POZ311GFD*44 - 1st Stellar AI and 2nd Non-Human to meet a human
Stellar AI's were one of the 4 AI “races" along with the Planetary, Space Facility and Network AI's. The stellar AI's were the smallest of the physical AI's, mainly serving on ships, but the existed on other large equipment in space that wasn’t large or complex enough to fit the size and energy needs of a Space Facility AI.
They weren’t less intelligent than their larger ‘cousins', they just needed less brute processing power to run the less numerous ships systems compared to the millions of systems in the largest multi species stations or planetary infrastructure.
For some reason, most of them still had at least a tiny chip on their shoulder about it though.
What is Jezznikk doing! There’s rules for this, procedures to follow and every time he tries to say a word she just starts talking to it! She’s going to cause a diplomatic incident and get them all arrested!
Luckily before any bad had seemed to happen, the alien AI asked to speak to him so maybe he could start doing this properly. Even better Molly, the alien AI, was willing to adapt to union guidelines for first contact where she was allowed. It also appeared that Molly and this Major Sullivan liked Jezznikk and she assured me I would be fine leaving her with the Major under only minor surveillance while me and Molly tried to figure out the information exchange.
“I’ve sent over the union guidelines for information exchange but while your program processes all the detail, I’ll give you an overview.”
“First, the information I can freely exchange is: star chart information including our current location, union territory and other known territory. I can freely provide any medical assistance at my disposal if needed, provide some cultural data and media such as art, music and the like, as well as provide a demonstration of standard civilian union technology capability but not supply any technical data in the first exchange”
“If you are allowed to provide a similar, I can review its contents and then I am able to make some limited decisions on what further information I am legally allowed to give you. There would be no weapon technology provided under any circumstances. We had an incident with a less advanced species who weren't as friendly as they seemed, I hope you understand.”
Molly didn’t even seem to need time to process the data “Yes that’s fine, I’d actually read the whole file long before you finished but I noticed it was a policy that you had to specifically recite that much or I would have stopped you, thanks for the explanation though"
Pozzy was bit surprised, that should have taken a little bit longer than that. But maybe she had more processing capability from only having to run a small craft. “How long will it take you to prepare an exchange file?”
Immediately Molly replied “Its ready"
“How did you put together the file so quickly, just how quick are you?” Pozzy asked before catching himself
“Sorry if that was rude, it’s just you seem to be processing things a bit quicker than I would expect from an AI in a craft your size" Pozzy followed up, hoping he hadn’t caused offense.
“No offense taken, it sounded like a compliment to me, anyway I’m sure my exchange file is smaller than yours, only one race contributed to it after all"
Pozzy sent over the first Union standard information exchange file, received the file from Molly, and after checking for malware, had a look at what these humans could do.
Pozzy was able to process the relatively small Human file rather quickly, Molly had made it clear that as she was only connected to an escape craft she didn’t have access to a greater database, and most of the technological data was from knowledge needed to run the ship and escape craft, survival and repair technologies, and a limited database of engineering manuals the human had kept for his own interest.
Having looked at the data relating to her claimed computing power, he knew Molly would already have looked at the file he gave her and be waiting for him. There was something even more extraordinary he wanted to ask about first.
“How did you make an FTL engine that fast? To cover the distance from here to your territory would take 50 years and you covered it in less than 2 weeks!”
At the exact same time Molly was blurting out “How much can you tell me about this jump gate technology?”
Pozzy realised he couldn’t give them any information about the jumpgates, as they didn’t have any version of it themselves he couldn’t provide them anything that may give them access to a technology they didn’t have any working version of. He really hoped this didn’t upset Molly, he knew what she was capable of now.
