“No one would see anything you don’t want them to see, sir. You’ll be in every employee’s eyes and brain. You’ll interpret and analyze what they see for them.” Tariq had repeated this sentence over and over since it was part of the anticipated presentation he was going to give in the morning for the president of Al-Hares Company. He would not only try to sell him the most important cutting edge technology of digital security systems, but also offer him a means to control every employee in the company. He couldn’t sleep, so he left his villa and drove his extravagant car towards Al-Rowad Hotel, where Al-Hares company’s stakeholders and investors usually gathered to seal most of the company’s commercial deals and arrange most of its administrative moves and promotions at night in the bar. However, he decided against it as tomorrow he was planning to offer the CEO a means to control these stakeholders although he himself was one of them. He had arranged all of his deals with the company, his awaited meeting with the president, as well as his commission at night in that same hotel.
The important question remained: was it true that the president knew nothing about this hotel, its gatherings and deals? Didn’t he have eyes everywhere to deliver to him what happened there?
Suddenly, he was struck by an important recollection, so he parked his car near a garden in his residential compound. Out of the car, he inhaled his cigar puffing a cloud of smoke in the darkness of the night, where he saw himself presenting to that same president – 15 years ago – a digital system that allowed the company to record all landline calls, cellphone calls, applications and websites. He remembered the president’s enthusiasm to the extent of signing the contract momentarily despite the cost and the fact that he had to hire more people in the security department as well as raise salaries in that department to compensate for the new tasks that came with the new system as the employees then had to monitor and follow any potential threats from other employees. The president then had not only approved the artificial intelligence program, but also requested that the security department listened to every call and read every message directly. Al-Hares Company had been paying his international company a great sum of money in return for the system’s maintenance and development ever since. He himself had gotten a very generous commission and the position of the head of the IT department at Al-Hares.
Although he was now technically responsible for this system, the security department in the company managed it, leaving him no privilege what so ever to that he had completely forgotten that such a system existed. Did that system monitor the power, deals, and arrangements of the hotel’s gang?!!
Tariq sat on the bench by the artificial lake. With no breeze around him, as if the compound’s walls that got higher everyday had prevented the passage of air, he noticed that he had mixed up his past and anticipated present. Now that he himself was employed by Al-Hares, would the president accept an offer from him, the IT manager in the company, for a new system from his former international employer? Did the president know that he had traveled for training on how to use the new system? Did he know the extravagant reward his former international company had promised him in addition to the position of the vice-president of Al-Hares Company in return for sealing the deal?
He brain wandered away to all the possible scenarios in case the president of the company had monitored all the agreements with his former company and all the arrangements made in Al-Rowad Hotel.
He whispered to himself: “it doesn’t matter” since he did not have the luxury to refuse as he executed the orders of his international company without discussion or thinking. Plus the system he was o offer the president would make him ignore any suspicion of corruption in the deal. He continued to himself “the important thing now was to focus on selling the system to the president.”
He remembered how the electronic control system had been developed from its second generation 20 years ago when some riots took place in the company and young Adel got injured and cut the nerve between his brain and eyes. Science had remained crippled for years until there was a revolution in the development of the electronic chip technology connected to a biochip. Such technology had allowed the presence of a biochip that connects to the optic nerve from one side and the electronic chip from the other to take and wirelessly transmit the messages sent from the eye to another biochip connected to the nerve in the brain. This invention was a scientific breakthrough that had shaken the scientific, medical, and political circles later.
Although no one had asked why the two biochips were wirelessly connected though the distance between the two chips was too small – which makes no logical need for that – the company replied in the form of the pros of the wireless system that allowed any person using the new system to record what he/she could see on a secure personal account on the digital cloud of the international company, as well as share it with friends. Moreover, the wireless connection allowed the international company to perform maintenance on the chip or upgrade its programs.
The most important advantage was the possibility to merge the augmented reality technology with the chip connected to the brain to generate a new level of gameplay and entertainment. It happened that the senior officials, followed by other employees, rushed to cut the nerve connecting the eye and the brain in order to implant the new system.
He couldn’t wait long on the bench by the lake, so he returned to his car where he was hit by the air condition that he could not live without. Then he remembered the mess that had happened after the system was breached and Adel was controlled by some entity. This was when the international company publicly apologized and terminated its support for the system.
Just as every system has its victims, quitting that system had its victims as well: some of which had lost their sights forever. The traumatic shock happened when he travelled for training on the third generation of the system he was to present to the president in the morning; he found out then that the company instead of terminating its support for the system, had secretly developed it to the extent that it no longer requires implanting a chip. Now it was enough to intake doses of a certain substance made after the breakthrough in nanotechnology. It leaked into the brain nerves and transformed into receivers which could wirelessly receive any information. Tariq laughed out loud when he remembered the way a brand name was launched for a water bottle promoting its supernatural advantages to maintain eyesight, and how the small employees loaned to get this bottle. He also remembered how this bottle was merely regular water with this nanotechnology substance added to it although it was sold at a price ten doubles that of regular water. Here Tariq said out loud with a smile: “oh, bastards, you made us spend our own money to buy smart collars for our brains”.
He remained in his car until the first signs of morning appeared. Then he remembered his early appointment with the president, so he rushed to catch it equipped with his laptop given to him by the international company. He started presenting the advantages of the system to the company president and its head of security. He said firmly: “No one would see anything you don’t want them to see, sir. You will be present between every employee’s eyes and mind. You’ll interpret and analyze what they see for them.”
The president leaned back in his chair and said looking towards the ceiling as if talking to himself: “this means they will become smarter and understand better, which would end stupidity in this company”. Then he ordered: “show me practically how to use this system”.
Tariq started operating the system and presenting the control board on a giant television screen where a map of all the company branches appeared. On the left side of the screen appeared a filter that allowed reaching any employee in the company through his/her name, qualification, department, what he/she could see at present or past, or whether he/she was a supporter of the company policies. Here Tariq asked the president for permission to start the practical experiment: he requested a security guy to enter to perform the experiment. Then Tariq put a picture of a donkey before the security guy and asked him: “what do you see?” The guy said: “a donkey”. Then he pressed the photo of the security guy on the map to get a list that allows him to manipulate what the guy could see, and asked him one more time: “what do you see?” The guy said: “a car”. Here the president said nervously: “it is a plane, and it didn’t change”. Tariq’s tongue was knotted in astonishment when he heard the president’s remark. He was shocked when he returned to the laptop screen. Was there someone controlling the president himself? At this thought, the president said: “let’s sign the contract”.