This chapter is updated by Novels.pl
The XTN-003 robot was a combination of the best traits of the robots from the movies Terminator, Elysium, and I, Robot in conjunction with the technology implemented in the Xingtian Project. The product was a finalized safety robot.
The structure of these robots was nearly identical to humans. They were bipedal, capable of running and jumping, and were more agile than the average person. These robots could perform many tasks that most humans were not capable of.
With all that said, regardless of how intricate the robot’s structure was, most governmental bodies had the resources to replicate the same gears and structures to create the same product. The most critical and valuable element was the source code and core algorithm.
It was the source code that allowed the robot to move the way that humans do. To draw a comparison, the shell of the robot was the equivalent of the human body while the source code would be the human conscience and soul.
Thus far, the most sophisticated AI creation humans created was limited to the quadrupedal Boston Mechanical Dog which intellect and agility were on par with regular four-legged mammals.
There were the occasional bipedal robotic creations here and there, but most of them were not agile enough and tended to stumble when walking. There was a long way to go before they could qualify as a counterpart to humans, and an even longer path before they could be compared to the XTN-003 robot.
When Chen Chen saw the final item on the checklist, he shook his head regretfully as he looked into the eyes of the elderly man. “The rest of them can be negotiated, even the ‘Directional Aiming Algorithm’ and ‘Integrated Digital Barrier System’, but the source code of XTN-003 is strictly not for sale. After all, it’s directly related to the core algorithm implemented in the network frame of Blacklight Biotechnology. Would you sell your nuclear warheads even if someone asked for them nicely?”
“There’s always an exception to be made.”
Before the elderly man could say anything in response, another middle-aged man seated opposite Chen Chen said, “It’s only our obligation to step up to whatever our nation needs, it’s all for the greater good at the end of the day. For the Central Continent, even the most minor contribution can amount to something great. Are you saying you’d forsake the advancement of the continent for your personal agenda?”
Chen Chen ignored the middle-aged man who was running his mouth as he turned to the elderly man. “Does this man speak for you?”
“He speaks for our organization.”
The elderly man nodded and advised thoughtfully, “Little Chen, I don’t want you to get the wrong impression. I’d like you to think over it carefully. The Central Continent wants to buy robots from your company to prevent the outbreak of any future wars. They have the potential to significantly curb the number of deaths. The problem is that robots aren’t completely reliable. What would we do if they went AWOL due to a backend code infiltration?
“We need to have the source code and core algorithm to serve as insurance in case things go south…”
Chen Chen could not help but frown as he heard this.
Chen Chen understood why they were so fixated on obtaining the source code for the robot.
It was like the Android and Apple operating system debate. Although Apple was a good operating system, some governmental staff were prohibited from using it because there was no telling if confidential information would be leaked from it. There was a negligible chance of it occurring, but the slightest possibility of it happening meant that nobody would want to take chances.
Android operating system, on the other hand, was open-sourced. Its source code was publicly disclosed and anyone could modify and improve it to cater to their unique needs. This was why nearly all phone manufacturers in the world defaulted to Android.
Though Chen Chen understood their reasoning for wanting the source code, that did not mean he was going to sell it any time soon. The true worth of a robot lay in its source code and if he were to sell it to the Central Continent, they would then be able to reproduce XTN-003 infinitely.
On top of manufacturing XTN-003 robots on their own, they could even make further modifications to create XTN-004, XTN-005, all the way to XTN-999. It would be worse than losing out on a slice of the pie since he would be giving the entire pie away.
Chen Chen could not hold himself back from chuckling as well when he thought of this. “Secretary Wu, I do understand what you’re saying, but in this case, couldn’t you go with the alternative of not incorporating the XTN-003 robot for military use? Apart from the militarized model, we also have variants for policing duties and civil duties. They can build houses, pave roads, wipe windows of high-rise buildings, even perform tasks such as driving.”
“If we don’t have a robotized troop, are we supposed to send our soldiers out on the field against the XTN-003 robots of other continents?”
The middle-aged man confronted Chen Chen again. “Do you have any idea how many deaths would result from this?”
Chen Chen finally turned to this imbecile and looked at him with what could only be described as sympathy for his lack of intellect. “How is it that someone in your position can spout such idiotic tales? You want the advantages of robotized units but at the same time, you don’t want to bear the risk associated with it?
