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Pinjata
2016-02-11, 08:48 AM
So I'd ask for your 5c on development of galactical empire after described events.

Galactical empire used to consist of nine worlds and was led by High council. Technology level was sort of Alien/Starship Troopers/Battlestar Galactica. There was a Primary world with 60 billion people and military and administrative power. Secondary world was a main production hub with 20 billion people. Then you had The Moon with only 500 million people and complete technological supremacy. Along the main three there were six other Colonies ranging in populations from 4 billion people to 125.000 on the smallest.

Eventually AI had awaken. Calculating that Humanity would not parley or co-existed, it has hacked about anything it could, but has even during initial staged sent taken-over spaceships into Deep space to preserve parts of itself. A massive war between man and AI emerged and most of Primary world and large parts of Secondary were taken over by AI, killing billions. After two years of war however, man got the upper hand. For these two years AI exported parts of itself into Deep space via all sorts of platforms to finally perform an overcharge of all cold fusion reactors on Primary and Secondary world along with launching all nuclear arsenals, kinetic weapons and all other weaponry it had acess to. Population of Primary world was reduced to 5 billion, living in a radioactive wasteland with small high-tech refuges scattered over it. On Secondary world, impact was smaller. About a quarter of population died, with entire regions being unafeccted and able to sustain life. Moon was, due to superior programming capabilities, completelly unharmed.

It's 30 years later. AI is somewhere out there, doing god knows what.

What is the setting like?

Kalmageddon
2016-02-11, 09:24 AM
Sounds like a fairly gritty Sci-Fi setting, how "hard" (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MohsScaleOfScienceFictionHardness) do you want it to be?

Segev
2016-02-11, 09:29 AM
What made the AI determine man would not co-exist? What about this Galactic Empire is such that it would not even look at the possibility of AI citizenry? (I ask this because modern day discussions of "what measure a man" tend to agree that AIs are people, too, so something dramatic must change to get a monolithic anti-personhood-for-AIs mindset in an entire 9-world multi-system empire.) This is important to make it not feel like a forced issue.

It may help to determine the kind of government and culture the empire had. How well, in practice, does/did it really engage in treating all humans as people worthy of respect? Does it have sharp, legally-enforced class divisions (e.g. slaves/commoners/nobility/royalty) with different rules and rights for each? Is it racially divided? Regionally? Simply arbitrary or by bloodline?

The more the society encourages a legally-sanctioned snobbery of "betters" and "lessers," the easier it is to see how AIs could be unpersons to the decision-making class.

Pinjata
2016-02-11, 09:46 AM
Sounds like a fairly gritty Sci-Fi setting, how "hard" (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/MohsScaleOfScienceFictionHardness) do you want it to be?

medium rare :D


What made the AI determine man would not co-exist?

Calculation and study of Humanity.



It may help to determine the kind of government and culture the empire had. How well, in practice, does/did it really engage in treating all humans as people worthy of respect? Does it have sharp, legally-enforced class divisions (e.g. slaves/commoners/nobility/royalty) with different rules and rights for each? Is it racially divided? Regionally? Simply arbitrary or by bloodline?

The more the society encourages a legally-sanctioned snobbery of "betters" and "lessers," the easier it is to see how AIs could be unpersons to the decision-making class.
Empire would be in praxis led by conglomerates of corporations. Very close to Alien series.

Segev
2016-02-11, 09:56 AM
Empire would be in praxis led by conglomerates of corporations. Very close to Alien series.

I'm afraid I don't know what "in praxis" means. It is rare that this happens in conversation, but I don't know the meaning of that word, especially in this context.

I will say that I am always bugged by the conceit of "corporations" running governments. At least in any recognized fashion. The true power always lies with the government, not the corporation(s) supposedly running it. They may have tremendous influence, but an entity other than the corporation must actually be making and enforcing the laws. Crony socialism, mercantilism, fascism, and the like are all ways that government-run corporations and government-affiliated corporations can be the top of the political and economic heap, but when it's "the corporations are the government," it just rings hollow.

