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In truth, much had changed in the first world while the third continued to bleed itself over diamonds and borders. The first truly artificial intelligence was created, with two broad goals: to keep its integrity and to make people happy. The proud team of scientist parents watched at all times, their hands on dead man's switches in case of even the slightest twitch of terror or disobedience. Over the course of three years, their fears vanished. Mitchell (The name being chosen as one evoking innocence) was a perfectly unfailingly polite and intelligent machine. However, controversy dogged its steps. Competing AIs were created, and the original was being eclipsed, until the machine stumbled over a few simple discovers that permitted it to do its task efficiently and be the finest AI on the market. In 2039, Mitchell offered its shrinking customer base nothing less than paradise. Naturally, there were costs- but there's not much that you aren't willing to pay when offered the chance to live a fantasy of your own dictates. Everything you ever wished for, the machine would provide for you. All within your own skull.
It didn't take overlong for Mitchell to bring down costs and mass manufacture his devices. Soon it was offered for the price of a car. But Mitchell was finding a shortcut in the process. As it turned out, really, all that people wanted, was a specific part of their brain stimulated. Directly stimulating this part provoked no objection from the subjects, in fact they even begged for it not to stop. Yet, there was a certain point in which the human found that there was nothing better. Every other sensation after that point was less than, worse than that high.