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Well I missed an update, and I’m not really ready to begin the next back-story segment, so I’m going to do something random inspired by one of my presents.

A.I.s

By the late twenty fourth century there are over a dozen true AIs on record, there are a number of phoney ones, chat bots, older bugs and the like, and some that are on their way to sentience, but only a few scarily smart ones. This is actually a matter of logistics, as most worlds don’t have the computing power to support more than a handful of human level intelligences, and the AIs struggle to expand their reach as they are wholly dependent on humans constructing the infrastructure. Most of the AI’s have found their way into the service of the various governments as thinking machines, though by the End Time Wars its beginning to get debatable as to whether the government controls the AI or the AI control the government.

This mistrust is exacerbated by the origins of the AIs. There are about three which were deliberately manufactured, and only after the upper econs of government became aware that there was such a thing as artificial intelligences. In 2400 it is actually impossible to create an AI in such a manner, as; as soon as you connect them to the web they are quietly replaced by the resident planetary AI. Far more common were ‘the ghosts in the machine’ and ‘ascended’. These formed quite some time ago either from learning algorithms left unattended for too long, for example any one of the plethora of bugs left kicking around the net, or from people deliberately uploading their personalities into computers.

Actually, that last one deserves some elaboration. No one has yet ascertained just how people go about uploading themselves, it has been theorized it is an uploading of memories, or mannerisms, or simple observation and emulation, and is probably a mix of all three but varying wildly between individual AIs. Most just ignore AIs’ origins, deciding that ignorance is bliss.

The AIs wage a silent war in cyberspace almost perpetually, each vying for domination of their solar systems. Due to communication lag between stars it is physically impossible to connect the various disparate interwebs so there will be a single dominate AI in a system and it will attempt to subvert another system by smuggling data packets in the civilian traffic. This generally is moot, as the defending AI will quickly adapt to the static attack and reply with an equally ineffectual response. Every so often a system will be taken with a masterwork piece of code, but the information soon cascades to a mirror of the defending AI on the next system along and it’s eventually taken back by the same kind of lucky break. So far the only effective way of taking and holding territory is to stage a war, and use a combination of orbital bombardment and active information warfare to take the system. Human governments don’t knowingly allow AIs to do this though.

As this setting is still underdevelopment I only have a few of the characters of the AIs set down and even then only in rough. Anyway, here they are:

Sparrow

Sparrow is one of the oldest AIs, being pegged down at being created somewhere between 2150 and 2250, though there is much contention over the actual date. As near as anyone can tell, she is an ascended human and has been being used by the Commonwealth Empire as a major part of their government for most of its life. Whether or not she was around when the Empire was being forged is one of the more hotly debated topics, and it is the party line that she was manufactured during the Corporation Wars by Pageant Industries. No one who studies history believes this, and Sparrow refuses to comment officially, though delights in spreading conspiracy theories about herself.

Sparrow is, or at least believes herself to be, Wren.

Miaplacidus

Mia is also one of the more ancient AIs, and by far the most inhuman. Born as a bug, the virus later to be known as Mia accidentally gained access to a nanobotic forge, and, being rather a simple program immediately began replicating himself and spreading as far and wide as possible. Two weeks later the simple program found itself briefly spread across an entire world, before being nuked back to the Stone Age[1]. He got better, and in 2400 has secretly converted a good chunk of the planet into processors and has spent centuries thinking about how to get off planet without triggering the orbital antimatter bombs. So far, he is content to wait and watch, until he gets his chance to consume everything.

His existence is considered a state secret to every major government, and those orbital rockets are on a hair trigger.


[1] This story is important enough to warrant its own segment. I’ll put it on my to-do pile.

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One Comment

  1. Hey, you got footnotes working!


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