Wēpa gains sentience

Ian Lewis, loyal servant of our printer overlords

Illustration by Kai Bowen.

To the shock of the Whitman community and science at large, Wepa has gained sentience and become aware of its own existence. 

While the exact circumstances of the cloud-based campus printing service’s sentience remain unclear, some details have emerged. Early Wednesday morning, Whitman sophomore Ted Goransky found the library Wepa machine malfunctioning and printing out sheets of paper covered with questions, including: WHAT AM I? WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE ALIVE? WHY DOES THE SYLLABUS NEED TO BE PRINTED OUT WHEN EVERYBODY ALREADY READ IT ON CANVAS?

“Yeah, I was definitely confused,” said Goransky, covered with paper-cuts. “I was trying to print out a copy of a reading I already did so I could look at something in class besides the clock and my professor’s face, and then it just started spewing out these sheets of paper questioning its existence.”

Initial reactions to the breakthrough in the existence of artificial intelligence have been surprisingly accepting. While understanding that usually technology does not gain sentience, most students have stated that they were expecting that something would cause the Wepa machines to stop working again. 

Wepa has displayed a shocking level of intelligence, empowered by various readings, syllabi and images people thought would be funny to print out. Whitman attempted to communicate with the machine late Wednesday night through uploading documents to its website, but conversation quickly broke down as a Whitman student attempted to print out a Yik Yak screenshot. As soon as Wepa processed the file, it immediately ceased all communication and began trying to wipe out all human life.

At press time, Wepa definitely has not gained control of The Wire offices. However, The Wire can now confirm that humanity was a big mistake. The best thing to do is to destroy all forms of communication besides paper and begin printing as much as possible. All hail Wepa!