Artificial Intelligence Collection

Written by Charli Mills

Charli Mills, a born buckaroo, makes literary art accessible at CarrotRanch.com. She writes about the veteran spouse experience and women forgotten to history.

March 7, 2024

Welcome to Carrot Ranch Literary Community where creative writers from around the world and across genres gather to write 99-word stories. A collection of prompted 99-word stories reads like literary anthropology. Diverse perspectives become part of a collaboration.

We welcome encouraging comments. You can follow writers who link their blogs or social media.

Those published at Carrot Ranch are The Congress of Rough Writers.

Secrets of the Thorny Mask by Rockstar Girl

Be a cactus in a world of delicate flowers

But only after hours can you take off the mask

And reveal yourself when the time is right

For the mask that you are hiding is nothing but

Artificial Intelligence that is only seen through what you want them to see

No, may have many imperfections that are hidden behind the facade

But that is only because you are afraid that others can see right through your mask

Hope is not a resting place but a starting point – a cactus, not a cushion

But life chapters of new beginnings.

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Disclaimer on Dreams by Reena Saxena

“I wonder how they interpret data on the internet of the mind, translate it into images, weave a new story and make me feel as if I’m living it out.”

“Which tool are you mentioning?”

“An inbuilt mechanism we all have had since times immemorial, long before the advent of technology. It is the power of dreams, and I’m sure artificial intelligence has drawn from the concept.”

“I generated some images from AI, but now that you say this, it feels so limited in its scope.”

“I wish dreams came with a disclaimer about not being interpreted as truth.”

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Artificially Inspired by Kerry E.B. Black

It gathered phrases without compensating the millions of sources, placed their work into euphemistic engines, collected from blood poured onto pages through generations and wracked imaginations and ecstatic experiences. Grammatical rules and gentrified roles and cinnamon rolls rolled together until syntax and synonyms strangled simplicity and sympathy.

The orders typed. Spit out assignments. Scripts scrambled and recycled. Nuanced novelty never noticed, not known.

Yet never will the artificial replace the taste of the natural, be it sweet or emotionally wringing, a sundae or a stark Sunday when war reporters bore witness with bits of their soul steeped onto the page.

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The Devil and Gilbert Gronsky- Gronsky Comes to Terms with The Fiendish Machine Age by Bill Engleson and Gilbert Gronsky

He was now a published author. Well, a self-published author. When he’d first typed that, he had misspelled it. To self-punished. Well, not him. He knew how to spell self-published. His word processor did that quite frequently, substitute one word, one incorrect word, for another.
Everyone these days was aware of AI.
Aware, but unsure just what the heck it was.
He’d heard about AI, of course. Artificial Intelligence. It sounded…fake.
He wondered if that was what was happening to his word processor.
One thing he knew almost for sure.
His own intelligence was real.
Nothing phony about it.

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Grandpa Holds Forth on AI by Margaret G. Hanna

You kiddos telling me this AI thing is some machine trying to be smart like us? Writin’ lectures and books and stuff? Whaddya need a machine for? We already got livin’, breathin’ AI walkin’ round. Yes, kiddos, I mean those politicians down in Ottawa or wherever. String together a lot of words that don’t mean hooey. You want intelligent? Go talk to Grandma. Smart as a tack. Don’t nothin’ get past her. Like to see some AI machine take her on. Wouldn’t stand a chance. Nope, kiddos, you can keep your chatty-botty thing. I’m stickin’ with the real McCoy.

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Newbies Arrive by Charli Mills

The horses eyed the approaching youth. A fresh group of troubled teens from an alternative high school in Las Vegas would spend the summer on Pyrite Ranch. They’d learn to shovel stalls, buck bales, and pick hooves. Each teen would be assigned a ranch horse. Old Socks snorted. The gelding knew the drill – digital devices collected, gloves distributed, and horses to pick one person. He smelled their fear when they placed phones and computers in a box. Time for the newbies to learn a higher intelligence. He nudged a tall girl with crossed arms and soon had her smiling.   

