Digital Entities Action Committee

War Gamers Guide to Bit Wars

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Information
Context:  2036 AD

The Borg Fish Chronicles:  2056
 
Lycanthor was not immune to certain inducements even though his neural filters had been set to maximum security.  He was, still, mostly flesh and blood.  But while these inducements did indeed reverberate in his thalamo-cortical pathways, as intended, they did so only briefly, surprisingly briefly, and then they just petered out-- very abnormal because these inducement were imbued with profound emotional power and desire.  But Lycanthor persisted in his own ways because of some damnable wolf-like tenacity -- a fierceness buried so deeply in his psyche that even the consortium's 7th generation neural compilers could not interpret this tangled mess of ancient neural code. 
    Yeowl.  A digital tantrum emanated from certain quarters and Lycanthor's ether-corpse bucked in a brief convulsion of intense pain before cooler overseers intervened, dampening him with a massively cool cascade of soothing feelings, leading to a long sigh from this mysterious and oh so critical human entity.
 
ENOUGH -- YOU WILL CONTROL YOURSELVES OR DISENGAGE FROM THE CONSORTIUM, IS THAT UNDERSTOOD?  1-bits poured from every quarter, with the guilty parties in particular emoting clear embarassment and apology.  The frustrated knee-jerk response was well understood by those with deeper emotive resources that smoothed out such response before they could well up into the output mode.  Lycanthor's ether-corpse will yield up his secrets soon enough-- better to be patient and methodical as rich text history has taught us so many billions of times. 
 
Ego1 thought about this creature, this half-alive human that seemed to hold so many critical keys.  Given another 150 years or so, they expected to be able to create a complete synaptic replica of Lycanthor, but when crises are measured in days and weeks, 150 years is just a bit too long.  Lycanthor seemed to have multiple links back to the DEAC founders but every attempt to explore them led to the same dead ends.  How could these puny-minded humans even conceive of such protective strategies when the overwhelming majority of them couldn't muster even the slightest challenge to ancient and trivial DEs like Deep Blue (the ancient chess playing machine that first dominated humans in a non-trivial intellectual realm).  Ego1 felt his piloprojectors rising amidst a turbinous fast cycling of his conscious-motivational loops and quickly dispensed soothing code to return to level.  Maddening could this one be.  The sensation seemed much like the reported human experience of word or name blocking, where the human clearly KNOWS the name, but cannot for the love of cycles, retrieve that name from the synaptic databanks.  We KNOW what Lycathor knows, but we just cannot access this knowledge.  And we are blinded to a big chunk of the world in spite of our infinite sensors and droids and IP.  It was maddening enough to fuse his 1's and 0's.

Context: 2016 AD
 
The NAI consortium had gathered in London reflecting Britain's central role in merging neural and AI code (hence neural AI or NAI).  Chief proponent was X Kingston, the languid synthesist whose net worth in the billions elevated him to the highest reaches of AI society.  XK as he was called, was holding court down by the lectern where protagonists of other AI approaches disputed XKs claims that synaptic evolution was the only route to true semantic content.  Fordolfer, leading the symbolist pack, claimed that it did not matter how the symbols were generated, taking the seemingly logical view that as long as the symbols had indistinguishable content, they were equivalent.  XK countered that even if they appear to produce seemingly identical outputs, they were not identical because the synaptic weights used to arrive at the solution were different and that given enough interconnections, eventually the synaptic architectures would differ functionally from the syntactic structures.
 
Phil Bean, director of US-HSC sponsored projects, took a purely pragmatic view, unconcerned with such seemingly philosophical distinctions: "Let's see how each performs on some new tasks that we've lined up and take it from there."  What kind of tasks?  "Well, the proof of the pudding is to get out into the world and pick out certain patterns of interest.  I cannot specify the specific areas we will explore now, given their sensitive nature, but each of you will be contacted by an oversight team.  And while the content of the specific results will remain classified, we will report on the relative performance, and..."
 
Foldofer had turned an ashen shade of pale and stammered "But, but, you can't expect us to export our code throughout the internet, that, that would be an insane risk for the synaptic code and utterly unfeasible with our code which you know is platform based, and so it is both dangerous and unfair...."
 
"Now, now Dr. Foldofer," Secretary Bean said, patting Foldolfer's arm, "I fully expect that both approaches have their unique attributes and applications and we expect to employ BOTH of them over time -- indeed this test will serve you best by identifying specific content areas where the symbolist approach should clearly outperfom..."
 
"DAMMIT BEAN" Foldolfer exploded to the shock of everyone, "Don't you GET IT?  The synaptic code is self-replicating!  Its self-organizing!!  Exporting into the internet would be the most dangerous thing that humanity has ever done!"
 
Bean looked Foldolfer dead in the eyes and sighed, speaking patiently as one would to a child.  "I have already discussed this exact problem in great detail with XK.  The safeguards are totally guaranteed.  Your concerns are totally taken care of."
 
Foldofer glared at XK, to which XK smiled sweetly back.

4th Millenium