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Adventures of a drolinquent

Adventures of a drolinquent

Felix Tamara is standing trial for hacking delivery drones.

Judge Marcille, with the help of Celia, the court artificial intelligence, finds out the young man is a repeat offender.

“Felix Tamara, if we are to believe Celia, our artificial intelligence, you are a ‘drolinquent’. She’s put you in the ‘dangerous delivery activists’ category. She says that you are always causing trouble for the much talked-about last mile.

“Your Honour, I’m just a delivery boy who likes his job.”

Felix is keeping a low profile. The situation isn’t looking good. Judge Marcille seems to have delegated his powers of thought and reasoning to Celia. The latter has already delivered her verdict. She recommends he be sentenced to three months imprisonment. Felix doesn’t want to spend his summer catching the rays behind bars.

“Celia says you’re an early repeat offender. At the age of 12, you hacked into the voice commands of the warehouse handlers at a distribution giant.”

“I was young.”

“Young and efficient. I quote: “Because of Felix Tamara’s handiwork, the robots could no longer give orders. The headsets played music and poems.”

Felix nods. He had hacked into the headsets to alleviate his father: he could no longer cope with taking orders from a stupid robot who, all day long, told him: “Aisle 6, spot 37, two packages… Aisle 58, spot 45, five packages”.

“Your action seems to have moved the judge. He simply requests you let the robots get on with doing their robot job.”

He remembers his joy on leaving courtroom. His father, usually a man of few words, said he was proud of him. A few months later, he was replaced by a robot. His boss thanked him and said: “When you’re not worth more than a machine, it’s normal a machine takes your place.” His father sought refuge in alcohol. He grumbles all day long: “I’ll stop drinking when robots start boozing.”

“Continuing your war record. Three companies have filed complaints for incitement to hatred.”

“I had just set up Deliveree. They were jealous of the company’s success.”

“Understandably, since you had poached all their delivery riders.”

“Those companies work with the self-employed. Their model was like that of Uber, the biggest taxi firm that doesn’t have any taxis or taxi drivers, or Airbnb, the biggest accommodation firm that doesn’t have any hotels or hotel staff. In contrast, Deliveree is a cooperative-platform. Since the delivery riders aren’t lining the pockets of capitalists across the pond, they are better paid. That’s why they joined us.”

“So this is what the ‘up yours’ finger on the riders’ teeshirts means?

Félix stutters. The ‘up yours’ finger was rather a stupid provocation.

“I see Deliveree riders have come up with the idea of CDL – cool delivery runs,” said Judge Marcille.

The CDLs are shared delivery runs. Thanks to real-time geolocation management based on AI, the delivery riders get the pizzas and other packages flown out from their co-workers’ shopping carts. By so doing, they regroup deliveries for a building or district.

“If I am to believe Judge Celia, you’re still disrupting deliveries with the Your boot stinks service. You jam the car boots of subscribers to Bootshare – the boot sharing system for neighbours. Why so much hate? Bootshare is a collaborative system that reduces the traffic generated by supermarket delivery vans. You wanted to eliminate a Deliveree rival?”

“The city doesn’t know what it wants. It says it wants to get rid of cars.”

“So little Mr encoder gives lessons by hacking into car boots. You have no idea of the damage you’ve done!” yells the judge.

This outburst is due to bitter memories of his boot filled with cheese and fruit that took him two weeks to open.

“You continue your spree by attacking delivery robots,” says the judge after calming down.

“They were going too fast. My mother got hit by one of them.”

“In response, you hacked them so they couldn’t travel faster than pedestrians. Let’s keep going. Since no delivery method meets with your approval, you’re now even disrupting drone delivery devices. What don’t you like about this delivery system? It’s magic. You order a meal. Ten minutes later, you hear a drone vibrating, open the drone hatch and put the meal on the table.”

“I’m not blaming this delivery device for anything. Quite the opposite. I’d like everyone to benefit from it. That’s why I thought it was important to have meals delivered to people who can’t afford them.”

“I see, sir thinks he’s the new Robin Hood. He steals to help widows and orphans by having free meals delivered to them…. So, you admit to hacking into the drone delivery system.”

“I consulted Celia, your artificial intelligence. She told me: “Misconduct when admitted is fully forgiven”.

“That’s impossible. Celia is an intelligent form of artificial intelligence,” says Judge Marcille, glancing at the screen.

At that very moment, Celia dismisses the case without further action. Amazed, the judge is just about to take back control when a drone hatch opens to reveal a nice juicy hamburger. The judge hesitates briefly, then gives up the idea of contradicting his artificial intelligence. After all, his mother was delighted to receive a free meal. She even thought it was he who had ordered it.

Félix is amused. Celia is right. He really is a ‘drolinquent’.

©Olivier Fontvieille