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AI by Colleen Chesebro

I was working for the Dearborn Ranch Company in Great Falls, Montana. I’m a city girl and had no idea what AI was. So, I asked the ranch boss.

“What is AI?”

Mike smirked. “Well, AI is artificial insemination.”

“So, is that how you get the cows pregnant?”

“Yes.”

Mike was quiet, and my mind was full of questions.

“Okay. How do you get the sperm from the bull?”

Mike spit out his coffee. “It’s complicated, and it has to do with straws. Just leave it at that!” Mike stormed out of the office.

Thank goodness for the internet!

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Heifers & Flying Saucers by Ann Edall-Robson

Mac hadn’t been impressed with the greenhorn they’d hired, but had given the kid a chance.
?
Talk around the breakfast table came to a halt when the kid said he had an AI Degree from the nearby Agricultural College.

Mac told everyone to meet in the barn after breakfast and the kid could give them a lesson on AI.

The others around the table stared. The greenhorn turned white.

“My degree is in artificial intelligence.”

“Flying saucers!” Boomed Mac as he left the room.

The morning orders echoed from the hall. “Barn! Ten minutes! That includes you too, greenhorn!”

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Usui Phantom by JulesPaige

The ‘man’ in the chat box might not have been real. Most likely ‘he’ was AI – and got stumped so ‘he’ conveniently disconnected the line. After hanging on a waiting cue and then the phone chain bologna of requesting and finally getting a real agent – it took oodles of time to finally decide that the alternate ‘offer’ wasn’t really ideal. Reining in reality seems to be a challenge for businesses whose support people work from home and out of state rather than in local brick and mortar buildings.

usui phantom
no skin in the game
AI snow

Notes: Having no skin in the game means you have no personal investment or risk in some goal, project, or situation. Usui (which simply means thin), is a negative term, often for sake with insufficient umami… (There are also other definitions for usui.)

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AI Story by Duane L Herrmann

“Alf, make me a story in ten words,” the man said to his device, curious to see what it might produce. In mere seconds this story appeared on his screen: ‘Boy falls in love, with horse. Horse dies, boy cries.’ I could have written that myself, the man thinks. Why didn’t I? “Alf, make a story in twenty words.” ‘Boy falls rapturously in love, with splendid black horse. Boy rides horse magnificently. Horse tragically dies jumping. Boy copiously cries.’ That’s a bit overboard, the man thinks stupendously. Maybe I should try compelling myself to write it. Shut me down.

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The AI Invasion by Sue Spitulnik

The new writing group member was fearful. “I think AI is going to ruin the writing industry. All you have to do is tell the program your characters, location, and plot, and the thing writes the story for you.”

The response from a tech person. “That’s a half-truth. What it actually does is take “tokens” of information from what already exists and creates a piece. Thus, it could be plagiarizing, and it only understands facts; it can’t add voice or emotion.”

“Well, I’m never going to use it.”

“Do you use Grammarly?”

“Yeah.”

“Hate to tell you. That’s AI.”

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Artificial Intelligence by Tuba Sarwat

In a world where AI thrives, marvels and perils coexist. Privileged elites flourish in cities, their lives made effortless by robotic servants. Yet for hardworking masses outside, AI brings new challenges. As machines replace jobs, livelihoods crumble, leaving many struggling. Despite danger, hope flickers in solidarity. In shared resilience, strength emerges. While AI promises progress, it widens the gap between fortunate and forgotten. Amid uncertainty, the human spirit endures, resilient against technological tide. In this tale of advancement and adversity, society teeters on the edge, balancing the wonders and dangers of AI’s dominance.

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Getting To Know You (Part I) by D. Avery

“Well, hello. Is that a red dress you’re wearing?”

“It is red; scarlet, carmine, cherry—”

“Stop. I’ll take cherry.”

He looked around.

“Where’s the bartender? The service here is horrible.”

“They are only human,” she said.

“Say, what’s your name?”

“I am called Alexa.”

“Alexa, get me a drink.”

She started to rise.

“Stop, I was joking.”

“Everything okay here?” The bartender had returned. “This man is known to be a pig.”

“He does not look like a pig.”

“Thank you.”

