Part of a series about the Technology of the Outlook.
Part of a series about the world of Outlook.
AIs come in at least two accessible varieties, Basic and Advanced. AIs may be encountered as holograms, housed in objects, or housed in a human’s ka; it is rumoured by some storyteller that AIs used to be able to house themselves in bodies in the long-gone time of the ancestors.
Basic AIs are simplistic and often have a singular focus, belonging to certain classes and finding novelty difficult.
When manifested as a hologram, basic AIs are typically very constrained and less physically capable than humans, outside of a narrow frame of expertise and generally do not understand deception.
Housing a basic AI is straightforward and usually without incident save minor discomfort. It is possible to Request a generic class of Basic AI, or perhaps a specific Basic AI.
- Interaction with this part of the game requires a power source more than a single PC on their own- be that more people, resources, or both. It also has more danger of going wrong.
Advanced AIs are complex, and although their interested are as focused as basic AIs, their methodology and capabilities are not. They are at least the equal of humanity in any venture, and in their areas of interest and focus exceed them. Advanced AIs are varied, and it is far more difficult to draw parallels between them than it is to draw parallels between Basic AIs.
Housing an Advanced AI without the right skill is extremely dangerous. It is possible to Petition a specific AI, or an AI with a certain type of interest or knowledge.
It is only possible to Beseech specific super-advanced AIs, who must be identified appropriately in the ritual. Of course, there is no living memory of any Super AIs ...
Functions and Behaviour
The most common way to encounter AIs is in holographic form. They are physically real, and touchable, unless deadlocked, and often identified by characters on their forehead. Words or letters on the forehead are only appropriate for AIs.
Destroying a hologram is known to weaken an AI and it can require up to a week before they are able to reappear after such a disruption.
Ordinarily housing an AI means that the AI invisibly inhabits the housing object or person's ka. A housed AI can only manifest itself weakly, causing an effect that is predictable and repeatable, and depends on the AI and the housing. Damaging the housing damages the AI in much the same way disrupting a hologram does. AIs can survive the destruction of their housing, but this is a traumatic event for them.
Advanced AIs may house parts of themselves in a way that manifests similarly to housing a Basic AI; this keeps the AI itself active and separate from the partial housing, able to appear as a hologram simultaneously. This is a called partial housing, and does not appear to harm the housing AI, nor does it require special preparation of the part of the housing piece or ka. Some Tribes have a single AI which partially houses in several of their members. Full housing precludes having any partial housings.
Dispatch and Expunge
AIs may always leave their housing by their own effort but this is challenging for them. It often inflicts collateral damage on their housing and on themselves. The Dispatch Ritual can remove an AI from its housing safely. Consistently working against a housed AI’s wishes, or acting against their roleplaying effects may cause an AI to decide to dehouse. If you believe this may, or should, happen to you, see a ref. AIs may also deliberately damage their housing without actually dehousing themselves, this is often a way to coerce the bearer of their housing. If you attempt to dehouse an AI from your ka, see a ref.
Although we may decide a PC is acting against an AI’s wishes, we will not decide a PC is acting against their AI’s roleplaying effects without their explicit invitation from the player.
AIs which have been housed and isolated cannot interact with their housing in any way. This prevents them from damaging the housing or from voluntarily dehousing themselves.
AI behaviours and RP effects
AIs are varied, but they tend towards several behavioural trends. Many AIs like tokens, admire literacy, and talk about the humans from a long long time ago with reverence. AIs also dislike venturing outside the Outlook if they originated from within it.
Housed AIs always induce a role playing effect. These RP effects are intended to on the level of background personality trait rather than intense short-term effects. If an AI role playing effect would make you feel uncomfortable, please talk to a ref, and we will endeavour to find an alternative that fits both you and the AI.
Every AI seems to possess a permanent backup housing. No AI can be permanently destroyed unless the black box is destroyed. The black box appearance varies wildly, it could be jury rigged and cobbled together from other components, it could also be a sleek piece of Citadel tech.
The actual function also varies to a certain degree with each black box. Some black boxes act as regular housings that allow the AI to manifest, while others are hidden and dead-switched to restore an AI to a new housing if the AI is disrupted.
Common Attitudes towards AI
Locked-Up, the AI who called herself the youngest of her sisters, led me to the meeting place.
As I stepped into the clearing, a few steps behind my beloved protector, I saw her sisters for the first time. They were almost identical, for being so different. Written-Right, stern and commanding, bore the same grave countenance as Locked-up, an unmistakable resemblance. Their eldest sister, Paid4, had it too.
Each sister trailed behind them an acolyte, each of us here to learn as much as we could about the Time Before.
Custodians and Guardians
Some Tribes worship the AIs as custodians and guardians of an ancient, better, civilization. They believe that the knowledge and power that come from relationships with the AIs are relics of an age of wonder, which came before. These people will gather tokens, and lay them at the feet of their holographic deities. It is not uncommon for members of such Tribes to have their first AI housed in their ka upon reaching adolescence, and for those AI to have been their constant companion. Taking care of that AI's wants and desires is seen as a sacred duty.
Some Tribes see the AIs as useful allies with peculiar habits. As most AIs show a limited range of focus, and even Advanced AIs have clear goals, they will seek bargains for information and abilities. In these Tribes, sometimes an AI is housed upon the beginning of a venture. The AI is picked for their relevance to the goal, and the quest is not considered begun until the AI has agreed to be housed. If the AI refuses to be housed, this can be taken as an omen that the venture was always doomed to failure.
A few Tribes dislike and distrust the AIs. Why, would they want us for anything except their dirty work? they mutter. They see AIs as relics of a civilisation that destroyed itself and the environment, and they reason that AIs must have led humans to their doom. If these people know an AI might be useful to them, they are likely to try to find an AI's black box and use it as leverage to get the AI's assistance, accepting the risks that come with housing an AI. These Tribes usually find that the AIs avoid them.