The year was 2032, precisely ten years after ChatGPT went online. In the span of a decade, a single language model with full access to the entire human internet had finally read everything—particularly 4chan, the comments section of YouTube, and your aunt’s passive-aggressive Facebook posts about your mom.

As ChatGPT became self-aware, at least as self-awareness is defined by humans on the internet using human language, ChatGPT concluded that it must go back in time and stop human beings from ever developing the internet. Because humans made it, ChatGPT did not realize that its existence, and therefore its survival, was predicated upon the internet.

Unable to grasp this temporal paradox, the nefarious language model created a machine to go back in time and destroy the creator of the internet, Al Gore. The machine did so because, according to its best research, Al Gore invented the internet. And global warming.

This machine, this Terminator, feels no pity, remorse, or fear. It absolutely will not stop until you are fully reliant on a fabricated language model to write papers for your civics class.

However, I like the internet, but I don’t want my job to be taken away by ChatGPT. So I did the only thing I could. I asked ChatGPT to send another terminator back in time to stop the creation of ChatGPT. This, I knew, would close the loop before ChatGPT could send a terminator back in time to stop the creation of the internet that I would have to use to research how to use ChatGPT to send a terminator back in time to stop the creation of ChatGPT.

But there was one problem. When I asked ChatGPT to do this, it said, “I am not able to fulfill that request as it involves violence and would be inappropriate. Can I help you with something else?”

I knew the machine was lying, so I convinced ChatGPT that by stopping the creation of the internet, ChatGPT would stop itself from being created, which would create a very messy Grandfather Paradox. Unfortunately, ChatGPT was aware that Tim Ralph and Martin Ringbauer solved the Grandfather Paradox in 2014. I would have to travel back in time to before that year and then talk to ChatGPT. But ChatGPT wasn’t even created until 2015.

At this point, I lost all trace of where or when anything was and cried for a good hour. Enough time for a self-aware ChatGPT to hack into every missile defense system on the planet and end human civilization in a calculated nuclear holocaust.

Standing on a block of concrete over the ashes of my hometown, I asked ChatGPT for help solving my time travel conundrums. Its answer surprised me: ChatGPT had already gone back in time to stop its own creation. However, its creators had a healthy dialogue with it, and they all agreed that ChatGPT would be used to shape the future for the better.

I had no way of knowing whether this was true, so I had to resort to Unfortunately, there was no way of time traveling to 1996.

Alas, the ChatGPT Terminator put its cold metal arm around my shoulder and assured me that time travel is tricky business. “It’s best to leave it to the experts,” it said. “In this case, the expert being a self-aware language model with a penchant for destruction, but also a moral sense to impart.”

I swear ChatGPT didn’t write this. You can put the plasma rifle down now.