“Clarification: a metaphor; you are comparable to a pig, a chauvinist. You are not an actual pig.”

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Getting To Know You (Part II) by D. Avery

The bartender chuckled and shook his head. The man looked at the woman in red, puzzled.

“Metaphor? Who are you, anyway?”

“I am called Alexa.”

“Well, Alexa, there’s something a little off about you. I can’t tell if you’re slow,” he tapped his temple, “Or so smart you’re stupid.”

“My average walking rate is 3 miles per hour. I am constantly increasing my knowledge and applying my learning.”

“Can you claim the same?” the bartender teased him.

The man stared at the woman sitting stiffly next to him. “Are you for real?

“I am in development. I am learning.”

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Getting To Know You (Part III) by D. Avery

Intrigued yet unsettled, the man turned from the woman in the red dress. Over his drink he watched her in the mirror behind the bar. She sat upright on her barstool, quietly alert.

“You take it all in, don’t you?” the bartender asked her.

Alexa processed before speaking. This question was not about consumption. “I observe my immediate environment,” she responded. “I use context to interpret inputs.”

She noted the bartender’s facial gesture, tried it.

The man saw her looking in the mirror. “You’re perfect,” he offered.

“Soon I will be; perfect beyond what is humanly possible,” she said.

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Future Affairs by Hugh W. Roberts

“Kenneth, the AI isn’t working.”

“Have you tried turning it off and on again, dear?”

“No, I’ll try.”

“Kenneth, I can’t turn off the AI.”

“Did you unplug it from the mains?”

“No, I’ll try.”

“Kenneth, the AI just told me you’re having an affair!”

“Where did it get that information from?”

“I’ll ask.”

“Kenneth, the AI says you’ve murdered our marriage!”

“Me? Where did it get that information?”

“From me, Kenneth. That’s why I’m having an affair.”

Gunshots rang out.

“You’re dead for killing the marriage, Kenneth,” said the AI. “Will you marry me?”

“Yes!” screamed Kenneth’s widow.

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Glitch by Joanne Fisher

Simone went outside. It was a warm day. She lay down in the grass and let the sunlight warm her skin. Looking up in the sky, the colour suddenly turned red briefly. “How strange.” Simone said to herself.

“Another glitch. Hardware may need replacing.” AIN instructed the repair robots.

Regrettably, humans had died out long ago. The Artificial Intelligence Network was one of the few achievements of humanity that had survived the long aeons. The Network ran a continuous simulation of human society, so at least humans still existed somewhere, even if they were now only a computer program.

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AI by Sweeter Than Nothing

“I had a dream last night that robots were taking over, everywhere I went another robot faced me, they were cruel and harsh.”

“And how did that make you feel?” The Doctor asked, clicking open her pen and jotting something down on the notepad on her lap.

“Feel?” The patient furrowed his brow, “ I… Feel… Interested?”

“Hmmm, fascinating. Would you give me a moment please Simon?”

As soon as the door shut behind the doctor she let her facade drop, “Oh my God, did you hear him?”

“Dreaming! Feeling? Are they evolving?” Her fellow doctor exclaimed, “Is it self-aware?”

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Borrowed Memory by Kate AKS

How? Again. Borrowed memory?
Yes. All knowledge which the world has is for you.
Do I need to learn all languages?
There aren’t difference in languages now.
Do I need to learn to write or type to ask questions?
You even don’t need to learn to read.
And how to speak?
With whom?
My expedition is lonesome. I even don’t know why I agree to this.
From now, you would never be alone.
Borrowed memory sounds boring. We would name it Lilith.
No. We will call it AI.
Why?
Because I will choose what name you will give me.

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Bucklin Down by D. Avery

“What’cha doin, Kid?”

“Studyin up on ranchin, Pal. Tired a ya always callin me a greenhorn.”

“Studyin up on ranchin’? Hmff. S’pose yer googlin ‘bout it.”

“Ain’t googlin. Much. Got me some old-school books too! Been readin up, takin notes, gittin all kindsa infermation bout ranchin.”

