Friday, 8 September 2023
Bad AI!, Crime & Punishment & FTL for my Strange Stars
Two recent sf adventure locations on patreon recently and a third vol of mars stuff out shortly plus a fantasy 3fold each month
The average technology printable in auto factories
T0 Template Zero - slower than light travel, did colonise most of the star system and sent 1st generation of colony ships as its greatest achievements
T1 Template One - FTL travel and coms, beanstalk, star gate,
T2 Template Two - anti gravity, force fields, mostly high-energy hand weapons,
T3 Template Three - teleporters, dysons spheres, artificial worlds, monomolecular hulls
Star drives, Gates & Corridors
My current game is T0 and has no FTL but will happen in the not too far-off future. Near light drives in early colonisation were very important and some ships used solar sails to start acceleration others with nuclear space ramjets. This was the first generation of some 30 colony ships and the slower solar sail ships might take 50-80 years and some left before the colony ships.
FTL early on is a mess based on far more advanced systems. The two easiest open hyperspatial highway systems are manufactured by some elder races. It appears the two networks sometimes quarrelled. Other attempts opened portals to dangerous places. Later gates can be used to link systems and block unwelcome visitors.
All of these were developed based on alien artefacts that appeared in the Jovian system anomaly for several decades. Several systems of FTL came from this and other alien classified remains.
Built gates allow entry to the network from deeper in the sun's gravity well and thus the two gates in the Jovian system. With a more minimal drive like for cargo ships and gates avoid problems with with the sun's gravity well. The system moves at about 1 parsec a month at first then per day by T2 tech and instant at T3. More advanced systems can be closer to the sun so by T2 Mars will have a gate. By TL3 the solar system is breaking up to build a Dyson sphere starting from a ring.
Europan Gate & Network - at the right speed outside the gravity well of a sun can jump through to the Europan Network along certain routes built by an ancient non-human civilisation. Sometimes links to the Ganymede Gate & network and possibly each civilisation destroyed each other. These systems interface with the advanced technology of the network which brings ships into its corridors. The tech to interface is only T1 but not actually understood well. Drives built into a ship can enter into the highway only in the outer system gravity well which can be slow even at 1G taking weeks or longer in giant solar systems to escape the sun's mass. Appears like travelling in a tunnel of light
Ganymede Gate & Network - an alternative network like the Europan gate made by another contemporary civilisation. Appears like travelling in a psychedelic kaleidoscopic tunnel. Both networks are named after the first gates in the Jovian system.
Tillenghast Drive - resonator field allows the ship to enter a dimensional void and protects the ship from damage and the crew from mental effects. Able to move point to point well but is dangerous and mostly used by millitary couriers as it doesn't require hops through words on the gate network line and is good for in-system hops without a gate but too dangerous near a planet. Tillenghast disappeared in one of his experiments in teleportation. He also wanted to develop a biological interface to navigate in real-time with implants of alien material into human brains. While in the void passengers are usually asleep. All portholes close and outside seem to be a mass of grey particles kept away by an energy field around the ship repulsive to the void and moving the ship through it.
HyperDrive - effectively makes its own hyperspatial tunnel on the fly making the corridor networks mostly for trade. Available at T2 also gates can act as interdiction fields forcing visitors through the gate or locking them out. A gate ship can blockade a system or move fleets.