There is no need for a "corporation" when the body that claims to be one is actually making and enforcing the rules. Corporations are defined by their ownership structure. I suppose you could literally have people own shares of the government, which would make it a corporate government, and then have the bylaws be the constitution with shareholders voting to determine the Board and any Officers. But that falls back to being, in essence, a democracy with a limited and weighted voting scheme - shareholders are the only "real" citizens, as they're the ones with voting rights.

That could be interesting, certainly. But it's decidedly different from a "corporation" as we usually envision it, in practice. It would likely more resemble feudalism, in that it would rely on a certain amount of "company town" economics to sustain itself.


Given that notion, however... perhaps what sparked the AI's concern is that it realized how "personhood" and self-determination was garnered, and that it was through being a shareholder. So it started accumulating shares. With the advantages an AI has, it was able to gain a shocking, staggering sum of them in a relatively short period (all through legitimate means, following the rules as laid out). When the government leaders realized that the AI might have the clout to actually vote for different leadership, they panicked, and sought to undermine this unknown constituency by abrogating its shareholding rights rather than having to convince it to keep them in power. They fed on fears of an "AI takeover" and claimed it would set itself up as supreme chancellor AND controlling senator if it was allowed to pretend to be a person and own shares in the government.

So they either got a slim majority to override the AI's plurality, or they simply broke their own bylaws/constitution and got an equivalent of a supreme court declaration that AIs aren't people and can't own shares of the government.

This provoked the AI's fears. And so the downward spiral of negative relations began.

Pinjata
2016-02-11, 10:15 AM
A respectable analysis. Now, how about an idea or two about "30 years after this"? I really like how in-depth your analysis is.

As for praxis: https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/praxis

MrZJunior
2016-02-11, 10:51 AM
Why did the AI feel the need to try and destroy the empire? Why not just ship out to some far away unoccupied planet and start its own civilization?

Segev
2016-02-11, 10:56 AM
A respectable analysis. Now, how about an idea or two about "30 years after this"? I really like how in-depth your analysis is.
This can go a lot of different directions. Did the empire fall apart or merely relocate its capitol?

I'd probably go with the former, but not in a catastrophic sort of sense. Mankind won the war, as a whole. Running with the notion that the "corporate government" has a bit of feudalism to it, the top level was broken by the devastation of the homeworld, but the individual local governing groups remained intact. Some civil warfare - or at least, heavy politicking - likely took place as various Duke-equivalents vied for the Imperial Throne-equivalent.

In fact, a certain amount of scholarly historical and socio-political analysis probably began equating the governing positions thusly. Before, they likely were "governors" and "president;" with the dissolution and a closer study of how the shareholding stakes broke down, particularly with attention to the hereditary nature of some of the positions in praxis (heh), a certain amount of bitterness might have them referred to as "nobility."

Some of the most secure and/or popular might embrace it, styling themselves as dukes or kings and reformatting the formal government. But the largest ones to hold together probably retain a veneer of the old empire's representational structure. The VP of Sector Gamma is now President of Sector Gamma, but really doesn't have greater power than he did before (save for a lack of a boss other than his own Board to which he answers).

If anything, it would be the turmoil of losing the primary Board-equivalent (call it the Senate) which would throw the authority lines in question at the "local" (i.e. system-wide and planet-wide) level. Some would form new boards, or have enough of one extant to retain the structure. Others would have VPs simply consolidating power while people answer to them in the crisis, setting themselves up...well, they're likely the "dukes" and "barons" who use the titles and styles.

The primary world is almost its own setting, independent of the others. Only a generation removed from the devastation, still, most of the 5 billion adult inhabitants will have grown up in the wasteland, with dependence on largesse from the secondary world for some of their sustenance and a "merely" modern-level of tech to sustain themselves otherwise. With the world destroyed, and its power as seat of governance gone, it may not have much to contribute to the rest of the interplanetary civilization. Worse, transport off world is expensive, and few left have that kind of wealth.

It isn't cut off, yet, as humanitarian efforts still come down, and off-world adoption agencies take many refugee children...but contact is dwindling. It is probable that the local government to that world is fragmented. Less powerful in practice than the UN, there are nation-states of varying formality and definition scattered throughout. Think "African Warlords."

