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Containing AI and a push-your-luck rule.

Posted: Sun Jul 04, 2010 12:18 pm
by XSiberia
I'm soliciting thoughts on a good push-your-luck rule for player controlled AIs.

In this setting census would be a limiting factor for colonization/expansion. However, AI can be used by the player as "manufactured census" to drive the system EP output equation.

AI would be available in certain levels. The lower levels translate to units of census at some fractional value of 1. Higher levels might be better than 1.

Available AI levels could correspond to tech levels, or, as soon as AI is possible all possible levels could be available. In the latter case, "dumber" AIs represent AIs with more constraints.

Constraints are what keep the AI from going SkyNet on the player. Higher levels of AI would produce higher risks of singularity even as they provide more productivity. Chance of risk might be weighed each year or even each turn (with higher AIs).

Consequences of singularity would be driven by a table with a range of consequences. Most likely: AI burnout / AI suicide--loss of all census/productivity. Less likely -- AI tumor (AI dumbly works to convert all system resources into some random build order and/or AI census). Worst case -- AI effectively becomes a new CM controlled faction with randomly generated AIX traits; roll on table for disposition towards parent race / life in general / or unique goals that AI faction will work towards.

Singularity might be mitigated with player investment in some version of "reaction control rods" that could shut down an AI headed toward singularity (better tech = better chance) with the associated cost of a turn or more's lost productivity.

I would like to see a balanced rule that challenges players to carefully weigh their greed for resources against the risk of creating Cylons.

Thanks for any/all thoughts on design/implementation.



Posted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 10:47 pm
by Tyrel Lohr
An interesting idea, Josh. In the past I have always confronted the idea of robotic, AI, or synthetic workers as just extra Census rather than as some sort of a colony-level upgrade. Given the direction you were headed with this when you posted it, I would almost say that each colony should be able to have 1 AI per point of Carrying Capacity at the colony (with the totals tracked separately from the colony's normal Census). Each point of AI would then give the colony a +10% boost to its economic and production outputs. So a homeworld with 10 AI would double the colony's effective output -- a very major advantage.

As for the press-your-luck element of the bargain, I think you would have to have a trigger event that would require a player to roll on special AI Singularity table to see what happens. A Morale drop seems the most likely option here, but I am unsure. The roll on the Singularity table would provide the types of results you are indicating, with extreme possibilities of the AI's producing ground units that will attempt to exterminate the Census on the colony and take it over -- or burn out and fail, reducing the planet's AI total. Based on my current 2E work, I am tempted to make this a 2D10 table that you add the colony's Census to and subtract its AI total. That encourages singularity events to occur on planets that rely too heavily on AI, with not enough people to effectively regulate all of the computer systems.

AI Singularity Table (2D10)
4 or less: AI Rebellion; place 1 AI Militia per point of AI at the colony. Any turn that there are no enemy ground forces present, the AI will eliminate 1 Census. Once no Census remain, AI total is converted into Census and becomes a new empire.

5-7: AI Malfunction: -1 Census

8-9: Widespread AI Use: AI costs halved at colony next 12 turns

10-12: No Effect.

13-14: Anti-AI Movement: AI costs doubled at colony next 12 turns

15-17: AI Reprogramming: -1 AI

18 or more: AI Suicide: Halve AI total at colony (round fractional remainders down) as AI's systematically erase themselves in bizarre incident.

As I said, I think Morale changes are probably the best tie-in to this, but any infrastructure statistic or combination of statistics would do. You could also simply require the player to make this roll whenever it experience a change in AI, but that would lead to too much long-term stability.


Re: Containing AI and a push-your-luck rule.

Posted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 11:06 am
by XSiberia

Thanks for the feedback and sorry for never saying so before. My Revelation Space conversion is on the shelf for the moment, but when I get it back off, I will definitely use this.



Re: Containing AI and a push-your-luck rule.

Posted: Tue Aug 02, 2011 5:20 am
by Tyrel Lohr
I'd completely forgot about this discussion until I started going through the old posts and saw the bump. Josh, if you make anymore progress on the concept please let me know either here on the forum or via email. I would really like to see the direction you end up taking the concept.