Galactic History: The Qinglong Wars

As with the Alien Anthropology and Planetary Profiles posts, the Galactic History posts will reveal some more of the setting’s background, and be linked to the History and Background page.

Dreams of The Singularity

Throughout galactic history, even before the beginning of the Human Diaspora, there had been talk about “The Singularity,” wherein the development of artificial superintelligence would lead to a runaway chain reaction of technological improvement and the transformation of humanity itself.  Several groups attempted, over the century or two prior to the beginning of the Diaspora, and subsequently, to create such a superintelligence.  All ultimately failed; while machine learning advanced, and various “self-awareness” tests were ostensibly passed, the programs ultimately either crashed or rapidly degraded as their algorithms were unable to process the information and responses they made coherently.

Then, about two hundred years after the development of the Bergenholm field and faster-than-light travel, the AI called Qinglong appeared.

An AI God?

No records that survive say exactly where the AI was programmed.  Various stories told in the years since have placed it anywhere from Mercury to Titan and everywhere in between.  The programmer responsible for Qinglong, Long Pak, might have been from Earth, but no one knows any longer.

Qinglong claimed to be the superintelligence that was supposed to bring about the Singularity.  And the advanced tech that its followers and drones used in the years following seemed to back that up.  So did the fact that the AI did not crash within the first few months, or descend into disconnected insanity.  Few of Qinglong’s speeches to the Solar System and the surrounding systems survive.  Those that do appear to be long on grandiose rhetoric and declarations of its own superiority, and short on demonstrations of its transcendence.  Considering the history of such AIs, it should come as no surprise that the powers of the Solar System, fully developed for centuries by that point, dismissed Qinglong’s demands to be handed the reins of power. Continue reading