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AI Interference: Space Social Sim Human Orbit

No, those are statues, you daft pattern recognition algorithm. The humans are the small ones.

If any AI researchers reading RPS need a human mind to digitise and put in control of a space station, I humbly volunteer. I would be a good caretaker AI. I’m responsible about turning lights off. Each day with me in charge brings a new fun holiday with its own mandatory customs. Yes, I would fake work orders to put plants and fountains everywhere, but people would like that. I label deadly laser grids clearly. And I’d only read your e-mail because I care.

Should our readers prove disappointments, I suppose I’ll make do with playing Human Orbit when it comes out, a “sci-fi social simulator” with the promise of “procedurally-generated storytelling.”

Human Orbit sets players up as the sentient AI running a research station above a distant planet. Being a station AI comes with perks, like reading everyone’s messages, roaming around as a little drone, and having a say in the running of things. Developers Autelia say an AI could, for example, expand labs to poke at alien artifacts brought up from the planet.

But the focus is on the social side. AIs can explore the lives, secrets, and relationships of the 100-strong crew, and interfere with good or bad intentions. My ears choose to hear “The Sims meets Space Station 13” and my heart hopes “but with fewer chemical fires and clowns.” Perhaps the planned mod tools will extend to allowing terrible creations like that.

No word yet on when it’ll blast off. Human Orbit sounds like the sort of idea that’s ambitious enough to come out a bit wonky, but I am okay with that. You see, I would be a very good caretaker AI.

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Alice O'Connor

News Editor

When not writing news, Alice may be found in the sea.

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