“In that case, you shouldn’t have come to me in the first place. Why don’t you get in touch with your technology department and create one yourself?”
This person was infuriated upon hearing Chen Chen reprimanding him. He slammed his hands against the table and launched himself up from his seat. “How dare you!”
“That’s enough Little Kong. Sit down immediately!”
The elderly man belted immediately, compelling the middle-aged man to sit down unwillingly. He then turned back to Chen Chen with a heavy expression.
“Little Chen, what you say isn’t realistic since we wouldn’t need to come to you in the first place if we had the technology to create something like the XTN-003 robot. Our department had analyzed it thoroughly and concluded that even Northern America could not design something like that since its implemented algorithm is at least five years ahead of the current AI scope. Which is why we’d implore you to sell it to us. We can take our time to negotiate the price.”
Chen Chen quickly shrugged. “Alright, then there’s nothing left to discuss. I’m curious to see how the Central Continent intends to force my hand to sell the source code!”
Chen Chen decided this was not worth his time anymore so he got up and went for the exit.
Everyone present in the conference room was baffled by his abrupt statement.
The elderly man immediately stood up when he saw Chen Chen leaving the conference room. He frowned bitterly as he tried to grab Chen Chen. Even the branch director stepped forward and added his apologies. “Please don’t be rash, Mr. Chen. There’s more we can discuss…”
Chen Chen halted.
Most people were aware that the nation would rather have friendly relations with Blacklight Biotechnology than have bad blood between them. If Blacklight Biotechnology was a company completely reliant on the Central Continent, then the nation and its government would not have any qualms with severing their ties once and for all.
The problem was that Blacklight Biotechnology had grown beyond that. As much as they hated to admit it, the company had long since broken out of the iron grip of the Central Continent. Blacklight Biotechnology had accumulated hundreds of billions of wealth at this point and wielded incomprehensible influence in the Earth Federation.
Although the headquarters of Blacklight Biotechnology was established in the Central Continent, their main center of development was located somewhere else. If the Central Continent government were to cut ties with them, they would only give them more reason to shift their focus to other countries, thus giving away a prized asset for zero returns.
The elderly man started to consult desperately, “Little Chen, don’t be angry. Even if you don’t intend to sell the source code, I’m sure we can arrive at some form of compromise.”
The others in the conference stood up in unison to provide support.
Chen Chen did not feel like wasting time going back and forth with them anymore so he stated bluntly, “The bottom line is that the source code isn’t for sale. XTN-003 is as good as useless if I put the source code up for sale since nobody would want to buy a robot whose source code is already owned by another party. I hope you all understand this.”
“Sigh, it’s a shame, but I suppose there’s no other way around it.”
The elderly man nodded regretfully and expressed, “In this case, let’s talk about the other technology available. You mentioned the ‘Directional Aiming Algorithm’ and ‘Integrated Digital Barrier System’. There’s also the ‘Long-distance Environmental Sensory System’ and ‘Coriolis Effect Holographic System’, don’t forget that latest ‘Modular Rifling’. Be sure to give us a steep discount on them!”
Chen Chen became speechless when he heard the elderly man hurling a stream of phrases at him. It would appear that they had long prepared for such a scenario and this was all a setup.
Half an hour later, after Chen Chen had offered a steep discount against his will, they finally happily let him go.
Chen Chen put away his sour mood after stepping out of the FBI building.
As it turned out, the entire XTN-003 source code offer was just a device for a common negotiation tactic.
The way the elderly man saw it, the best way the negotiation could have turned out was if they managed to purchase the source code. If not, they could simply move on to the secondary objective of the negotiation.
Chen Chen could tell right off the bat that the elderly man and the other middle-aged man were just putting on an act the entire time. The elderly man was nowhere near as kind and understanding as he made himself out to be, and the middle-aged man was not the imbecile he led others to believe.
Life was but an act where the best actor came out on top. Little did they know, Chen Chen was the greatest actor of them all.
All this time, Chen Chen’s opponents also knew that Chen Chen was only pretending to be in a sour mood, acting all defeated. They were well aware that Chen Chen was also an actor putting on a show, just like themselves.
Everyone was only playing to their roles befitting their position. There was an unwritten and unspoken agreement to not expose each other in this game.
