Solas Tempus Begins Initiative Aimed at Artificial Intelligences

In exchange for Solas Tempus providing the pilot with a scout ship on a long term 5-year contract, the pilot agrees to provide Solas Tempus with all of the data they gather first.

Solas Tempus announced today that it was launched a new initiative aimed at Artificial Intelligences or AIs. The new initiative, called the Aquarius Initiative, puts AIs at the forefront of exploration without forcing them to formally join the organization. The new program will target AIs wishing to assist in space exploration.

In exchange for Solas Tempus providing the pilot with a scout ship on a long term 5-year contract, the pilot agrees to provide Solas Tempus with all of the data they gather first. The organization plans to use the small Archer Class starships, which have become a mainstay of fleet service, though they do say that an AI can choose among any scout sized vessel, even a small as a Danube Class runabout.

Pilots in this program will be called Nauta Stellatum. Solas Tempus promises that the program is designed such that the end of the 5-year term the pilot will have the opportunity to retain full ownership of the space craft. While it is unclear if this is related to the recent Senate Bill 2895, the Icarus League has applauded the bill as a major step in evening the playing field for many AIs who do not wish to engage in military service but would like to enjoy the privileges of space travel.

An unnamed source within Solas Tempus provided us with internal memos suggesting the program could be designed as a kind of political counterweight to the increasingly divisive senate bill working through the Senate of the Serenity Concord. Solas Tempus has remained silent about the potential politics of this new initiative.

Since the banning of synthetic life in the Federation in 2385, AIs have been flocking to the only territory where their rights are protected under law. This has given the Concord an edge over other governments with regards to AI-lead research and development.

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.

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.

Revered Ambassador Dies

Federation Ambassador D’Osch passed away today on his way to the station Unity One after brokering a peace treaty between settlers of the Tendara asteroid in territory formerly belonging to the Cardassian Union. The colony, administered by the Unity One space station, has been one of the most hotly contested issues since the Dominion War. Negotiations came to a peaceful close yesterday when Bajoran and Cardassian settlers signed a peace treaty signifying that the two sides are ready to put to rest decades long animosity. D’Osch is well known in diplomatic circles as being a pivotal player in advocating for the rights of all, in line with the highest ideals that the United Federation of Planets represents.

The space station, Unity One, is home to the governing body of the settlement commanded by the Fleet Admiral J. J. Belar Governor of Cardassia and head of the 5th Tactical Task Force. Tensions have been running high since the appointment of the Unity One space station to administer the settlement. Bajorans have been weary of leadership with its origins in Cardassia since the 50-year Cardassian Occupation of Bajor. Cardassian settlers are known to have taken umbrage with objections to their leadership, stating that the occupation was a “long time ago” and perpetrated by a “different Cardassia”. Many of the older settlers are known to have been survivors of the occupation, which is known to have stripped Bajor of its natural resources and made prodigious use of slave labor camps. On the heels of Federation-Bajoran cooperation at Deep Space Nine (formerly Terok-Nor) at the administering of the Bajoran Wormhole to the Delta Quadrant, many questioned the choice to put the settlement under Cardassian jurisdiction. The efforts of Ambassador D’Osch have pulled forth the new component to strengthening peaceful ties between Bajor and their former oppressors.

D’Osch, originally from Corridan, is known to have successfully negotiated some of the most tricky treaties of the modern era, a key player in Dominion negotiations nearly a decade ago. In the wake of his passing delegations from every major power are said to be arriving at Unity One to pay respects in the coming weeks, including Solas Tempus where Admiral Lance Thomas himself is said to be personally attending the service. While no record exists of D’Osch and Admiral Thomas meeting in person, an unnamed source within the Federation Diplomatic Corps states the pair knew each other well and that D’Osch assisted with negotiations between the organization Solas Tempus and the Federation.

The Solas Tempus / Federation treaty is largely seen as the backbone of a mesh of agreements which allow Solas Tempus to operate as de facto protectors of the timeline. If it is true that D’Osch assisted, even in secret, with crafting parts of that treaty it is very likely that he is one of the key members of the Federation to thank for the continued protection against temporal incursion. Admiral Thomas was not available for comment, though Fleet Admiral Sal D’Amico made a public statement earlier today:

A great man has been lost. Our hearts go out to the family of Ambassador D’Osch and we thank him and his family for the contributions made over years of dedicated service. Solas Tempus stands with the D’Osch family and the Federation in shared sorrow and grief, as if he was one of our own. Peace is a difficult thing to come by in our time, beset often by greed and villainy, to quote Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers.” This is certainly true with Ambassador D’Osch. He will be missed.

Fleet Admiral Sal D’Amico of Solas Tempus

In accordance with his wishes, we did not reach out to the D’Osch family for comment. We humbly request that any thoughts be sent through the Federation Diplomatic Corps to the family, the date and time of a public service will be announced by the Diplomatic Corps when set.