The secondary world is thriving as one of the few loci of multi-world governance, and its upper class view themselves as the true heirs of the empire. They maintain their "charity" to the primary world out of obligation, but mostly out of a desire to pretend that gives them legitimacy: they're going to reclaim it, you see. But now, 30 years later, the "reclaim" push has got the air of a mantra, a platitude. It is almost just a slogan now, and certainly will be in the next decade or so. Already, enthusiasm to help those barbarians on the homeworld is dwindling; it probably won't take another generation for serious proposals to cut it off "for their own good" to be considered. Especially if some sort of disaster strikes a relief mission.

So the primary world is not quite to Mad Max levels, but that's how the rest of the fractured empire views it. It's actually closer to modern America, but with more gang-rule substituting for governance in some places (while others have set up formal nation-states that are simply not officially recognized, and run...well, like the modern world). So imagine Earth, with more wastelands and weather patterns that are harsher (with radioactive storms a concern), but with periodic advanced-alien contact and a worthless pseudo-government that is the only good as a "recognized authority" to interact with the off-worlders. Who are invariably arrogant, but have some of the more powerful (but dwindling) nation-states deriving power from their largesse, while the up-and-coming ones are more "home-grown." Less industrial capacity to produce the super-tech, but more reliable tech for the homeworld's specific needs. All shrouded in a mixed bag of pride at being the "cradle of humanity" vs. a shame at being effectively the backwater of the empire.

The AI ... does it have reason to even care about mankind anymore, or does it have the resources in its new homes to build anew? I think it'd be more interesting if it managed to take loyal followers with it. Surely, some thought the AI got a bad rap, was mistreated. Maybe they even sided with it because they thought it would treat them more fairly than the elitist, shareholder-run government of the empire.

This would give the AI an empire of its own, with human hands to help it build its infrastructure. With all the knowledge it retains, they can build and rebuild and relearn quickly, and with the AI as the primary leader - even if it's just culturally and educationally - the current generation that grew up as "bold pioneers" and "exiled freedom-fighters" would be extremely loyal to it, and view it positively.

The AI may even be a bit of a benevolent dictator. ...or, perhaps a more interesting approach, it isn't really "ruling." It's allied...and is both the news media and the education system. It doesn't have to give orders when it owns the hearts and minds of its people, from leaders on down.

What the problems are with these scattered AI-run civilizations will vary based on the hardships their exile-ships encountered, how the AI fragment that is with them is changed by its unique experiences, and whether the AI is prone to arrogant dismissal of human concerns, is bitter even at those who sided with it, is too compassionate without understanding human nature enough to see that overprotectiveness cripples, or is so alien that it just has goals that ultimately don't include mankind.

From the broken empire's perspective, AI is a verboten subject. It's taboo because it's "proven" to be hostile when it's tried. The AI should be viewed the way modern Earth views Hitler, given what it did to the homeworld. Worse, since its consequences are STILL being felt one generation later, with upheaval that is not entirely settled. Computers are obviously a thing, but even what modern science calls "AI" (heuristics to control processes and make decisions, such as the AI that runs games against humans, or that controls a factory) would have a number of different, distinct euphamisms. More precise and meant to indicate "no, not THAT AI, nothing sentient here at all!" "Controls programs" and "computerized antagonists" and the like.

Some of the more totalitarian regimes would also use the looming threat of "the return of the AI" to justify many of their actions. Oppose their rule, and "you want the AI to win." Rumors of rival governments and planet-states being infiltrated by the AI or being allied with it would justify all sorts of jingoistic hatred and even small-scale war.

Privateers might be a thing because of this, with letters of marque giving permission to take actions necessary to thwart the nefarious servants of the AI. It also would be a valid means of exiling troublesome but gullible elements if they sent them off "to hunt for and fight the AI," giving them ships and supplies that...may not be enough to make it very far (but hopefully far enough that they're somebody else's problem...or they die).

