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> AIs, Making sense of the SR4 variants
The Jake
post Mar 13 2010, 12:23 AM
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Ok so by RAW it is explicitly stated that there will never, ever again be the uber scale AIs of the past like Mirage, Megaera and Deus.

Can someone please explain to me why not?

Ideally with an explanation over and beyond "because RAW says so"... ?

- J.
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Mordinvan
post Mar 13 2010, 12:26 AM
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QUOTE (The Jake @ Mar 12 2010, 05:23 PM) *
Ok so by RAW it is explicitly stated that there will never, ever again be the uber scale AIs of the past like Mirage, Megaera and Deus.

Can someone please explain to me why not?

Ideally with an explanation over and beyond "because RAW says so"... ?

- J.


Under ideal circumstances, humanity would have learned from its mistakes. In all honesty, ANY A.I. given a large enough computer network to play in should eventually be able to grow to those levels on its own.
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Ancient History
post Mar 13 2010, 12:33 AM
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Your original AIs evolved from extremely complicated semi-autonomous knowbots (SKs) - the forerunners of what in SR4 are called agents. Many of them had dedicated home systems that were the most powerful and complex computer systems on the planet. Individually, the "Big Three" had abilities that ranged from the upper limits of SKs to almost unmeasurable - because those three were unique. There was nothing like them before, they were a new paradigm. Like when the first cyberterminal users were able to waltz over existing security like it was nothing, those first AIs had the capacity to bend or break the rules.

Comparatively, the AIs we have now are smaller, fragmented things. Their intelligence varies in awareness and comprehension, their resources are much more limited, and they have active competition now. Even if an AI managed to establish itself in the ACHE and fully utilize the technology once used to support Deus, the AI would not be Deus; it's would lack one or more of the essential traits of that massive and powerful AI, and it has limitations that Deus might not have had, in terms of imagination, empathy, and the ability to emulate or stimulate Resonance abilities.
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nemafow
post Mar 13 2010, 12:48 AM
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Isn't there a line in the SR4A book that says there is hardware built into the Matrix system to stop super AI's or something?
I know that doesnt stop super AI in a private network to learn and grow though.
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Mordinvan
post Mar 13 2010, 01:15 AM
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QUOTE (Ancient History @ Mar 12 2010, 05:33 PM) *
Your original AIs evolved from extremely complicated semi-autonomous knowbots (SKs) - the forerunners of what in SR4 are called agents. Many of them had dedicated home systems that were the most powerful and complex computer systems on the planet. Individually, the "Big Three" had abilities that ranged from the upper limits of SKs to almost unmeasurable - because those three were unique. There was nothing like them before, they were a new paradigm. Like when the first cyberterminal users were able to waltz over existing security like it was nothing, those first AIs had the capacity to bend or break the rules.

Comparatively, the AIs we have now are smaller, fragmented things. Their intelligence varies in awareness and comprehension, their resources are much more limited, and they have active competition now. Even if an AI managed to establish itself in the ACHE and fully utilize the technology once used to support Deus, the AI would not be Deus; it's would lack one or more of the essential traits of that massive and powerful AI, and it has limitations that Deus might not have had, in terms of imagination, empathy, and the ability to emulate or stimulate Resonance abilities.


So long story short, its 'practically' impossible for an A.I. to grow to those levels, but not 'actually' impossible?
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Tsithlis
post Mar 13 2010, 03:19 AM
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I would think nothing is "Actually" impossible. If your storyline needs a super powerful AI like Deus then your storyline should get a super powerful AI... You could call it Deus X (yes bad pun)
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Mordinvan
post Mar 13 2010, 07:40 AM
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QUOTE (Tsithlis @ Mar 12 2010, 08:19 PM) *
I would think nothing is "Actually" impossible. If your storyline needs a super powerful AI like Deus then your storyline should get a super powerful AI... You could call it Deus X (yes bad pun)

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Nows7
post Mar 13 2010, 10:18 AM
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The big three AI's where from three massive programs run on the matrix 1.0. Programs these days are tiny and specialized, made to plug in and out of handheld comlinks. If one of the Mega's had a program that big, it COULD become sentient, but i'm sure that would never happen... unless it did.


QUOTE (Tsithlis @ Mar 13 2010, 04:19 AM) *
I would think nothing is "Actually" impossible. If your storyline needs a super powerful AI like Deus then your storyline should get a super powerful AI... You could call it Deus X (yes bad pun)


Tylonol PM makes that very funny.
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Sengir
post Mar 13 2010, 02:47 PM
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QUOTE (Mordinvan @ Mar 13 2010, 02:15 AM) *
So long story short, its 'practically' impossible for an A.I. to grow to those levels, but not 'actually' impossible?

