Artificial Intelligence is the ability for a computer system to think and act autonomously, or at least simulate the act of thought.
What is AI?Edit
In the universe Otherspace occupies, AI is more common than it is today. It is common knowledge that the Phyrrians exist, who have never been shown to be anything but non-organic parts, and they seem to think effectively enough.
Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is not something in every computer system and terminal in existance, or even most. Rather, AI's role tends to vary depending upon the task for which it was designed. An AI could be created for a manufacturing task, for instance, but it is often more cost efficient to simply program several machines to perform individual tasks than one to perform all of them.
For complex electronic filing tasks, an AI could be of more use, but it is still often more effective to merely write a complex program to query, sort, and file rather than create an AI for such a purpose.
AI does excell, however, in tasks that involve too much information for humans (or other sentients) to process, but at the same time, too complex for normal code, and requires consideration of past experience to accomplish. In other words, something that involves a great deal of information, complex search criteria, and something that would require 'on task' learning to eventually accomplish.
That is the difference between AI and normal programming. AI is trained for the purpose of thinking (or at least the simulation of such), and being able to incorporate prior experience into present activities, where normal code is unable to truly account for past experience.
Common AI UsesEdit
Some common uses for Artificial Intelligence include:
Perhaps the most common use, these kinds of AI can be fed information, and previous models, and create models of probable future patterns. This is common in genetic, meteorlogical, and other scientific fields investigating natural events.
While not near as good as human security, it is more advanced than simple alarm systems and cheaper than keeping humans on the clock all the time. These systems often begin in the hundreds of thousands of credits just for the moderate quality systems. Millions of credits can be invested in some huge corporate systems. Of course, there are additional annual costs to keeping such an AI protected from outside sources, though most AI have some innate ability to resist outside penetration.
Complex coded systems often come with their own problems in trying to evaluate or decrypt the contents. AIs specialized in this purpose often fare better than human counterparts, at least in terms of speed.
The making of an AIEdit
Creating an artificial intelligence is a very specialized and expensive undertaking. Most AI specialists have spent a minimum of six years beyond a diploma learning the basics, which makes them rare, and the demand for them is quite high.
The supply and demand situation of AI specialists make them hard to acquire in the first place, secondly, their programming often much be acclimized to the environment they will be working in. This means security code that works with one building has to be modified before it can work with another. Even these modifications can take a couple months to get right, and building a complete AI from 'scratch' can take several more months, and that's often before bug testing can begin in earnest, meaning that many systems take at least a year's worth of work.
Progress and AIEdit
Artificial intelligence is not a fully researched field, new things are being tried regularly (even if they are without much success), especially in fields such as economic modelling aimed towards profit and playing the market, to implantations. Most of these experiments are unsuccessful at best and still extremely expensive undertakings.
In game, when the time has elapsed for a project to be potentially finished (once every few months, in the case of AI Programming), a roll may be made and monitored by a staff member. For AI Programming, the results of the roll have the following meanings:
Mediocre or less: Can perform a simple job competently and with intelligence. Fair to Good: Increasingly flexible in dealing with complex tasks. Great and Superb: Passes the Turing Test. Increasingly flexible. Legendary or greater: Fully Sentient