Once the entire populace had been chipped, installing UAC
(Universal AutoCorrect) was possible. Of course, there were fierce debates—the
utility of social lying (Oh, no, it’s delicious--I’m just not very hungry
or Of course you look good in yoga pants) as a lubricant for
interactions was so obvious—but the damage done by the larger lies (I was working
late; I never saw that man before; they invaded us; I won the election;
what climate change?) was impossible to overlook.
It was so simple. If one spoke an untruth--whether knowingly or from ignorance, the chip would override the original statement and the speaker would hear themself saying, "No, that's wrong. Actually . . ." and going on to correct the statement.
Quis ipsos custodies custodiet? you
ask. The custodians were carefully programed bots—of course, it was humans who
did the programming, to begin with, but once the parameters of Truth had been
laid down, the bots were perfectly capable of amazing feats of extrapolation.
As a safety measure, a quarterly review was instituted—on the
ninth day of January, April, July, and October, UAC would be disabled for 24
hours, during which time a re-assessment of its reliability and its social
utility would be performed. For the first years, this review was carried out by
social scientists, religious leaders, and politicians, but when a series of
particularly horrendous accidents removed a number of the review panelists, the
few that remained withdrew, leaving the work of assessment to the bots.
Life with UAC has run smoothly ever since the bots enabled the
chips with a shock feature. The general population has learned to think
carefully before speaking or, indeed, before asking difficult questions. Political
rallies have ceased altogether, ever since the debacle which saw a certain carefully
arranged blond comb-over stand on end and finally, as the mouth under the
comb-over continued to speak untruths, despite the increasing strength of the warning
shocks, the comb-over, now rippling like prairie grass, caught fire.
UAC was an especially difficult challenge for the legal
profession. Courts were still needed to assign punishment for confessed crimes. But many once prosperous lawyers simply
resigned rather than work under the constraints of UAC. Some went mad first.
Particularly interesting was the phenomenon of people waiting till the quarterly review days to propose marriage or to enter into business arrangement . . .
I have no idea where this is going or if there will be more. It's an intriguing thought, though.