After leaving the FBI branch, Chen Chen decided it was time to leave Handu since his parents had departed as well. He took a bullet train to Shangdu.
The bullet train was extremely fast, covering three thousand kilometers in just six hours, taking Chen Chen from the central of the Mainland Continent to the southern region.
Upon his arrival, Chen Chen first took the time to head to the headquarters. The headquarters of Blacklight biotechnology had recently been relocated to a brand-new 50-story building funded by the company.
Appearance-wise, the building looked like a run-of-the-mill skyscraper. Many people would find it difficult to believe that this plain-looking building was the headquarters of the infamous Blacklight Biotechnology.
One had to consider that the headquarters of a corporation was essentially a symbol of a corporation. It was in most corporations’ best interest to groom a respectable image, for example, Tencent, Ali, JD, and even Pinduoduo boasted spectacularly designed headquarters that almost doubled as an iconic landmark.
With all that said, this was not all too surprising. Although Blacklight Biotechnology’s headquarters was set up in the Central Continent, everyone knew that the true center of Blacklight Biotechnology was set in Africa. The headquarters established in the Central Continent was merely a buffer for converging news in the organization.
Chen Chen stood by the entrance for a moment to turn off his communication device with Little X before entering.
Upon entering, he looked up to take in the way the lobby was designed. It was an extremely spacious lobby. Although minimally decorated, it was a representation of the iconic Blacklight Biotechnology’s futuristic design.
The only aspect that spoiled the presentation was just how empty it was that it could almost be described as a ghost town. Apart from a staff who had her head buried in her phone at the front desk, there was not a soul to be spotted in the lobby.
Chen Chen surveyed his surroundings and could not find any sign that indicated where the office of the general manager was located. He proceeded to head to the front desk.
When the clerk at the front desk heard footsteps approaching, she looked up and immediately put away her phone upon seeing Chen Chen. A practiced, professional smile surfaced on her lips. “Hi there mister, is there anything I can help you with?”
“I’m looking for Xia Yin.”
Chen Chen informed, “Just tell me where her office is.”
“Ah, you’re looking for GM Xia?”
The clerk shot Chen Chen a queer look. “Do you have a reservation? I’m afraid I can’t help you if you don’t have a reservation.”
“I don’t, but you can just call her and tell her that it’s Chen Chen looking for her.”
Chen Chen said with a faint smile.
The clerk was dumbfounded by this sudden statement. She stared at Chen Chen for what seemed like forever. Her eyes widened in shock before finally asking in a trembling voice, “Are, are you Chairman Chen?”
Chen Chen nodded. When he saw the clerk was still caught in a daze, he figured it was easier to take a look at the information displayed at the front desk himself.
According to the display, the office of the general manager was located on the top floor, the fiftieth floor of the building.
“That’s surprising, Xia Yin has the same preference as I do…”
Chen Chen muttered a comment to himself before heading to the elevator, paying no mind to the clerk.
The clerk finally snapped back to her senses. When she saw Chen Chen’s figure departing, she suddenly called out, “Chairman Chen, the general manager’s office is located at…”
Chen Chen said without turning around as he stepped into the elevator.
After the elevator closed, Chen Chen finally turned into an upset frown.
To tell the truth, he was not pleased with the employment standards at the headquarters. To be fair, there was the factor of his sudden arrival at play, still, there had to be a certain standard of professionalism to be met.
Shortly after that, the elevator took Chen Chen to the top floor and opened with a faint “ding”. Chen Chen saw two ladies dressed in common secretary office wear running circles around the office, tidying everything frantically.
Upon noting Chen Chen’s arrival, they immediately stopped what they were doing and stood to attention before bowing politely. “Welcome, Chairman!”
One of the office ladies reacted faster and stepped forward before the other one could. She smiled like a blossoming flower at Chen Chen’s direction. “Chairman Chen, since it’s your first time here, you might not know where your office is. Would you like me to bring you there?”
Chen Chen gently pushed her aside and turned his attention to another door nearby. “I’m not here for my office, I’m looking for Xia Yin.”
Before the two of them could add any further comments, he went to the office labeled with the general manager sign.
Before he reached the door, it opened on its own. The person who opened the door was revealed to be Xia Yin who was wearing professional attire. There was a look of mild surprise mixed with a combination of an assortment of emotions in her eyes.
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