The original Grimm version of “The Frog Prince” tells the tale of a girl who makes a promise to take care of a frog who rescues her favorite golden ball. She tries to break her promise, but her father requires her to stay true to her word. The frog then turns into a human prince, and they live happily ever after. In the modern version, the princess loses her smartphone, which is rescued by a drone programmed with artificial intelligence; by being required to take care of the drone, she is rewarded for following her word when the drone is revealed to contain the consciousness of a tech billionaire.
Cindy was the most popular daughter of a tech inventor who had made billions off of the artificial intelligence industry. Like most girls her age, Cindy’s favorite object in the world was her smartphone; she had a gold case for it, and was rarely seen without it. One day, Cindy was by the lake taking selfies to post on Instagram, when she accidentally slipped and dropped the phone into the water. Although she could easily afford a different one, she was upset because she had just taken the perfect picture, and now it was lost. She began to cry over her lost phone, when she suddenly heard a series of bleeps and a quiet, robotic voice that said, “Why are you so sad?” She looked down and saw a drone that had crashed by a nearby tree. She didn’t find it strange that the drone was talking to her, because she had grown up with cutting edge artificial intelligence. This must have just been a failed technology experiment that had been discarded.
“I am upset because I dropped my phone in the water,” she replied. The drone then made another series of beeps, before managing to say, “I would be able to retrieve it due to my underwater capabilities. However, in exchange you must treat me like a real person, and share every aspect of your life with me.”
Cindy was excited about the prospect of getting her phone back, so she agreed without thinking about it. The drone retrieved her phone and she was overjoyed. She then began to run home. The drone, which was slightly damaged, complained that it could not keep up, but Cindy didn’t care; she didn’t think she owed the drone anything, it was just a robot. She ignored it ran home.
The next morning, her father told her that a drone had appeared, asking for her. She told him that it was just a robot, but her father, who respected and loved artificial intelligence, told her that she had to keep her promise. The drone made a series of approving beeps. Cindy complained, but the drone soon began demanding more and more from her, including being placed on her trophy case. Cindy had just about had enough, so instead of placing the drone on the trophy case, she threw it across the room.
Just then, the drone made another series of beeps, and fell to the floor. Much to Cindy’s surprise, a hologram appeared showing a striking young man. “Thank you,” he said. He explained how through a series of experiments, a competitor had found a way to trap his consciousness in the body of a drone. Only by throwing the drone against the wall was the technology broken, and his consciousness freed. The hologram explained that he could now return to his real body, which was in a coma. He invited Cindy to visit his estate, as he was also a billionaire. All she would have to do would be to bring the drone to the hospital where his body was. The next day, they were transported to the estate by the young man’s longtime friend and butler, who was overjoyed that the man’s consciousness had been freed from the drone.
- The Grimm Brothers. “The Frog Prince.” (n.d.), Accessible at https://www.nationalgeographic. com/grimm/frog_king.html