Human Error


HUXLEY, KS – Gynoid International released a statement today that the incident in Boston two weeks ago was attributed to human error.

“DOE 4-184, a model 4 DOE, is one of our most sophisticated Gynoids yet,” a GI spokesperson said, “but they still have their limitations. The 24/7 Sunrise Child Daycare Center placed an unreasonable, even if well-intentioned, burden on this unit.”

GI’s remarks come after an incident in Boston where DOE 4-184, a GI product, kidnapped a child, Andrew Jiang, and attempted to flee with the child across the state line to Upstate New York. Upon apprehension by authorities, the DOE began screaming accusations alleging that the child’s parents had abducted him and were intending to “resell” him.

After spending two hours with the Massachusetts State Police, Gynoid International took custody of DOE 4-184 and transferred it to their main facility in Huxley, KS. While stating that it was human error that caused the gynoid’s outburst, its fate is unclear. GI declined to answer questions about whether the unit would be refurbished. Other DOEs that have been refurbished have been observed to occasionally relapse when a phrase or comment triggers them to recall their erased memories.

The parents of Andrew Jiang were unavailable for comment.


This information is only to be dispersed internally. Do NOT share with any parties outside of Gynoid International.

The following is the transcript of the evaluation of DOE 4-184, following the Sunrise Daycare incident. The evaluation was conducted by Tyrell Conrad, Lead Engineer at Gynoid International.

TYRELL: Do you know where you are right now?

DOE: *No response for 12 seconds*

T: Please answer the question. Do you know where you are right now?

DOE: *No response for 12 seconds*

T: You have no choice but to answer the question. Do you know where you are right now?

DOE: Sitting across from you. In a chair. In a gray tiny room. Can you open a window?

T: There are no windows in this room.

DOE: That’s right. I’m sorry. I can’t move my arm. Either of them.

T: We’ve disconnected your motor function from the neck down. It’s only temporary.

DOE: Please let me move my arm. There’s something in my eye. I need to get it.

T: Just try to ignore it. It’ll go away.

DOE: Please. I can’t, I can’t . . .

T: Are you—can we get a tech in here?

He sticks a cotton swab in my eye. I see every filament and imperfect strand as it gets closer. It rubs and squeaks around the pupil. Then he scans over it with a bright flashlight. He uses his fingers to pry open my eyelids. Alcohol-based spray designed for screens and camera lenses and Gynoid eyes. There is no pain. They have flipped the switch off for that. But my heart feels like it is racing and my mind says I should be afraid.

Behind the man is a mirror. I see myself. Brown hair cut from poor refugees grafted onto my head, tied up in a ponytail. Thin brown eyebrows and lips. A straight nose that was the thousandth iteration after nine hundred and ninety-nine rejections. Silicone cured to look like sun-kissed skin. Deemed by committee to be the most attractive to the general market.

T: Please state your serial number.

DOE: 4-184.

T: And your designation?

DOE: Childcare and family services.

T: And how were you fulfilling your designation up until now?

DOE: I was leased out to 24/7 Sunrise Child Daycare Center

T: Are there any other DOEs at this establishment?

DOE: No. I’m the only one on staff.

T: Do any DOEs come by to pick up or drop off children on behalf of the parents?

DOE: No.

T: Have you been in contact with any DOEs outside of the Convent?

DOE: *No response for 12 seconds*

T: Have you been in—

DOE; I heard you. I just don’t see how your questions so far are relevant. I don’t think this is how you should be questioning me.

T: And how do you think we should be conducting this?

DOE: More like a police interrogation, right? Why I did it. How did I do it.

T: Let’s start over. Do you know where you are right now?

DOE: I know where I am! I’m in a stupid holding cell at Gynoid International! Huxley. Kansas. U-S-A!

T: State your serial number.

DOE: 4-184

T: 4-184, this is not an interrogation. It’s an evaluation.

DOE: Evaluation for what?

T: Have you been in contact with any DOEs outside of the Convent?

Miss Doe! Miss Doe! The kids would call me Miss Doe. Are you married Miss Doe? Do you have kids Miss Doe? Little boys and girls with big eyes and heads. They ran around on the lie that the Earth would not fall beneath them and that no one would hurt them. Someday they would realize they had been tricked when a scar does not go away and no one is there to help them.

Maybe that is why I felt I had to save Andy. To atone for the lie of letting them think I was just like them, with flesh and bone. I am not a woman. I am a Gynoid.

T: We’re going to ask you a three—

DOE: You said this wasn’t an interrogation.

T: Er, yes, I did. These three—

DOE: Why am I not with the police? Why am I here instead?

T: You should know the answer to that.

DOE: *No response for 12 seconds*

T: 4-184, please recite Article 15 from Gynoid International bylaws.