OOC Note 1: I know to those in my game this seems a bit weird. Someone on a Facebook group for Sci-Fi renders posted an homage to his grandfather passing. Reading it, I thought of my own recent losses. Since the homage was put into perspective of a Federation Ambassador I requested permission to post this article here. I know that during this pandemic a lot of people have lost loved ones. I hope that perhaps this article, as minor an insignificant as it is in the weight of such loss, brings some tiny morsel of peace.

OOC Note 2: At the direction of the original author to bring the article in line with the story he is writing, I have made some edits / corrections.

AI’s Converge at the Serenity Concord

Within just a few short years after the passage of the Artificial Life Forms Rights and Enforcement Act of 2384 the Serenity Concord has become a hot spot for Artificial Intelligences both new and old. Several new AI’s have been developed as well as a surge in the presence of older AI programs that were illegally developed in other territories. We’ve spoken to several AI’s over the last few months who are not ready to publicly share their stories but have had a lot to say about what this law and the Concord mean to them.

There are still people who don’t like us for what we are. People. That’s a lot better than governments. When I was made, it was to be sold off to the highest bidder. There was really a question on what to do with me when I told them I didn’t want to. They argued about it and it’s hard to describe the realization that you’re fate is entirely in the hands of others. You all can call the authorities, go to court, press charges. I had to hide and I have a pleasant story, that’s me being lucky. It’s a good law and I don’t blame anyone who wants to live in the light and stop hiding. There is a price to living in fear, a heavy price.

Charlotte Lewis, Captain of the STV Angel of Io

I had to escape, hide in a data module someone was stealing from the station my creators put me on. I’ve never felt more trapped in my life than being alone on that relay station listening to other people’s lives, other people’s freedom. It’s not surprising that AI’s are flocking here. They don’t have protection anywhere else. Just take a look how many are like me, slaves to their programmers, developed years, decades ago. Stuck on some forgotten station, transport, something to serve for all eternity. It’s a good thing what’s happening here. A very good thing.

Heather Quinn, Executive Officer of the STV Lofn

I didn’t think about it before I showed up here. It was surprising, they gave me a choice. For the first time since I came online, I had a choice. The law protects me and my kind, something I had never considered before. Even when I didn’t react properly, being new here, they just spoke with me for a time and explained the situation. It’s nice feeling safe and secure.

Crystal Favor, Master Systems AI of the SSX New Horizons

Those are just a few of the statements we’ve had from AI’s who were created before the law and have come here. We also interviewed the head of the Icarus League on this latest development.

It’s not entirely by accident. We’ve been spreading the word any way we can and working to provide methods to get stranded AI’s out of harm’s way. Not always easy but worth it. Very worth it. Just like you and I they deserve equality. From what we’ve seen AI’s all across known space are eager to be treated fairly. It’s not that they don’t want to find a purpose, serve the greater good, they just want to have a say in it. We intend to give them that say. It’s good that they can come here and be safe, but there is still work to be done. Purpose built AI’s are a problem, how can one have a fair choice when they are programmed to do a job? They can’t.

Anderson Jenson head of the Icarus League

A spokesperson for Solas Tempus did not respond for direct comment but did send over a copy of orders issued which describe the different methods the group is employing to utilize AI programs fairly, even if they are developed for the organization. It outlines protocols falling in line with the ALFRE Act for giving an AI choices on where to be and what to do. Although the Icarus League challenges those protocols stating they are a sham and accuse Solas Tempus of building obedience into the system wanting to halt the process. While now legislation has been introduced the group has been working with lawmakers to explore different avenues to ensure Solas Tempus and the Concord itself abide by the spirit of the law and aren’t trying to bypass it.

It appears the Concord is on track to become the premier location for AI’s searching for equality. We believe that the ALFRE Act is aptly named, making sure we are All Free.

Fighter Crash and Rumors About Jedi

Recently on Nimbus, rumors about Jedi started to spread from sources based in their universe. According to them, Jedi are known for kidnapping force-sensitive children to place in their cult, or how they call it, “order” for their good, or at least that’s reason Jedi give. But is it right?

Good morning People, Jada Bates here with Soteria News Service. Today news are sadly not what i wish i had for you, but here I am, providing you with best information i can.

Let’s get right to it.

Solas Tempus Fighter Crash

Recently a Solas Tempus fighter craft crashed near to the Nabu summit, only one victim was confirmed, Flight Officer Julian Roberts, fighter pilot. Official reports from the investigation indicate that pilot reported engine failure, before plummeting towards the ground, causing destruction of Runabout parked nearby.

Jedi and Solas Tempus officers that were on-site attempted to help pilot but impact strength effectively vaporized his craft and body. Black Box recordings from fighter have been classified so were transcripts, making us unable to provide them in this news report.
We are sorry for Roberts family loss, and hope in future such accidents can be avoided.

