My name is Cristobal Antillo Torres, I am 25 years old, and I live in Santiago de Chile, I’m a law school graduate. From a very early age I have been interested in Russian culture, its people, and I hope that at some time in my life I might have the possibility to live in Russia for a while.

My main objective for writing this piece, was to warn about a potential risk: technology’s contribution to the dehumanization of society, the loss of common sense, and the transfer of our dreams and autonomy to forms of artificial intelligence.

Particularly, I was inspired by today’s reality, where in our part of the world an absolutely unjustifiable repudiation against Russia and its people has risen. Without sufficient knowledge about the situation, and without and understanding of its background, we classify a group of people as undesirables, and in the end, invisibles.   

All the above has been supported by social media, which is clearly not impartial, where people are manipulated by fake news, and truly warlike conditions are generated, befitting of the state of nature proposed by Hobbs, where there are practically no rules, no apparent regulator, but where we can find hidden guidelines, imposed by the owners of the different social media platforms.

The goal is simply to raise the issue, so that the problems of the present don’t become the problems of the future, to warn the citizens of the world that there is no algorithm that can replace human reason and attack the brotherhood between all nations.   

Main part:


On my way to the company, noon, under the stairs, in the subway, waiting on the platform. There are twenty-three persons waiting patiently – yes, twenty-three – idleness and the unusual delay of the train have compelled me to count them.

I walked in imaginary circles I drew with in my mind, after that in rectangles, looking at the floor, counting the tiles.

My “Portalis” has been deprogramed, the new version of the ancient “Tolias”, that now come with a new and complex mechanism that keeps score to filter possible unwanted social interactions. It’s basically the same, the only difference is that now it allows to visually filter those individuals that, according to my characteristics, political ideology, personal tastes, and other considerations, do not fit or match with my own, essentially with me.

Everything was fine until yesterday, when I had to manually disable my device, using the emergency button on the right side of my head, holding down that button for five seconds. Portalis had begun failing, and accompanying that, all the classic symptoms began to appear: dizziness, headaches, confusion. It seemed to me that the shadows (those people that the system classified as being incompatible with myself) were becoming more visible, and more annoying that they were meant to be, they produced weird noises, and all the other inconveniences that most of us know, after all, it’s logical that if an intracranial device begins to fail, it produces all kinds of annoying side effects.

As it is known, I must go to the company so that they can inspect the software, to see what the issue is, what the problem is. I am sure that it will be quick and that it will be free, but I have to deal with the inconvenience of not counting on my Portalis device, during my journey there. I must live and see everyone: desirables and undesirables, potential friends, and disagreeable and nasty people. Of course, one must not forget that the entertainment platform is also not operational.

It’s my fifteenth time walking around the platform, I see her motionless. She just came down the main staircase, and she stares at the subway line undaunted some ten meters in front of me. She seems lost, maybe desolate. She doesn’t show sadness, but I can see that inside her mind there is a terrible chaos.

No one looks at her, it would seem no one knows she even exists.

-Her score on Portalis must be minimum- Not only she isn’t compatible with me, but she also probably isn’t compatible with anyone. She doesn’t receive a single look, she is a true shadow, so invisible and ignored as the most miserable of beings.

She is a woman with a noticeable look, ironically noticeable for being a shadow. She has penetrating green eyes with a light touch of bitterness, with and unfulfilled longing that envelops her, her skin is darkened by the midday sun, with the melancholic flavor of experience. I see her walk, astonished, overwhelmed by her beauty, the simplicity of her clothes, her round gold-colored glasses. It would seem by her demeanor that she is used to loneliness… What could she gave done to be so abandoned? What can her appalling thought be that alert all the Portalis users?

Finally, after a waiting that seemed to go on forever, I see the train slowly approaching the station. She notices this, takes a couple of steps until she is but just a few centimeters near the edge of the platform, and she looks at the rails as if contemplating a childhood friend. She turns her head slightly to the right and then to the left. We make eye contact for a second and she smiles at me, a small smile, quick, almost imperceptible: her eyes seem purer than mine. Suddenly her gaze turns towards the subway rails – she jumps –.

Shocked, I walked forward a few steps to look for a sing of her, but the train and her appear melted together, in a spectacle taken from the works of Dante, worthy of a horror movie. The other twenty-two individuals that were waiting with me get on the train not noticing anything, meanwhile an emergency light is activated to clean the stage. The procedure is both fast and pristine. This has become a routine, just one more person out of thousands. A simple and meaningless number that, with much luck, will be useful to the red chronicle of local press, to print as a filler and to shock the readers.

 – more delays! It’s so annoying! – I hear people complaining around me.

For a moment I forget the subway, the company and Portalis…

Who was she? I don’t know…

Could we have fallen in love? I don’t think so, Portalis’ algorithm is infallible.

The truth is that I looked at her for a miserable second and I lived and eternity: I met her, we had our first date, I fell in love with her, we lived, we argued, we laughed, and we cried. We were lifelong partners, of an infinite second that we enjoyed to the fullest.

Can Portalis explain this feeling? Can it make me fantasize with the wonderful life that I could have had beside her?

– They have just reopened the line, a voice from a speaker announces "doors closing" – Perhaps my journey continues?



We are used to - when we think about the future – to imagine brilliant advances and wonderous technologies that benefit all mankind, making our lives more simple and easier. When we try to foresee the world of tomorrow, we only notice the potential benefits that the system can give us.

The protagonist, be means of narrating in the first person, puts the reader in an atypical scenario, one which in not often spoken or reflected upon: the potential dehumanization guided by artificial intelligence. In this sense, the main topic is the future of our society, and the new technological paradigms; the social relations between individuals and how it can become affected by that for different reasons end up making these very individuals invisible and suppressing them from social life.

The reason for making people invisible? There are many: political conceptions, fake news, religion, nationality, and personal beliefs.

Not only can it be appreciated in the text by dystopic prose, how the relationships between individuals are affected, but also how political and social institutions decide to subscribe to this phenomenon, without reasons, and guided practically by the principle of acclamation.

The main purpose becomes clear, it’s to ask these questions instead of answering them, this is the reason why for not making clear the protagonist last decision…to continue down the same path as before? To change course? What would you do?



  • Hobbes, Thomas: Leviathan