A question of lore

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A question of lore

Post by Cody » Sat Mar 10, 2018 12:11 pm

What happened to AI in the Elite/Oolite universe? Does it, or did it ever, exist? Was it banned, exterminated? Or is that Frontier/ED stuff?
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Re: A question of lore

Post by Disembodied » Sat Mar 10, 2018 1:45 pm

I have my own thoughts on this … personally, I think AI in the Oolite universe is massively dangerous, and viewed with some horror. Hence the almost complete absence of automation, and what there is - docking computers, homing missiles - is very simplistic. Hence, also, the lack of robots and the presence of slaves.

We also have the question of "Computers". Why is there no difference in description or price between low-tech and high-tech Computers? What are these basic trade goods, sold by the tonne, and why is there such consistent demand? My theory: this is a society which is very wary of automation, and of networked machine intelligence in particular. Any yet, some degree of automation is handy, even necessary, especially in making complex calculations. I think Oolite-universe "Computers" are small, possibly biomechanical, Babbage engines (cabbage engines, for short). They can compute but are physically limited in complexity by how small the moving parts are - even if these are based on proteins - and also limited in speed by their biochemical nature. They also, thanks to apoptosis, have a limited lifespan. In short, they grow old and die, and have to be replaced - resulting in a constant demand for fresh components.

Cabbage-engine technology has pretty much hit the buffers set by physics: they can't be made any more complex than they already are. So Computers from a TL5 world are just as good as those from a TL15 world; any advantage would come from improvements in the manufacturing or harvesting process, or possibly in the area of lifespan or resistance to bugs (debugging a cabbage engine probably involves a spraygun).

Hence, too, the fear of the Thargoids and their robot Tharglets. We have these wild stories about the Thargoids, and how they've had their "fear glands" removed - and then there's the strange Navy interest in "Alien Items", and the fact that the one piece of electronic warfare we have is based on Thargoid technology. Maybe the Thargoids - with their incomprehensible babble, and their strange physics, and their bizarre tactics - are some hideous fusion of biology and AI …

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Re: A question of lore

Post by Smivs » Sat Mar 10, 2018 2:59 pm

Certainly within the game there is not really any evidence of sophisticated AI, although I think one iteration of Elite had 'Robot Slaves' which one assumes had AI.
I'd not otherwise thought about it, but its absence immediately suggests an active process to me i.e it has been universally banned, probably because at some time in the past It All Went Horribly Wrong!
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Re: A question of lore

Post by Nite Owl » Sat Mar 10, 2018 7:24 pm

The banning of advanced A.I. in the Ooniverse could be the end result of one or more planets experiencing bad cases of Robot Paranoia and/or Skynet Syndrome.
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Re: A question of lore

Post by Cody » Sat Mar 10, 2018 11:34 pm

I think Oolite-universe "Computers" are small, possibly biomechanical, Babbage engines (cabbage engines, for short).
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Re: A question of lore

Post by Cody » Mon Mar 12, 2018 1:14 pm

So... AI did exist, it was handy, then something went wrong (catastrophically wrong?). Rightly or wrongly, it became hated and feared, was outlawed, and wherever found, exterminated. When did all this occur? Before the diaspora, or after?
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Re: A question of lore

Post by Disembodied » Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:04 pm

It's possible that AI will always result in a runaway singularity, if given the opportunity. It might have happened many times, to many different species on many different worlds (and with different effects: some Nerd Raptures might be harder than others). It might explain how e.g. Qudira can be inhabited by Human colonials, but have a TL of just 1: they could be living in the aftermath of a particularly brutal AI crunch - which could have happened several centuries ago.

Some cultures have avoided it - or been lucky, or been warned off in time by wiser neighbours. And of course there could be an underground (or several, often mutually hostile undergrounds) of AI cultists, seeking to create/contact/resurrect the artificial gods.

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Re: A question of lore

Post by Cody » Mon Mar 12, 2018 2:12 pm

As ever, a mine of good ideas!
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Re: A question of lore

Post by Smivs » Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:40 pm

If a feline race developed AI they probably abandoned it when all it did was want to play with catnip mouseoids and sleep all day!
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Re: A question of lore

Post by Alex » Mon Mar 12, 2018 4:18 pm

Smivs wrote:
Mon Mar 12, 2018 3:40 pm
If a feline race developed AI they probably abandoned it when all it did was want to play with catnip mouseoids and sleep all day!
What is AI?
Maybe an Actual Intelligence from the borders of the Ooniverse.

Feline races were found to be easily distracted. Though have an easy trigger for violence of the deadly nature.
Humanoids are found to eat felines without a reason. Only one recorded "I'm Hungry".
So all races throughout the Ooniverse are warned.
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Re: A question of lore

Post by ffutures » Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:46 am

I did have some ideas on this which I used in an RPG I ran a couple of years ago. Unfortunately I'm not up to writing it as a mission or something:

http://aegidian.org/bb/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=17041

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Re: A question of lore

Post by spud42 » Tue Mar 13, 2018 6:48 am

as Cody posed.... did it ever exist?
were they smarter than us and foresaw the problems and kept computer "dumb"
did there technology not be sufficient to achieve good AI? remember we got to the moon without any thing approaching a modern computer. most of it was analog.
is the oolite universe computers analog and AI not even possible?
enquiring minds need to know...........
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Re: A question of lore

Post by Malacandra » Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:19 am

Haven't read the thread, but eventually Data deactivated and disassembled him. He was just flat-out evil whether it was summoning the Crystalline Entity to murder an entire colony or building a private army of renegade Borg - there was no alternative.
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Re: A question of lore

Post by Cody » Tue Mar 13, 2018 11:59 am

as Cody posed.... did it ever exist? [ ] enquiring minds need to know...........
There's certainly a tale to be told.
but eventually Data deactivated and disassembled him
Who him?
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Re: A question of lore

Post by Smivs » Tue Mar 13, 2018 1:19 pm

Malacandra wrote:
Tue Mar 13, 2018 8:19 am
Haven't read the thread...
RTFT :lol:
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