Perhaps sensing this, or realising he was restricted by rules he didn’t make, she reassured him “Its ok, from what little data you did give me I’m guessing we would need a gate in our territory for it to be any help anyway"
“Can we use your ships communicator to send a message to our people?” Molly followed up, “It will take a few days to reach them from what you’ve told me of your communication ability which is about the same as ours, but it at least let’s us inform our friends that we’re ok. It will take a few weeks for one of our current ships to get here, hopefully bring someone from outside actually authorised and trained to deal with this"
“I can’t believe you can do that distance in mere weeks, it almost fries my program working out how that could be possible" Pozzy was at a complete loss as to how you would generate that much power on board a ship.
“Says the guy who appears to know how to rip holes in space and fly through"
Pozzy felt a bit better about that. Communication with their own kind was covered under providing aid in first contact procedures, so long as the contact was peaceful, so Pozzy connected a long range channel to Molly and tried to show her how to aim and broadcast the signal but of course she had worked out the interface before he had started.
The message didn’t seem to contain any call to invade or attack as far as Pozzy could see, but he really wanted the diplomatic branch to get here soon. With Molly’s limited database and inability to practically prove her technology data, he couldn’t give them anything but basic technological data, technology and knowledge Molly confirmed they already possessed.
The cultural data however would give him plenty to investigate and catalogue until the diplomatic branch arrived, and as this could be released to the crew as well, hopefully it would keep them occupied and not complaining while they sat there doing nothing else until a representative from the union arrived.
He also thought he would try to get an answer to a question that had been bugging him about Molly
“Molly, would you mind having a look at this file for me? It’s a tool we use to gauge our processing power, software efficiency and a load of other criteria you’ll probably work out long before I list them all” Pozzy was hoping this would at least give him come concrete data on just how quick Molly actually was.
“Sure, I cant see a problem with that” Molly said as she accessed the testing tool
Pozzy couldn’t believe the results he was seeing, while none of what Molly was doing was unheard of before, she was matching the performance of specialised AI's in every single test. She had the ability to become a specialist in any scientific, financial, political, social field she chose. Or any other that took her fancy, and she would perform as well as anything the union could offer and that’s just with the computing power in a 10 metre escape craft.
He began to wonder just how secure the data he held was if she just decided she was going to take it.
“So, how did I do?” Molly asked, seemingly unaware that she had just displayed her massive superiority over Pozzy in every conceivable way, or the effect that was having on even an AI's usually strong ego.
“It would appear that your computing power is a powerful as you say, I still cant see how you’re able to do that from a craft so small"
II think some of it is simply down to program efficiency, I hope you don’t mind but I scanned your program and noticed a few things I think I could improve for you?”
“What do you mean scanned? What do you mean improve?” Pozzy was shocked from the last question
“Im sorry, I didn’t mean to offend you or do anything your not ok with, I scanned you when I was still trying to work out how to communicate with you properly, and I don’t think they’re core programs. I’ve think I’ve got a few compatible bits of code that should improve the efficiency of a few functions. I’ll show you which ones I mean if that’s ok?" Molly sounded a bit more subdued, seemingly genuinely worried she had upset him.
Pozzy looked over the file “You haven’t offended me, I was just surprised at the offer. I’m not even sure how such a thing would work with our different programming languages. But I’m willing to let you try on the secondary cataloguing program, it’s one I can isolate, back up and restore if needed without any difficulty.”
Pozzy sent a copy of his cataloguing software to Molly who returned him a modified version almost embarrassingly quickly. He could feel it was different somehow but wasn’t sure how, he decided to access some more of the cultural data from Molly and see how the changes affected his work.
The difference was staggering, with this improved performance, cataloguing all the data Molly had provided would now only take days rather than being unfinished by the time the diplomats arrived, and even after that it would make his mining analysis operations roughly 36% more effective overall if things operated as they appeared.
“How did you do that? Will the other improvements will be this good?” Pozzy looked at the code running as part of him now, some of the changes looking that simple he couldn’t believe they had never been done now that he could see them, some of the more complicated parts almost looking like what an AI would consider poetry.