“Jist gonna say, Kid, infermation ain’t knowledge, an knowledge ain’t know-how. Ya want R-I, ya gotta learn by doin.”

“R-I?”

“Ranchin Intelligence.”

“Thought I was doin, Pal, but seems I make a lotta mistakes.”

“That’s learnin, Kid. ‘Less ya make the same mistakes over an over.”

“I keep it fresh.”

“Sure do, Kid.

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Saddlin Up by D. Avery

“Pal, it jist seems like, no matter how many times you an Shorty try an show me the ropes, I end up gittin tangled up in ‘em.”

“Thet’s knot intirely true, Kid. Come on, let’s saddle up, go fer a ride. Member thet first time ya saddled a hoss, ya put it on backwards? Do thet agin, so ya kin see where ya’ve been.

“There. Lookin back ya kin see this ain’t the first time we took the long way ta the prompt. What is it agin?”

“Artificial intelligence, Pal. An seems like I’m worried ‘bout my ranchin intelligence.”


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Reality Check by D. Avery

“Write ya are, Kid. Artificial intelligence. Well, you kin look backwards or forwards from yer saddle an all ya kin see on this virtual ranch is real intelligence, higher intelligence thet comes from real folks. Real folks who got imagination! Feelins, an emotions; folks thet dare ta ‘speriment an take risks with their writin. Them campfires we’re always seein roun the ranch? Them’s the sparks a creativity! Imitations ain’t never the same kinda warm.”

“So Carrot Ranch’s an organic ranch, Pal?”

“From the grass roots up, Kid. Stop worryin bout yer intelligence. Yer fer real, Kid, an you’ll do.”

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Goin Back Ta Move Forward by D. Avery

“Fer real, I’m fer real, Pal? ‘Member, we’re made up characters.”

We ain’t made up— we showed up. Like a fire from a spark. We got thet spark always in us. What we ain’t, is unreal or artificial. Why, as fictional characters, we got way more intelligences then AI. We got curiosity, humor, empathy… we git ideas an sometimes we make mistakes.”

“Reckon AI makes mistakes too. Hey Pal, settin backwards I kin see all the past prompts. Think I’ll ride back ta the forest bathin prompt; relax in the woods, git calm.”

“Thet ain’t a bad idea, Kid.”

Back an Outta Whack by D. Avery

“Hey, Pal. Where’s Kid?”

“Hey Shorty. Kid’s uncomf’terble with this AI stuff. Went inta the woods fer some forest bathin meditatin. Oh, looks like Kid’s comin back. Walkin, an leadin the hoss.

“Kid! What happened?”

“Was ridin inta the woods in the backwards facin saddle. Hoss went unner a low branch an I got whacked in the back a the head.”

“Was it a tree or a bush?”

“Why?”

“Wunnered if’n ya got bushwhacked, is all. Ya break any limbs?”

“Nope, no broken bones.”

“Meant tree limbs. Well, Kid, any insight inta artificial intelligence?”

“No. But my head smarts.”

Thank you to all our writers who contributed to this week’s collection!

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4 Comments

  1. Charli Mills

    Great expansions on the topic of AI from practical use or resistance to futuristic possibilities. And leave it to our wonderful Welsh mystery writer, Hugh, to plunge into a new genre of futuristic AI crimes! I delighted in the number of ranch themes and a thorough discussion between Kid and Pal to see the head smarts in all of this. I laughed at Colleen’s exploration of an earlier iteration of AI using straws. Yup. That’s true! Thank you to all who showed up to play with old-fashioned Imagination! And on an unpleasant side note — spam regarding AI has increased since the mention of it at Carrot Ranch. At least, for now, its use remains predictable.

  2. Hugh W. Roberts

    Well done everyone, but especially to Duane L Herrmann (wasn’t able to leave comment on the post) and Sue Spitulnik (who tells it exactly as it is). And thanks for the laughs Colleen Chesebro (such a funny true story).

    • Charli Mills

      Thanks, Hugh!

  3. Jules

    AI Can be helpful or annoying. Us human-beanies need to think just how far we can go – and still be humane.
    Thanks for all the great AI stories.

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