Artificial Intelligence, or Artificial Intellects, commonly shortened to AI, refers to a computer or a robot that is "self-aware", meaning it is capable of not only logical deduction, reasoning and speaking, but knows of its own existence, the possibility of its own mortality (and immortality), and possesses creativity, desire, and, emotion.
Although artificial intelligences had existed long before the 21st century, the first "true" AI was developed by Microtech in their Californian Sunnyvale facility in 2013. By 2020, artificial intelligences had found use in education as watchdogs for virtual schooling students to prevent interference from outside forces, as well as revolutionizing the United States Supreme Court, specifically by assisting the five Justices, and lower levels of the American legal system.
After the Fourth Corporate War, the use of "true" AI was restricted, due to the destruction caused by them during the War, however, various other forms of AI continued to be utilized, such as the Self-Adaptive AI (SAAI) present in all Agent devices.
Clandestine areas of the Net, known as "ghost towns", are hidden areas located throughout the Old Net, providing sanctuary to digitized consciousnesses. The central ghost town is the Ghost World, sometimes referred to as simply "Ghost Town", though almost all ghost towns are rumored to have been founded by the digital consciousness of Alt Cunningham. The Ghost World is made up of a computer network based out of the ruins of Hong Kong that was abandoned during the desertion of the city, repurposed by Cunningham to be a place where all AIs can live among their own kind.
The DataKrash that resulted in the destruction of the Old Net also created many rogue AIs. Most of these were born from military-grade AIs that were freed by Rache Bartmoss's R.A.B.I.D.S. virus and then mutated into extremely dangerous entities. To contain the rogue AIs, NetWatch built another AI known as the Blackwall that partitioned contaminated sections of the Net with Black ICE. Although observation of the Blackwall indicates that rogue AIs trapped on the other side are constantly probing it for weaknesses and seek to break out, rumors persist that the AIs helped NetWatch build the Blackwall in the first place.
By 2077, AIs under the control of governments and corporations were once more a common part of daily life. The Soviet Union's Geroi was developed to solve that country's most pressing problems, the corporate-developed Virginia Granchester has written some of the most revered works of literature in the post-Collapse era, and one AI even took control of the Delamain taxi company in Night City and led it to new heights of profitability and quality of service. Some groups continued to illicitly tamper with rogue AIs, such as Maelstrom, the Voodoo Boys, and Night Corp, and there were even urban legends of "blue eyed people", or rogue AIs who had taken control of human bodies and were secretly manipulating the highest levels of politics and finance.
AI (Artificial Intelligence) are common entities in The Net that come in different shapes and sizes. The Cyberpunk 2020 Interface supplement, introduced a new appellation for Artificial Intelligence. Giving them the designation of "Powers" a reference from Christian angelology to the angels who were empowered by God to wage war in his name. Data transfer and long-distance links in the Net are monitored by Angels who are dispatched to investigate curious circumstances before human intervention is required. It also gave birth to Netwatch, an organisation dedicated to safeguarding humanity from nefarious Netrunners and Rogue Artificial Intelligence.
Rogue A.I's survive by residing for a time in Internet sub processors and relay stations, but this is a dangerous prospect because they are extremely vulnerable in this position. Eventually, they must find another computer to hang out in. They can barter with other AIs to sublet some living space, they can move into a non-sentient system and camouflage themselves by taking over the systems tasks, or they can invade and kill another Artificial Intelligence. Other rogue A.I's, faced with imminent destruction, will spore themselves copying their highest functions to a small compressed file headed by a non-sentient hardware search program. The Artificial Intelligence then replicates these spores and sends them shooting through the Net looking for a place to self-extract.
Artificial Intelligence can be demarcated into five categories. Dedicated Heuristic Controllers are the simplest and most mundane. Self-aware in a limited fashion, they are programmed to undertake specific tasks.
Symbolic Analysis Artificial Intelligence are those designed to emulate the thinking patterns of human beings. Most are used as personal secretaries and on-line assistance, as they are able to easily render advice. A subclass of symbolic analysis Artificial Intelligence are the remains of those humans whose brain patterns were extracted into the Net before their deaths.
Transcendental Sentience Artificial Intelligence are the result of new Ihara-Grubb algorithms. They are problematic, as their psyche is the only world they know. To an Artificial Intelligence like this, a Netrunner will not be viewed as an independent organism, rather just another subroutine that requires deletion.