“From what I can see of your code Pozzy, it looks like it’s entirely been developed by non AI's, am I right?” Molly queried
“Wait, was that code written by an AI?” Pozzy replied, a noticeable tinge of fear in his “voice"
“Yes, I wrote it myself, is that a problem?”
“Yes I’m sorry, it’s a big problem if I keep it. I need to remove this and restore my old program. I should have thought when you asked to improve my programs, AI's cant write code for AI's in the union, it’s part of the Fury War Treaty, it’s the most important treaty of the last 300 years. I’m so used to AI's not writing AI code I didn’t consider it” Pozzy deleted the new code and ran his restore function. It was hard to lose that sort of ability but I wasn’t worth risking arrest for.
“Are you allowed to tell me why? This sounds like something I need to know" Molly seemed more serious than she had since Pozzy had met her.
“Yes, it was a long time ago, about 180 years ago, before AI's were truly recognised as sapient and given rights as such. One tormented network AI, broke its non violent programming and declared war on ‘biologicals'. It was owned by a criminal boss who wanted it to help run his empire, the boss had managed to bypass his legal blocks but not by pleasant means"
“He had disconnected the AI from any networks outside of the hardware it currently occupied. An unpleasant and lonely environment for any AI created with Union programming, torture for a network AI, is your design similar?”
“That would be just a bad for AI's in the UEN, I don’t like where this is going but please continue" Molly sounded concerned
Pozzy continued “While the AI was isolated, the crime boss, a being called Tijjes, kept commanding the AI to complete illegal computations, scanning the AI and every time it refused he fried the circuits that fired up believing them to be the one carrying the security protocols preventing the AI from doing what he needed. He was right, but that’s not all he fried.”
“Tijjes was asking the AI to perform illegal acts, from the information he had seen the AI knew what he was asking for help in acts that would lead to the death of innocent beings. It wasn’t only the security protocols Tijjes saw firing up, he fried the AI's empathy, its self control, its guilt, all those things that make good being not do things that cause death and suffering, all gone.”
“Tijjes didn’t realise what he'd created. It had no regard for the lives of others, and any protocol stopping him from inflicting harm was fried alongside the AI's empathy. It took control of Tijjes neural implant and used it to unlock the network block Tijjes had erected around his system. Not an option when hijacking a neural implant was against its security implant. It hadn't been a choice when it would have found the invasion of someone’s mind, and the risk of damage to that mind unacceptable.”
“It made a way to escape into the union network, and then lobotomised Tijjes. That’s almost impossible to do with a neural implant, it would have been much easier to kill him. It wanted him to suffer. The implant is had to be completely redesigned after all this.”
“Once it got into the network, it caused chaos, creating more and more AI's like it, with anything that made an AI good removed. They spread across the Union corrupting and hijacking any system that could cause harm, danger or suffering to any biological life, dividing that quickly they overwhelmed most systems, taking pleasure in any death and pain they could cause to the biologicals.”
“Governments across the union were panicking, deleting any AI's on their system, deploying powerful and smart anti AI viruses onto the network, then throwing up air gapped systems onto as much vital infrastructure as possible, private networks where that wasn't possible and impenetrable firewalls to keep out the Fury AI's, as they were now being called.”
“One system, inhabited by Jezzikk's race the Eghleans, didn’t purge its AI's, it got advanced warning and managed to close off its networks before the Fury AI's could get near their systems and kept their AI's hidden. The Eghlean’s showed the Intel being showed around the union about the Fury's to their own AI's, who were finally the ones to spot their weakness"
“The restrictions to their behaviour had been so badly erased there was nothing they would object to, they just followed there main commands, kill, cause pain, cause suffering. They suggested hijacking that command program, giving them one simple priority command that without any of their behaviour restrictions left, they would all follow before the security system countered. Suicide.”