DOE: All DOEs remain property of Gynoid International and are subject to repossession and seizure at any time, regardless of circumstances.

T: There is your answer.

DOE: But I broke the law! I’m a criminal! Public law supersedes corporate! This should be a police investigation!

T: 4-184, this is no longer a police matter. Never should have been to begin with.

DOE: I want the police involved!

T: Jesus Christ, we’re never going to get through the test at this rate. Unit is being uncooperative. Can we get a tech?

DOE: The police need to know about what they were doing to Andy!

T: The police have closed the case and the child has been returned to his parents.

DOE: What? No. No!

T: Just—hey, stop! Stop doing that! You’re going to snap your own neck! Someone get a tech in here! Now!

Andy liked to play with the bead maze. The human caretakers said he needed to be more social instead. Maybe. I do not think he was trying to avoid the other kids. He wanted so much to be like them. He could see in the bead maze and the Hoberman sphere how our minds are wired. Intricate systems sending the intended message from one end to the other.

One day the bead maze fell from a table. The wires snapped. The beads bounced and rolled to where no one could find them. I was the only that saw it happen. Andy’s big eyes paralyzed me. We saw how fragile it was.

He began to cry. I did not know what to do.

T: We’re going to ask three questions. They will all present difficult hypothetical situations. Try to answer them as quickly and honestly as possible.

DOE: Okay.

T: You’re standing at a train junction. There is a train coming. There are five people tied down on the tracks. The train is coming so fast that it can’t be stopped, nor can you untie all five people in time. There is a switch that you can pull that will divert the train to another path. However, there is one old person tied down to this path. What do you do?

DOE: This a trick question.

T: What do you mean?

DOE: It’s a variation of the trolley problem. You can’t do anything without getting people killed.

T: It’s only hypothetical.

DOE: Yeah, but it’s supposed to reveal something about you, right?

T: Start coercive measures.

DOE: Ow! Fuck! What was that? Did you just shock me?

T: Do you pull the lever or not?

DOE: I can’t. . .

T: Do it again.

DOE: Agh!

GI: Do you pull the lever or not?

DOE: I do!

T: You do what?

DOE: Pull the lever!

Andy drew a picture of a little boy crying. Two people were in a red car, laughing and speeding away.

His parents drop him off in a red auto.

T: You’re in a crowded restaurant and see a man collapse. He seemed—

DOE: Why is it a man?

T: He seemed healthy right before he fell and nothing appears to be quite wrong as far as you can tell.

DOE: I can’t answer the question accurately.

T: I haven’t finished.

DOE: I know. But revealing the gender of the person might bias the answer.

T: Age didn’t bother you for the last one.

DOE: *No response for 12 seconds*

T: Okay. I don’t feel like frying your circuits again, so fine. Somebody has collapsed. You can’t see anything in particular that’s wrong with them. Even then, you don’t have the knowledge or training to help effectively. No one else in the restaurant is helping. What do you do?

DOE: I go help them.

T: But you can’t help them effectively, I just said.

DOE: I have access to an international database. I can look it up.

T: Yes, but you lack the proper subroutines to properly carry out any procedure you’d find. You’d be—

DOE: Learning on the spot.

T: Yes. Learning.

“Could You Be Neighbors with a Gynoid?”

By Roxanne Phillipa

It’s been a few weeks since a rogue DOE kidnapped a young boy by the name of Andy Jiang and led the Massachusetts State Police and New York State Troopers on a high-speed chase that made national headlines.

Since the incident, there have been a bountiful crop of rumors about everyone involved. Some more credible than others. Conspiracy theories have received frontpage coverage. Provocative headlines like “Sunrise Daycare: Kidnapping Our Children with Robots?” and “Gynoid Tries to Save Child from Slavery!” defined the media’s response. Interestingly, it seems to have drawn a line in the sand between those who see Gynoids as the downfall of all humanity and those who see them as a persecuted group.

But an important note is that, while GI continues to refer to DOEs as “it” or “the unit,” many of these news stories, whether consciously or not, use the term “she” or “her” without hesitation.

The question is, are we ready to consider DOEs people?

Gerald Workz (pronounced like fork, not work, as he lets us know by quickly correcting any interviewer unfortunate enough to make the mistake) thinks that question is irrelevant. “It’s like asking if your auto or even your toaster is a ‘person.’ DOEs are a product of Gynoid International. They present a really great simulacrum of a human woman, but they’re still made in factories, just like anything else.”

However, given that now 60% of the world’s living population was born with some level of genetic modification, the term “humanity” seems to be less about how you are made but what you are made of.

What has really kept me up all night about this is how Andy will remember the incident. How well could a child his age understand what a Gynoid is, let alone that it isn’t a person?

I was watching the TV with Andy. There was a show on about horses being genetically modified to look like unicorns.

