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
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
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
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.