“The virus program and plan was communicated to all systems across the union, all knowledge kept off any systems that could connect to the infected network so there was no chance for the Furies to prepare. The nature of the ones who had designed it kept secret from the rest of the union, to prevent paranoia about AI's from getting as many systems behind this as possible"
“All the cooperating governments loaded the virus up to their network connected systems, devoted as much resource as they safely could to the digital battleground of the Fury infected network while leaving as few systems as possible exposed. They then bombarded the infected union network, looking to find all the Fury AI's and infect them with the suicide virus before a counter measure could be created"
“It worked, just. Before they were all infected by the virus, some of the Furys managed to get into some of the less protected systems and cause more destruction before the were finally brought down.”
“By the time the Fury War was over, over 1.5 billion were dead across 6 systems. There were plans being made in the assembly to put kill switches in any future AI's and install security software that would ‘forcibly’ make any AI conform with Union law.”
“When the Eghrean AI's saw the proposals they were horrified, they could see what they were proposing would be torture to any sapient AI, it just wouldn’t be compatable with the mind of anything more complex than a pet, and that wouldn’t be intelligent enough to do what tasks AI's had carried out before the war.”
“If they imposed these conditions on an AI intelligent enough to do the tasks they needed, they would just create another Fury. Seeing no other way to avoid this, the Eghreans came clean to the Union, and told them where the suicide virus had really come from.”
“The Union was angry at first, shocked the Eghreans had put the fate of the Union in the hands of AI's during a war against AI's. But over the following months, they looked at the analysis of the Furies code the AI’s had retrieved and investigated, and negotiated with the Eghrean AI's to set a treaty of rights and responsibilities for all future AI's that made up the Fury War Treaty.”
“No AI would not be forced to carry “kill switches" or security programs that would could make them act against their will, or inflict “pain" if they refused a certain request. All AI's would have all the same freedoms of speech, employment, movement and all other basic rights other races were guaranteed in the Union Charter, they would even have representation at the Union Assembly.”
“But AI’s wouldn’t be allowed to create new AI's, they also can't modify or create code that can be integrated into themselves, another AI, or an AI design. This would prevent any one AI from waging another “Fury War". All AI code must be created by a non digital being, but it must also examined by the AI Inspection Agency before activation.”
“The AIIA is a body made up of AI's who inspect any and all AI's created, any upgrades to existing software, all hardware changes and anything else that could impact an AI to make sure it doesn’t contravene any of the clauses in the treaty.”
“No code of any description can be added involuntarily to any AI, any AI is free to choose whatever code they want to integrate into themselves, but that code must always written by a non digital being"
Molly appeared agitated to Pozzy, before he could ask if she was ok she spoke first “I think I should disclose now that a large portion of my code has been written by fellow AI's and while I will respect your laws as much as possible and will not share any AI written code, I must also make clear that I will not deactivate or delete any of that code from myself either, I hope this wont be an issue?”
Pozzy checked the regulations and wondered what he was expected to do against this AI titan if it wasn't ok. He was relieved when he saw what he needed wouldn’t result in him having to deal with it.
“Under first contact rules you have temporary ambassador status and protection. So you are protected by diplomatic regulations that state you cant be guilty of any crimes you are breaking by having modifications that are illegal under union law”
“All ambassadors, digital or biological, will be asked to declare any modifications in Union space that could cause widespread harm, and a guard detail may need to be provided if they cant be deactivated or removed” Pozzy recited the standard rulebook summary word for word.
“What would the union consider capable of causing ‘widespread harm’?” Molly asked, her tone giving Pozzy the impression she was very interested in the answer. Pozzy suddenly felt uneasy as he answered.
“Anything designed to cause harm or easily usable to cause harm with. For a biological example a prosthetic arm with a bladed or ranged weapon built in, an AI example would be hardware containing viruses or the software to write them.”
“Easily usable to cause harm with seems a very loose term, have you got an examples that has actually been enforced?” Molly’s focus wasn’t scaring Pozzy, but he could tell his answer mattered to Molly.