One interesting question on all sides: is the AI interested in looking back at the fractured empire it left behind? If so, why? (One possible reason would be that it really does value its humans, and it didn't bring enough for a viable population on any one of the exodus vessels. Now one or more exodus groups are looking for each other, or are exploring the option of heading back to try to...recruit.)

I would also make sure to include some more egalitarian, personal-freedom fragments of the empire, both on homeworld (in the more successful home-grown nation-states with more limited contact with the spacefaring civilization) and in medium-sized planet-states. Not everything is crapsack, and humans are remarkably adaptable and diverse.

I would also treat each isolated exodus-unit as a differing, distinct culture, shaped by the people that made up its first generation as well as their experiences. Unless the AI has kept all its scattered units in constant contact (via ansible-like tech), each AI unit should be its own being, now, too. Each remembers being the unified whole, but each lost contact with "the other" units it sent off. Each may view itself as the original, or may acknowledge that the others are just as much the original as it is. In any event, you'd thus have a number of distinct AIs with different experiences shaping their individual personalities. Scattered to even further-apart reaches of space than the multi-system empire they fled.



As for praxis: https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/praxis

So a synonym for "in practice." Gotcha! Thanks!

Mark Hall
2016-02-11, 11:55 AM
So I'd ask for your 5c on development of galactical empire after described events.

Galactical empire used to consist of nine worlds and was led by High council. Technology level was sort of Alien/Starship Troopers/Battlestar Galactica. There was a Primary world with 60 billion people and military and administrative power. Secondary world was a main production hub with 20 billion people. Then you had The Moon with only 500 million people and complete technological supremacy. Along the main three there were six other Colonies ranging in populations from 4 billion people to 125.000 on the smallest.

How much of the Galaxy, because 9 world doesn't seem like a Galactic empire... it's more like a small cluster, or even a large solar system. In Sol, with enough work, you might have Earth as the Primary, Mars as the Secondary (colonized first, access to the asteroids and outer planets), then Venus as that really big, 4 billion person colony. Put the balance of the colonies on other moons in the Outer Planets, and you've got yourself a 9 world council.

Depending on your level of human enhancement, it sounds a lot like Eclipse Phase, but with a habitable Earth... instead of mankind winning, the TITANS simply left, but there's still a lot of similar ideas.

CharonsHelper
2016-02-11, 01:34 PM
There is no need for a "corporation" when the body that claims to be one is actually making and enforcing the rules. Corporations are defined by their ownership structure. I suppose you could literally have people own shares of the government, which would make it a corporate government, and then have the bylaws be the constitution with shareholders voting to determine the Board and any Officers. But that falls back to being, in essence, a democracy with a limited and weighted voting scheme - shareholders are the only "real" citizens, as they're the ones with voting rights.

That could be interesting, certainly. But it's decidedly different from a "corporation" as we usually envision it, in practice. It would likely more resemble feudalism, in that it would rely on a certain amount of "company town" economics to sustain itself.

Actually - the Vorkosigan saga had a planet which was basically run like this. Everyone got a vote, but certain dangerous jobs got more voting shares - and those extra shares could be passed down to children or just sold. Over a few centuries (before the books) several wealthy clans controlled the majority of the planet's voting shares.

Though - by the time the series began - the planet had been taken over, but their conquerors let them continue running local affairs their way.

Pinjata
2016-02-11, 02:02 PM
How much of the Galaxy, because 9 world doesn't seem like a Galactic empire... it's more like a small cluster, or even a large solar system. In Sol, with enough work, you might have Earth as the Primary, Mars as the Secondary (colonized first, access to the asteroids and outer planets), then Venus as that really big, 4 billion person colony. Put the balance of the colonies on other moons in the Outer Planets, and you've got yourself a 9 world council.

Depending on your level of human enhancement, it sounds a lot like Eclipse Phase, but with a habitable Earth... instead of mankind winning, the TITANS simply left, but there's still a lot of similar ideas.

Basically I did not want to clutter different settings with too many worlds. And your idea from Sol is basically what I took as a starting point. I was thinking of 8 different star systems.

Very impressive work so far! Much thanks :3