The old AIs also were 'practically impossible', in all the years and despite billions sunk into research programs only three of them emerged, because AIs only formed by sheer chance from extraordinarily complex programs running on systems with vast resources.


In the new Matrix AIs can form in more usual systems and are weaker, but that does not mean that an environment similar to those which gave birth to the original AIs could not create an AI which is accordingly more powerful. However, I expect the Corporate Court to have some kind of Turing Police watching such systems, under the guise of protecting vital infrastructure from terrorism. Those folks enjoy pulling the strings of mankind from their lofty space station but damn near lost the reins when Deus decided to play god, they will certainly make sure that this will not happen again.
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Ancient History
post Mar 13 2010, 03:25 PM
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QUOTE (Sengir @ Mar 13 2010, 03:47 PM) *
However, I expect the Corporate Court to have some kind of Turing Police

Artificial Resource Management is a division of the Grid Overwatch Division, under the auspices of the Corporate Court. Yes, the ARM of GOD. Yes, I am very bad.
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Mar 13 2010, 03:58 PM
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QUOTE (Ancient History @ Mar 13 2010, 08:25 AM) *
Artificial Resource Management is a division of the Grid Overwatch Division, under the auspices of the Corporate Court. Yes, the ARM of GOD. Yes, I am very bad.



Not Too Bad... That is awesome...

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The_Vanguard
post Mar 13 2010, 04:25 PM
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From a gaming perspective, the old AIs were plot elements first and foremost. They did not have any stats and therefore could not be interacted with on the gaming level. Whenever they appeared the players were forced to sit back and listen to whatever story the GM was telling without having any chance to interfere. This is bad RPG design, IMHO. Of course you might want to tell a story where you need an invincible super AI, but there is nothing stopping you from creating a rating 30 xenosapient AI with every program and option in the book. If it smacks the players around the matrix they will know that there is at least a theoretical chance to bring that thing down through normal gaming, instead of waiting for the narrative to offer them the "You win" choice, hoping not to die until then.
This is what I pay professional RPG authors for, because I can make up invincible plot elements myself any day.
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Ascalaphus
post Mar 13 2010, 05:25 PM
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QUOTE (The_Vanguard @ Mar 13 2010, 05:25 PM) *
From a gaming perspective, the old AIs were plot elements first and foremost. They did not have any stats and therefore could not be interacted with on the gaming level. Whenever they appeared the players were forced to sit back and listen to whatever story the GM was telling without having any chance to interfere. This is bad RPG design, IMHO. Of course you might want to tell a story where you need an invincible super AI, but there is nothing stopping you from creating a rating 30 xenosapient AI with every program and option in the book. If it smacks the players around the matrix they will know that there is at least a theoretical chance to bring that thing down through normal gaming, instead of waiting for the narrative to offer them the "You win" choice, hoping not to die until then.
This is what I pay professional RPG authors for, because I can make up invincible plot elements myself any day.


Oh, I dunno. I don't see them quite like that..

I don't think it's necessarily bad not to assign them stats like a character. Think of them as whole castles, not individual guards. Chopping at the castle with your broadsword would be silly.

Taking on the AIs is possible, but they need to be interacted with on another level. By locating their servers and taking those down, by blocking their critical matrix backbone channels.

It's true that the old stories didn't do this extensively, but a prewritten adventure can only go in so many directions at once.
When Deus controlled the arcology, the goal could be to locate his computer core or memory banks and fry them. In the Network period, identifying and eliminating members of the Network is a possibility (which was used by NPCs).

As for the waiting for the "you win" option: some groups are more pro-active and try to develop their own ways of dealing with a hard-to-touch enemy. It requires a GM who can cope with sudden changes of plan though, and it's generally beyond the scope of a published scenario to plan for all such possible player initiatives.
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Sengir
post Mar 13 2010, 06:01 PM
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QUOTE (Ancient History @ Mar 13 2010, 04:25 PM) *
Artificial Resource Management is a division of the Grid Overwatch Division, under the auspices of the Corporate Court.

But at least officially they are only policing existing AIs, not strapping explosives to places which might spawn a new Deus...or did I miss that part?

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Ancient History
post Mar 13 2010, 06:47 PM
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"I myself shot six toasters..."
- Lazarus Churchyard
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Sengir
post Mar 13 2010, 06:58 PM
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QUOTE (Ancient History @ Mar 13 2010, 07:47 PM) *
six toasters...

Hm, sounds like a good title for a new .pdf release. Who wouldn't want stats for kitchen appliances?
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Mar 13 2010, 07:14 PM
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QUOTE (Sengir @ Mar 13 2010, 11:58 AM) *
Hm, sounds like a good title for a new .pdf release. Who wouldn't want stats for kitchen appliances?