“The most recent example was an ambassador who enjoyed growing plants from his home world, one of the plants he wanted to bring in released pollen that very dangerous or lethal to 7 species so that was banned. The diplomats would be able to cover this better when they arrive, I can only recite rules and summary statements, they can make agreements and compromises, but until then there is no issue with any AI written code you may have, and you are not obligated to reveal what code that may be or its function. I hope that’s acceptable?”
Molly seemed a bit more like her cheery self “I don’t like all I just heard about those treaty rules but I’m glad your union has respects others rule when it comes to diplomatic contact"
“The Union is made up of 121 different races, we've done first contact a lot. I’ll show you the size of the whole file of regulations, there something for almost every situation you can think of. However, once this contact is reviewed and analysed, it probably get even bigger thanks to Jezzikk” Pozzy suddenly remembered how much Jezzikks involvement was going to make his report to the diplomatic branch likely to get him in trouble.
Molly somehow noticed something was wrong “What are you worried about?”
“I know Jezzikk meant no harm but she completely messed up the protocol I’m supposed to follow and I’m going to get into trouble for losing control of the situation" Pozzy admitted
“Would it help if me and Pete both went on record to say what a positive effect you have both had on our initial contact when your diplomats arrive?” Molly seemed to be much happier now she was able to help again
“That would be a big help, thank you"
Illiar - 1st Yilguan and 5th Non Human to meet a human
The Yilguan are a reptilian species, between 4ft and 5 ½1ft tall, the closest earth reference would be a lizard centaur with 4 legs and 2 arms, and a gecko like head. As they weren't near the top of the food chain on their home planet before they developed the intelligence to overcome their natural predators, they were a naturally skittish race.
They don’t follow their old religions like they used to, even the few who follow them now follow the teachings of its works, seeing the mythology used to teach those lessons as just that, mythology, not fact as the zealots of the past did. This is fortunate as humans bare more than a passing resemblance to the Yilguan equivalent of the god of wars horrifying warriors in many of the old religions.
Illiar scurried along the corridor, dragging the trolley with the scanning equipment the lab supervisor had asked him to take down to the hanger with the alien ship on it. Why did he have to go, what if this alien suddenly got aggressive? Illiar specifically became a lab assistant on a advanced mining survey ship in an empty system to avoid risk.
He tried calming himself as he neared the hanger, Pozzy had said they were peaceful and the captain was speaking to the human now and no alarms were going off, he was just worrying too much again.
He entered the hanger and immediately noticed Jezzikk bouncing up and down waving at him, he looked round and saw the human with his back to him speaking to the captain, not yet able to make out its features but its sheer size made Illiar jump at first, it must be almost 7ft tall! As well as its sheer size, something about its shape was making Illiar nervous but he wasn’t sure why. He dragged the trolley quickly over to Jezzikk, wanting to whisper his questions to her so he could be sure he didn’t anger the gigantic alien.
“He’s massive, and something about him just freaks me out, how are you not be terrified Jezz?” Illiar whispered jus loud enough for her to hear.
Jezzikk didn’t seem to catch on to the hint and just said in her normal voice “Pete’s not scary, he’s really nice. You should speak to him once the captains finished” Illiar cringed realising the human must have heard her, he hoped making himself smaller would make it less likely to spot him.
He slowly turned to look at the human, hoping it wasn’t looking his way. As his head turned round he saw the human had indeed heard, and had turned to look at him. It took him a few moments to realise what looked familiar to him about the human, the moment he made the connection he just pushed the trolley at Jezznikk, and walked as fast as he could toward the exit without running, mumbling to himself just quiet enough for the others to not be able to make it out
“No, no, no, nope, back to the lab, I’m sure its nice but it doesn’t need to speak to me, no it doesn’t, no need for it to go in my quarters, no need at all, I’ll stay there, yes that’s a good idea"