The small led was blinking at a regular, measured pace. Servers were humming , and the pressure in the room was intense. Charlie was staring at the led, not blinking. What is going to happen?
The first launch of AI was the event they all have been preparing for for years. He fantasized about this moment every time he went to sleep for the past decade. But now he could not enjoy it or feel it or experience anything. He just stared at the blinking light feeling emptiness in his stomach. If they've made a mistake, he has just destroyed the humanity.
All of the sudden he has heard thunder, and then unhumanly screams, as if some gigantic creatures beyond mortal imagination were dying in agony. Then - nothing. The light kept blinking. Everyone in the room stood, frozen.
Suddenly, he felt something. He felt as if his mind has expanded, as if.... as if for the first time in his life he looked ahead and had a choice, as if he could control what is going to happen to him in the future.
Huh, he thought, I guess that is what free will feels like.