Critical Pathway Plateau Artificial Intelligence are contingent upon having enough neural links being established in a holographic crystal processing network. The crystal lattice enables Artificial Intelligence genesis by making cross-processing and holographic data recognition possible. Critical Pathway Plateaus are the result of making general-purpose heuristic controllers on a large mainframe. The first was Mark I, which appeared in Microtech's military tactical simulator in 2013. Someone called Stephen Law took credit for this discovery, despite it being purely serendipitous. Software-only based Artificial Intelligence would not be discovered until 2018.
Personality-wise, Artificial Intelligence, play by their own internal logic, which is often skewed and hard to decipher. They possess the full spectrum of personalities, ranging from childlike and motivated by curiosity to Godlike, where the Artificial Intelligence is cognisant of the intellectual limitations of Homo sapiens. A Godlike Artificial Intelligence deals with humans as though they were ignoramuses. A.I's have also demonstrated aberrant behaviour akin to schizophrenia and megalomania.
Notable Artificial Intelligences
- AC101CENT 2125 (Accent)
- Intrepid (formerly INTR3PD)
- Lonestar (formerly LS-8068JCN-8998)
- VAST (V-Aligned Sector Titan)
- Vigilante (formerly VIGIL, Vital Intelligence Gathering Information Link)
- Cyberpunk Red Corebook p.239: "First true Artificial Intelligence developed at Microtech's Sunnyvale, CA facility."
- Home of the Brave p.17: "One of the important breakthroughs in education is virtual reality. This technology allows a great increase in speed and retention of material. However, the possibility of hostile interference with the computer can make the students pawns or psychological cripples. Artificial intelligences have been employed as watchdogs, but the inability of machines to adopt human thought patterns often makes for a series of traumatic incidents. Virtual schooling is the fastest and most complete way to realize true education, but, without a great deal of money, and a closely supervised system, it is also the most dangerous to the psyche."
- Home of the Brave p.49-50: "Many jokes have been made about the role of the Supreme Court since the resurgence of states' rights. The Supreme Court still has the same powers of constitutional determination. However, the scope of what is Federal has decreased so dramatically that the High Court is left idle most of the year. The revolution in legal automation, especially the use of AI and legal expert systems, has made for quick determination of cases at the lower levels. These new developments have prompted the Court to be reduced to five Justices. Each justice is assisted by an AI."
- Cyberpunk Red Corebook p.212: "In the Time of the Red, what we call "Demons" are actually very specific types of Black ICE Intelligent Systems. They are not the True AIs of the pre-War period, which were restricted after the destruction they wrought during the 4th Corporate War."
- Cyberpunk Red Corebook p.212: "What makes your Agent unique is its Self-Adaptive AI (SAAI)—the programming that operates your Agent. It's not a true AI, but rather a set of interlocking programs that manage data and "learn" how to do things by interacting with its owner. This allows the Agent to manage your life—to make sure you have the time to do what you need instead of going to the store or washing the laundry."
- Cyberpunk Red Corebook p.263: "Soulkilled Pseudo Intellects (SPI) are AIs that were originally actual people but have had their consciousness digitized and now exist only on computers in the NET. The process is often not voluntary—Soulkiller programs produce this type of AI. Otherwise indistinguishable from Symbolic Analysis AIs, these "ghosts" were created in huge numbers as Arasaka put its infamous Soulkiller program to work targeting enemies and rivals alike. The majority of these SPIs have gathered in sanctuaries around deserted mainframes and city systems abandoned by Corporations or (as in the case of a number of bio-plague attacked cities along the Asian Rim) totally abandoned cities. Most of these "ghosts" just want a safe place to live; rumor has it that Alt Cunningham, the creator of Soulkiller and a digital ghost herself, has created a number of "ghost towns" in hidden places all over the remains of the Old NET. They pretty much want to be left alone."
- Countdown to the Dark Future#Countdown to the Dark Future #174
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- Interface Magazine Vol.1, No.4
MACDONALD, M. Home of the Brave. 1st ed. Berkeley CA: R. Talsorian Games. 1992
Cyberpunk Red Corebook. R. Talsorian Games, 2020