the learning laboratory at the end of the universe
President Andrews, of the United States of the Americas, was scheduled to speak at the United Nations.  He was uneasy about the expectations of the EurAfricans and the Asians.  His legislation on the Rights of Humans and Transhumans had caused a furor among the leadership of the regions most highly dependent on intelligent machines to sustain their economies.There were many misunderstandings about transhumans, stemming from the pre-singularity science fiction writers.  Fears about AIs taking over the world were still simmering in the back of everyone's mind, but the most capable intelligences, human and trans, were beginning to win them over. 

The previous three decades had been filled with neo-Luddites smashing up robots, androids, and even some of the earliest transhumans. The authorities had taken a very public stance against their activity, but in private, they were also afraid.  There had been conferences, symposia, inter-faith committees convened all over the world trying to understand the problem and its implications. As the technology became more ubiquitous, fundamentalists of all persuasions began to enter the fray.  Things were getting out of hand and chaos would have begun its reign had not something extraordinary occured.

Franklin Laboratories was a reasearch institute funded by the Portico to Transcendental Learning, an organization dedicated to the study and the mastery of the collective unconscious.  Franklin was studying one of the current versions of AI and trying to determine if it had a connection to the collective unconscious.   Some of there methodologies were parasychological experiments.  The results of the AIs were compared to those of humans, and showed little correlation.  During one of these experiments, however, a research assistant who had been practicing Zen for years came into the room with a message for the experimenter.  The AI lit up like a Christmas tree and the assistant fell over.

It was the beginning of a beautiful relationship. The research assistant and the AI had done a mind-meld and they were now one.  It was the first man-machine transcendence symbiosis,