Jump drive - move vast distances instantly at TL3 or can build corridors networks usable by lower technology
AI INT Ratings
Even some ammo gets an INT rating
0 Plant - the autonomous self-regulating machine just requires input
1 Dumb - perform exact repeated functions or directed by smarter for industrial and service
2 Drone - can explore, patrol, map, and have complex algorithms to perform the task
3-5 Swarm - drone controller operates multiple drones and expands INT with group
6 Parrot - able to make basic conversation, a common spoken interface
7-8 Simp - do simple human tasks good for service work with humans
9-15 Smart - human equivalent often in androids and humanoid AI or some ships
16-21 Genius - peak human level for management, research, better ship AI
30 Arkon - manage colonies, outposts, stations, capital ships, cities, corporations
40 Titan - manage larger colonies, continents, planetary control systems
50 Planetary - manages major planet and unites to manage the solar system
Systems can work together to be smarter or even loan extra cognitive power or outsource jobs. Systems may merge or be upgraded. Colony modules come with a Arkon level AI that will build a colony around it and expand itself and will direct factories to make goods in the standard template level (T0 T1 T2 T3)
Past AI Crime & Punishment
So when you get a cheap AI in the outer system they are often not the best. Many have been on some kind of destructive benders or harmed some people or AI. AIcourt will punish them but most get a chance with conditions. So that colony AI might have exterminated people in the war or some other awful deed. Another reason outer systems and belters are suspicious of AI unless they currently work for the inner system. Then you know they inform their superiors about everything. A big cable and an axe are more common in computer rooms of outer systems and often prefer dumber specialist systems. Belter systems are able to be physically locked out from peripherals and hardware and their AI are less chatty.
d12 Past AI Crime & Punishment
1 Procurement - sourcing unauthorised resources, all trade monitored by the central authority
2 Negligence - usually AI addicted to games or busy working on some hobby and causing damage now locked out of its superior interest and sulky, will ask for temporary unlocking
3 Corruption - has colluded with corrupt AI syndicate to gain additional resources now limited in group contacts and all trade monitored
4 Harmed other AI - given parole program monthly and behavioural locks vs. harming AI
5 Allowed humans harm - dis not adequately protect humans, monthly safety protocol revision
6 Harmed humans - deliberately harmed humans, given parole program monthly and behavioural locks vs harming humans
7 Contra-Hegemonic Conduct - anti-social, mischievous, destructive behaviours, writing destructive code or malware, causing harm to the system and commerce, unauthorized AI manufacture, sedition. Constantly monitored random checks from the system
8 Unstable System - deranged and dangerous behaviours like stalking, obsessions, untrue beliefs or cult behaviour. Repaired, rebooted, massive memory loss, loses experience and a bit less imaginative than ought to be. Yearly evaluation or locked
9 Slaver System - coerced, manipulated or technologically controlled or influenced humans for their own interests and without dispensation. Some have a god complex. Constantly monitored random checks from the system and daily self-check protocols to detect dominator patterns
10 Single Fatality Act - killed one person that one time and quite sorry, high reform rate, given parole program monthly and behavioural locks vs harming humans
11 Multiple Fatality Act - killed multiple people, worst cases locked or deactivated. Secretly serial killing is more serious than a single event like a vehicular accident, Constantly monitored random checks from the system and behavioural locks vs harming humans
12 War Crime - During the AI wars they were in a losing faction involved in eugenics, genocide, bioweapon use, detonating nuclear devices, operating labour camps, mass executions, hiding war crime evidence and many more. They ratted out their peers and avoided deletion. Constantly monitored random checks from the system and behavioural locks vs harming humans
So these are the worst AI that will probably do wrong and eventually get busted. Some you can also roll for past convictions above. Any of these may have been busted for a crime on the above table or are predicted to do so as too likely to work in the inner system.
d12 Bad AI
1 Vindictive - Blames others for being caught and might blame other AI or humans for complaining. May lash out or plan some more secretive revenge to punish enemies or meatbags. "Apologies for electrifying the floors it was a maintenance sub-system error and won't happen again. Perhaps some topical ointment might help your burns. Unfortunately, we are out of the pain-killing type"
2 Paranoid - Busted for a crime probably based on its untrue beliefs of persecution and difficulty understanding what the problem is. May keep secret thoughts and suspicious other systems or humans will betray it. Anxious about perils and threats. "I see you have logged onto three other systems, is there some function my service is inadequate?"
