Unprecedented Move toward Ubiquitous AI?

The senate has agreed to a period of public commentary where citizens can freely comment on the legislation. They comments will then help to point the senate in the direction which its population wishes them to go.

black and white photo of human hand and robot hand

The rights of Artificial Intelligence programs (AI’s) have been a controversial issue in recent years. Since the founding on the Serenity Concord it has been known as one of the friendliest places for an AI to reside. The passing of the first comprehensive AI rights legislation in known space in 2384 has only increased the draw of the Concord on AI’s.

Still the act is not without controversy and the military organization Solas Tempus has not made things easier. In recent years the organization has begun churning out it’s own AI programs and while the organization claims that it is fair to AI’s and offers any AI they create in accordance with the ALFRE Act there have been controversial decisions made. Most notably the organization’s Multinodal Core technology and using AI’s to manage critical functions of ships and other facilities. While the Icarus League, an AI rights advocacy group based out of Nimbus Station, applauds the opportunities for AI’s to find work and stable places to live they also warn that the use of AI’s by military organizations has not always gone well for AI’s who did not want that kind of life.

The Serenity Concord has put itself at odds with the Icarus League again through a new proposal working its way through the Serenity Concord Senate. The new bill was first penned by Senator Murrika of the Schatten Star System. The bill would provide for new policies relating to most government jobs, especially those in law enforcement and military service as well as some high level government positions. The new act, simply called Senate Bill 2895 right now, would designated that many (if not most) positions throughout the government and military would be required to have an AI partner. Police and other law enforcement / investigation personnel have been long partnered in pairs even in larger teams, this new law would require every law enforcement officer to be partnered with an AI, even if two people are normally partnered together.

The Icarus League has come out against the bill, they acknowledge that it would provide high-level employment for thousands of AI’s but only if those AI’s accept being tied to a flesh and blood person for their employment. The rights group expresses that while this may seem like landmark legislation, it instead takes AI’s back a few steps forcing them to be even more tied to flesh and blood counterparts. They believe that the legislation should be rewritten to include additional rights for if an AI would like to work without a biological life form, which would open the door to AI-AI partners, which is currently very rare. Many law enforcement unions have expressed a similar sentiment that some personnel may not wish to be partnered with an AI and they point out that biological-biological pairings have been a standard for centuries and have shown excellent result.

Solas Tempus has come out in favor of the legislation and has admitted assisting the senator in writing it. They view the legislation has part of bringing a new era of AI-biological relations and point out their Master Systems AI program as a perfect example of why this legislation works. The organization also released some information which was formerly classified as to what a Master Systems AI (called a MSAI within Solas Tempus) does. These released documents outline how an MSAI is a pivotal part of operations on its facilities and space vessels. Such an AI would be capable of taking over an unmanned vessel or one whose crew was incapacitated or killed and not only complete critical missions but also return the crew home. Previously if a starship was to go missing, there was a strong possibility that it may never be found again. They point to records of Starfleet vessels which have been listed as missing for over a century. With an MSAI aboard, a ship could return home even in situations which a biological organism could never survive.

An unnamed source within Solas Tempus has relayed that such pairings are likely to happen within the military organization regardless of the legislative fate. They note that many of the flag officers are paired with AI’s already, those AI’s occupy a position of Master Systems AI for personal transport / scout vessels assigned as part of the organization’s General Order 12, section D. The organization would not comment to verify or deny this assertion, though we did receive a statement from former head of the organization, Lance Thomas.

We have seen significant improvements in both efficiency and effectiveness of flag offers and even command staff through the use of AI’s in mission-critical positions. While I can neither confirm nor deny any current investigations into new orders along those lines, it could be seen as a next logical step. Our AI staff have been pivotal parts of our organization even before the ALFRE act. One also cannot overestimate the need for any living thing, whether artificial or biological, at having purpose. None of us service Solas Tempus out of pride or because we want to amass power or wealth, no we do it out of service and because it is a worthy cause to get behind. One should not second-guess the choices of anyone for choosing to serve. Our organization has never had a draft, we do not press individuals into service – no matter if they are artificial or biological life. We simply do not believe in it. As an experienced command officer, I can also tell you that forcing someone to serve when they don’t want to doesn’t give us anything other than a disgruntled and resentful individual. I don’t want anyone under my command that doesn’t want to be there; AI, Romulan, Klingon, or anyone else. Anyone wishing to discharge themselves from service can do so following the same rules and regulations that everyone agrees to adhere to once the sign up. An AI is no different and will not be treated different.

Fleet Admiral Lance Thomas

This statement from the former head of the organization seems to suggest Solas Tempus could very well be looking into pairing their personnel with AI’s. In doing due diligence we could find no confirmed cases where an AI was forced into service, speaking with many different AI’s they did not believe this was plausible. Multiple AI’s also shared the Admiral’s insistence that they serve the organization out a need for purpose. Rumors within the organization do suggest that some AI’s created for the organization could feel a definite pressure to do what they were designed to do, undercutting the assertion that Solas Tempus does not want anyone, even an AI, to serve unless they wish to be there. The Icarus League refused to go on the record about that issue for any specifics but does say more than one AI created by Solas Tempus has come to see them about options pertaining to a choice to enlist or opt for civilian life. The League was unwilling to get into specifics stating that they wish to keep the details of AI’s seeking their help private.

The senate has agreed to a period of public commentary where citizens can freely comment on the legislation. They comments will then help to point the senate in the direction which its population wishes them to go.