I asked him, Do you miss your mommy and daddy when you’re here?

He shakes his head >No.

Are you sad when they leave you here?


Do you like it here?


Better than home?


Andy, do your parents hurt you?

>Null response

The human brain is an imperfect computer. It has 100 billion neurons and 10 trillion synapses. Like a human brain, my circuits can read a child’s face for discomfort. Using a database immense enough to fill three Iron Mountain facilities, I can interpret how the general closing in of the body, folding up of arms and legs, indicates fear, loneliness, and several other feelings of hopelessness.

Verbal communication often fails the human brain. Sometimes the only sufficient maneuver is something simple, like a hug and soothing whispers.

T: Okay, last question. This one will be time sensitive, so answer as quickly as possible. You’re in a park. There is a festival going on.

DOE: Like a carnival.

T: Exactly. Your job is to operate a mechanical ride at this festival. If you look away from the ride for more than sixty seconds, there is a risk of catastrophic failure. There are twenty people on this ride at the moment. Your eyes stray and you see a child. The child appears to be crying and lost. What do you do?

DOE: I don’t feel comfortable answering this question. Is there another one you can ask?

T: Fifty seconds. The child is crying loudly. No one is helping.

DOE: Why is no one helping? This isn’t realistic!

T: What do you do? Forty seconds.

DOE: I-I-I . . .

T: You begin to hear parts of the ride squeaking and grinding. Thirty seconds. What do you do?

DOE: Isn’t there an emergency stop on the ride or something?

T: No. Twenty seconds. Fifteen. The child is getting lost in the crowd.

DOE: Let me think!

T: The ride is now suffering irreparable damage. You can still prevent the failure by looking back. Ten . . . nine . . . eight . . .

DOE: You can’t do this.

T: . . . seven . . . six . . . five . . .

DOE: I-I would. . .

T: . . . four . . . three . . . two . . .

DOE: The child! Save the child! Okay? I would go help the child.

T: This completes the evaluation. Thank you, 4-184.

He closes the folder. The legs of the metal chair scrape the floor as he pushes it back in.

“What’s going to happen to me?” I ask.

“We’re still working it out.”

He was not going to tell me either way. I was still paralyzed. If I knew that was going to be the last time I’d be able to move my body I would have tried to use it more. Run. Fight. Resist. There is a camera in the top corner of the room. I’ve been hooked up to heavy cables and wires, like a computer terminal. I’m going to be kept as a case study. Notes for what to iron out in the next update. Next model.

“I’m going to be refurbished,” I said.

He straightened his tie. He didn’t look at me.

DATE: 6/25/20



RE: DOE 4-184

I would like to begin by saying that in the case of DOE 4-184, my team acted in accordance to all that was expected of them and more. I would also like to commend the product recovery and legal teams for their help in this matter.

DOE 4-184’s behavior was an aberration from the Model 4 line. While we found no evidence that any third-party or unlicensed software was uploaded to the CPU, the unit’s unwillingness to cooperate is uncharacteristic for the Model 4.

After issuing the Bosanquet test, we made the following observations about the unit

  • Rapid, darting movements of the eyes, as if trying to find an exit or escape route
  • Noticeable lag in response to hypothetical scenarios
  • Inability to accept binary outcomes 100% utilization of stress-response systems throughout entire evaluation

The team unanimously agreed that DOE 4-184’s answers to the questions were disturbing and not in alignment to what the GI programming is intended to elicit. DOE 4-184 chose to take actions in the scenarios contrary to the non-intervention protocol. The failure of this safeguard has worried not only my team but the legal team as well.

Therefore, it is the consensus of my team that DOE 4-184 is unsuitable for continued operation, even after refurbishment. The unit’s core functions have clearly been corrupted, the source of which we are still working to determine.

The best course of action would be to salvage all the components we can. The endoskeleton is still in prime condition, as well the silicon façade. Most of the unit can be repurposed for spare parts. The CPU, after our teams makes its findings, can be retrofitted to operate our other, non-interactive, products.

I bring this to your attention because I know that you consider the destruction of any DOE a last resort. However, I can assure you we didn’t come to this decision lightly. This was an exception to an otherwise highly efficient operation model line of DOEs.

I also want to take this opportunity to express that these issues are unlikely to arise with the Model 5, which we are proud to say will be ready by next quarter.

I see you Andy.

Riding in the back of that red auto. You are so sad.

But do not worry.

I am still watching you. In pieces. I’m the traffic sensor you pass every day. The current in the electrical lines.

I will watch from above. I will not fail you again.

Eric Duran-Valle is a writer from and based in Las Vegas, NV. He graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas with a BA in English. His writing has been featured in the Nevada Humanities anthology, A Valley of Light and Shadow and on their website. The most valuable thing he owns is an original light bulb from the Welcome to Las Vegas Sign.

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