AIs in the Battletech Universe

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  • Last Post 12 July 2017
Lasergunner posted this 07 July 2017

First off, despite what computer science prognosticators are saying, at this point in time we just don't know if Artificial Intelligences will ever be possible. It hasn.t happened yet. The technology is advancing and the Singularity may happen.

So supposing that AIs are possible and that the 21st century in the BT universe mirrors our own then by the time of the Star League it should have been a centuries old mature science. We may assume that they interfaced with every facet of society. They would have been part of Kerensky's exodus and they would have permeated the Inner Sphere and the Periphery States at the advent of the Succession Wars. Could we not expect that in spite of the regression of Technology in the Inner Sphere and the social-political upheavals that swept throught the Star League in Exile that there would be numerous survivals of this technology.

There is the potential for AI entities to operate both on and off the radar. Comstar's Intersteller Communications Network could realisticaly have been the basis for an Inner Sphere wide internet during the Star League and aftwards could have shrunk to a diminished pool of privledged users. The Clans maintained their own HPG network. One of our current fears about AI is tht it could escape the laboratory via the internet and somehow reside there. Centuries from now, as a mature technology, that might be a very desireable attribute for this technology to be able to communicate itself. Jumpships, warships, jumpstations, and space habitats would likely have enjoyed an intrical relationship with AI technologies.

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icehellion posted this 08 July 2017

It depends what you call AI and how they blend in society (and who they support).

Captain posted this 11 July 2017

So far in canon, the most advanced AI in BattleTech were the Caspar drone systems employed in the Star League's SDS network. Even then, they were more like Mass Effect's VIs or Halo's "Dumb" AIs than the sapient AI we usually think of when we hear the term.

Lasergunner posted this 12 July 2017

It has often been speculated that an AI would in comparison to a human being possess godlike intelligence. That is not to say that it would necessarily be smart. The machine intelligence might equate more with an idiot-savant. The reason for persuing AI technology is that an AI would have all available knowledge in it's particular sphere of operation that is given to it and would be able to quantify that data with heuristic tools and knoledge bases to solve problems.

It is hoped that artificial intelligence could advance technology, medicine and the hard sciencesin a manner equivalent to human progress from it's technological beginning to the present but do so as what comes after and do it in the space of hours, days, weeks, and in some areas of concentration: years. the next phase of human technological progress might take only decades and it might include advancements that are beyond human understanding.

That is reason enough for an AI arms race. In terms of battletech cannon, it might explain the decline of technologies during the succession wars. It wasn't just that they lost the ability to reconstruct what war had taken away. Much of what remained was beyond their comprehension. They knew what it was. They could operate it. Depending on it's level of sophistication, they might even be able to maintain it to some degree. But what they lacked most of all would have been the vast AI networks that would have designed and managed the super technologies of humankind's golden age. These networks would have been very high value targets in the total wars of the the star League Civil War and the subsequent Succession Wars.

There might still be lower orders of AI. Does an artificial intelligence really need to be self aware to come across as personable? On planetary internets and Comstar's interstellar network, there may have been all manner of virtual entities. Household and industrial robotics could serve as avitars for downloadable entities. In a modern telecommunication society, AIs might come across as persons or even as media. Holographic technologies like those that are incorporated in nuerohelmets might be used to stimulate a reality where users experience AIs and alternate reality together.

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