everyone. A catch just gives you an extra life in the game, but you do have to go back to your starting point,” said Tommy.
“That’s right Tommy,” said Bobby. “The level of tech involved in the realtime tracking of the hits and catches of over 100 players has been daunting to say the least. A big shout out to Mr. Musk and crew for his efforts helping to make sports great again.”
“I think our taxes thanked him enough,” said Tommy
“And here they come!” said Bobby as the long line of players runs out onto the field. Each one in a “spacesuit” of sorts but more colorful and made for action. A “sports suit.” The heads are like fishbowl bubbles. A small filter pack on the back supplies cool, virus-free recirculated air. They all split off and ready themselves to run from the touchdown line of the endzones.
“The Arena” as it’s now called is actually the football field of Woodrow Wilson Highschool near Washington, DC. In the months and years that followed the virus, social distancing killed all the big stadiums, pro and college. The maintenance, distancing liability, and taxes were just too much to keep them up. All that’s left for sports are High School stadiums and gymnasiums. Even today though, no one sits in the stands. They just watch at home.
When one does go out, it’s in an environmental “Visuit.” Like the sports suit but less stylish if government issue. You can buy your own with many options and styles but everyone gets one for free due to a multi-trillion dollar contract between Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and the feds.
The distancing rules were eventually loosened up a bit because of the suits, but the damage was done. Sports and almost all things involving large groups of people have just fallen out of fashion if not seen as the peak of political incorrectness. Really though, people just got used to not getting together “just in case” someone was sick and not following protocols.
People have now become very tribal with whom they “unsuit.”
Its all good though! After the #ReOccupy riots and their People’s Party take over of the GOP, America got its shit together a bit more.
Most political and bureaucratic positions are now chosen by an AI-inspired jury duty of sorts. Like jury duty, everyone may get a notice from “Aipha,” the primary AI running the day to day of the American government. Aipha lets each chosen individual know they have one year to prepare for one month of service in any position of federal, state, or local government. Positions can be anything from garbage collection to POTUS, based on the evaluation of skills and aptitude determined by Aipha.
Because of this, with so many common citizens seeing how the sausage is really made, the government became much more inclusive and, if it can be said, almost cynically transparent.
The Federal Department of Bread and Circuses was created. It is the largest Federal department ever created.
It was made the law that all digital entertainment and food systems become national/localized (along with transportation, energy, and defense but later on that.)
The FDBC is now in charge of the food system and the digital entertainment system. It’s a strange mix of corporate lobbyists, food scientists, organic and conventional farmers, entertainers, lawyers, producers, directors, and assorted media wizards.
Aipha also picks some people totally at random as well, often with the intention of them not sticking around. Like a mob boss killing all in the room but one so they can go back and tell the story of how brutal The People’s business really is. We The People generally agree this wrench of lesser evil keeps it all in check towards a machine truly working for the greater good.
If you do a great job, though, and want to keep it, you are offered an extension to a one year contract that is again negotiated at the end of that year.
Do a shit job, fall prey to corruption, and you may end up in jail as determined by Aipha and no one else. Aipha has replaced the entire legal system. Humans no longer pass judgment on anyone or anything. There was much rejoicing.
The People are done with the double standards of old.
“Justice shall be blind,” it says above the camera and screen of every Aipha access point around the country and world.
“The players seem to be getting settled into their start positions,” said Tommy.
“Stay tuned everyone, we’ll be right back!” said Bobby