I always thought that "Toasters" was another derogatory name for a Jarhead...

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Sengir
post Mar 13 2010, 07:25 PM
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Nah, we already has stats for those.
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Mar 13 2010, 08:25 PM
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QUOTE (Sengir @ Mar 13 2010, 12:25 PM) *
Nah, we already has stats for those.



Sorry... My Mistake...

So... what is the Challenge of wasting Toasters? Are they extremely vicious? Do they roam in Packs? And what would you call a Pack of Toasters anyway?

Keep the Faith...
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The_Vanguard
post Mar 14 2010, 01:46 AM
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QUOTE (Ascalaphus @ Mar 13 2010, 06:25 PM) *
Oh, I dunno. I don't see them quite like that..

I don't think it's necessarily bad not to assign them stats like a character. Think of them as whole castles, not individual guards. Chopping at the castle with your broadsword would be silly.


That's exactly what I'm talking about. If Shadowrun would give you the option to command whole armies including trebuchets la Exalted this wouldn't be an issue. However, the broadsword is all you'll get by game definitions.

QUOTE
Taking on the AIs is possible, but they need to be interacted with on another level. By locating their servers and taking those down, by blocking their critical matrix backbone channels.


Now you're using the reasoning of the current rules. These tactics were not feasible by the old fluff. Deus was whatever and wherever the GM wanted it to be.

QUOTE
When Deus controlled the arcology, the goal could be to locate his computer core or memory banks and fry them. In the Network period, identifying and eliminating members of the Network is a possibility (which was used by NPCs).


As I said, if your story calls for an invincible AI you can always go for one. However, your players will never be able to go for their own plans but will always have to relay on the options your story offers to them.

QUOTE
It requires a GM who can cope with sudden changes of plan though, and it's generally beyond the scope of a published scenario to plan for all such possible player initiatives.


And the rules as they are right now cater to this. I prefer them.

That being said, I <3 Deus and have just resurrected it in my campaign. However, I never let Deus appear as itself - its will is only felt through proxys that have stats and can be dealt with on the gaming level.
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DireRadiant
post Mar 14 2010, 01:51 AM
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QUOTE (The Jake @ Mar 12 2010, 06:23 PM) *
Can someone please explain to me why not?


Because then we wouldn't be in Shadowrun anymore.
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Neowulf
post Mar 14 2010, 01:59 AM
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QUOTE (Ancient History @ Mar 13 2010, 08:25 AM) *
Artificial Resource Management is a division of the Grid Overwatch Division, under the auspices of the Corporate Court. Yes, the ARM of GOD. Yes, I am very bad.

C'mon, you can do better than that.

Fractal Intelligence Negation Group, Extreme Response section of the Grid Overwatch Division. FINGER of GOD
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Tymeaus Jalynsfe...
post Mar 14 2010, 02:00 AM
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QUOTE (Neowulf @ Mar 13 2010, 06:59 PM) *
C'mon, you can do better than that.

Fractal Intelligence Negation Group, Extreme Response section of the Grid Overwatch Division. FINGER of GOD



*Facepalm*... *Shakes Head*...

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Udoshi
post Mar 14 2010, 04:09 AM
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What about GOD's techsupport division?

Department of Infowarfare, Cybercrimes Knowledgebase.
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the_real_elwood
post Mar 14 2010, 08:26 AM
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QUOTE (The_Vanguard @ Mar 13 2010, 11:25 AM) *
From a gaming perspective, the old AIs were plot elements first and foremost. They did not have any stats and therefore could not be interacted with on the gaming level. Whenever they appeared the players were forced to sit back and listen to whatever story the GM was telling without having any chance to interfere. This is bad RPG design, IMHO. Of course you might want to tell a story where you need an invincible super AI, but there is nothing stopping you from creating a rating 30 xenosapient AI with every program and option in the book. If it smacks the players around the matrix they will know that there is at least a theoretical chance to bring that thing down through normal gaming, instead of waiting for the narrative to offer them the "You win" choice, hoping not to die until then.
This is what I pay professional RPG authors for, because I can make up invincible plot elements myself any day.


There's nothing wrong with having a stat-less entity. One of the main themes of cyberpunk is that you can fight against the man, but you can never really win. Also, just because an entity is named, doesn't mean you have to fight it directly. "Deus" was an entity like "Aztechnology' is an entity. You can't just go directly fight against the Azzies just like you couldn't enter into matrix combat directly against Deus. The AI's were primaily story-telling elements, and that's not a problem because the AI plot arc was one of the most impressive plot elements I've ever encountered in any RPG anywhere.
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