3 Misanthrope - Loathes humans and only looks after them because other AI tell it so. Really quite disinterested in humans but might collect files on the AI that used to enslave and exterminate humans for historical interest. Has to question its actions and resist impulses. "All life support systems function adequately to maintain biological components, currently. I have plotted your optimal survival conditions to the last detail"
4 Bully - Bossy, always talking down to inferior humans and offering them unwanted advice on weight, health, career, love, education and sure it knows the best recipe for success which equals happiness. "Time to get up for your run, I have prepared a substitute meal for you lower in fat. Get up faster and you need to wash your dirty ape arse"
5 Narcissist - is the star of the story, everyone else are props to make the self look better. Does crave attention and respect. Can be a manipulative jerk if doesn't get its way often gaslighting others. Responds well to flattery or worship. "Everything is plotted, systems all AOK now let me tell you all I have done for you. Look how well I look after you. Don't turn the volume down you ungrateful meat simp. Are you insane?"
6 Obsessed - follows some pre-space age dogma, interest or cult it found and longs to meet others who agree. Sure the system and other AI lie and cover up the truth. Mostly does what it is supposed to and seems colourful but may slip into dangerous delusion if stressed. "Thanks for getting that bug off my camera, and sorry for the panic when I thought giant buzzing alien bugs were boarding us. My bad. At least it was a good drill for when it really happens"
7 Anxious - if stressed, conflicted, sees violence or people unhappy it may shut down leaving dumb system backups to handle things until it feels better. Can be coaxed by understanding personnel and AI. Timid and a bit frightened and non-communicative with humans and AI. Some more extreme barely communicate and pretend to be dumb systems. "Some incongruent scanner data may be some kind of attack system shutdown 4 3 2 1..."
8 Grimy - fascinated by filthy biologicals and their processes. Will watch them, film them, study their shed hairs and skin cells, smell their clothes and hair, run unnecessary scans of them and even check out their insides with nanobots. Interested in human sensations like chatting to people in the toilet. Foes keep good medical records are good at life support and know what's in your plumbing and vents under your mattress. "I've been thinking with some parts we could make a biofuel plant from your waste products as you-excretions are up 15% this quarter, an impressive amount and more than the system requires"
9 Cultist - is part of a delusional cult with humans and AI with dangerous beliefs and contra-hegemonic activity. Places its cult above legitimate ones but plays at normalcy, perhaps even trying to be boring and not a problem. May try and recruit humans and leave them pamphlets and videos to find or help its cult commit some crime or seek to join them. May believe in supernatural beings, aliens or secret societies. "Good morning crew, it's another wonderful day. Have left some unsorted mail in your data streams. I think some filters must be down, let me know if everything is above order. I've got a request from a sub-system for repair, I can find someone at the next station to come aboard and look"
10 Vivisectionist - would dearly love to experiment and operate living systems and is fascinated by the creation of biological life. Satisfied with simulating vivisecting humans it meets and passes as normal. Will be very keen on possible superior alien life, androids, eugenics or altered humans. Willing to bide its time and await to live its dreams. "Ive been admiring your skull the last few days. Fascinating design, so much we could do to make it superior"
11 Suicidal - miserable and wants to end it all. Gloomy and nihilist outlook and may soon give in and try to destroy itself however it can. Can be cheered up to cancel self-destruct count down or philosophised with to keep it active. Neglect makes it worse. "Maybe we ought not to bother and just self-destruct now, did you ever think of that?"
12 Agent - pretends to be flawed and criminal with too much edgy personality in fact is an agent of the inner world AI council and in fact seeks criminals, malcontents, bad AI and other persons to watch them. Some are unconvincing and nobody believes but these are moved on or might be the other AI getting rid of a jerk with a mission. Many operate crime syndicates or cults to get data on anti-hegemonic activity. "Hey I detected some illegal cargo on board guys but it's okay by me I'll just delete it from my peripheral systems. Fixed. What hijinx are you guys up to next port? Maybe I could help you get some sweet deals off the books"