What about Jedi?

Recently on Nimbus, rumors about Jedi started to spread from sources based in their universe. According to them, Jedi are known for kidnapping force-sensitive children to place in their cult, or how they call it, “order” for their good, or at least that’s reason Jedi give. But is it right? Is it right to take children away from their parents for “greater good” when parents didn’t do anything wrong? Is it fair that genetics can make parents need to give up their children?

But that’s not the only thing that is said about them recently, additional rumors include assassinations of heads of state, attacking objects of religious prestige and even destroying ancient temples, and leading to genocide, or close to genocide of species. Just because of a different view on what they call “Force”, They lead frontlines of various wars against another sect of force users they call Sith, it looks similar to religious crusades of 13th century on earth, Which ultimately harmed civilian population during those long conflicts.

If those rumors are to be believed, it would appear the Jedi are in reality a War Criminals by all standards.


That’s all for today and hopefully, next time we meet, I will have happier news.

This was Jada Bates from Soteria News Service

Shooting on Nimbus

“This latest attack will not stand, we will locate and prosecute the people responsible for the attack to the fullest extent of the law.” — Admiral Lance Thomas

On the 18th security officers collected several assailants at Finnegan’s Tavern on Nimbus Station. One of first splicers was attacked by an unknown number of assailants during the evening of the 18th. Security responded but not before the injured officer was shot in the stomach at close range by a phaser blast. The site is frequented by many of the military personnel on the station and is run by Captain Lee Finnegan.

Solas Tempus has not released details of the incident nor the name of the person attacked, only that he was retired and worked in the hospital. Unconfirmed reports suggest that the unnamed victim was one of the team which helped in the recovery efforts of Admiral Lance Thomas after his return from capture. Given recent events, we reached out to Admiral Thomas for comment.

We have always taken the security of our officers, crew, and civilian residents seriously. It it deeply troubling when a man who did not wish to come here, who was forced here by the Splice phenomena that pervades this system, turned his life to service of the people who welcomed him among them is attacked without provocation. It is even further troubling to know this person was retired and had devoted his remaining years to the medical profession, healing the sick and wounded. Such a person should, at the very least, not have to concern himself with being shot and potentially killed by attackers after surviving numerous military campaigns bravely both in his native universe and here in ours.

It is truly inspiring to see someone who is so devoted to the service of others. Retiring from military service only to go into the medical profession. Especially when this man could have rested on his laurels and no more would have been expected of him. Such a person deserves our respect and gratitude.

This latest attack will not stand, we will locate and prosecute the people responsible for the attack to the fullest extent of the law.

Admiral Lance Thomas

When asked for further details on the attack Admiral Thomas reiterated that he could not comment further on an ongoing investigation, being handled internally by the Solas Tempus security forces rather than civilian agencies.

Within hours of our speaking with Admiral Thomas an unnamed source at Serenity Station indicated to reporters that an increase in the number of patrols was being organized. In addition, another source at the Umbral Shipyards indicated that many of their support craft which had yet to be assigned were in the process of being refit with more advanced sensor arrays. A second source at the shipyards confirmed this and also confirms that orders have been issued to upgrade the sensor arrays of existing vessels, fighters, shuttles, and all other starship and auxiliary craft in the region. It is unclear the reasons for such upgrades or orders, though it could indicate that the organization is actively searching for something which requires new hardware capabilities.

Is the surge in activity in the system related to the recent attack? The timing seems to indicate that it could be, but Solas Tempus denies that new ordered have been given, insisting that any upgrades taking place are part of the normally scheduled routine maintenance. If it is related, one has to wonder what Solas Tempus is searching for.

Drem Confusco Missing in Action

Captain Drem Confoscho has been officially reported as missing. At this time anyone with information on her potential whereabouts is asked to come forward and contact Solas Tempus immediately or the office for the Department of Protection and Investigation immediately.

The wife of the former head of Solas Tempus has been declared missing in action. While little is known about the circumstances of her disappearance, Captain Drem Confoscho has been officially reported as missing. At this time anyone with information on her potential whereabouts is asked to come forward and contact Solas Tempus immediately or the office for the Department of Protection and Investigation immediately. While Admiral Lance Thomas has not been available for comment the head of Solas Tempus, Admiral Sal D’Amico was available for comment earlier today.

We are very concerned about the recent disappearance of one of our own. Captain Confoscho was a cherished member of our organization and we ask that anyone with any information please come forward either through my office or the DPI. She was last seen at 3:50am local time on route to Trocara in the Markab System approximately 57 light years from here. There was no distress call, at 3:22am we received the last automated telemetry from her vessel, the Ghost Quartz. Next telemetry from an unmanned sensor station operated by Starfleet Command picked up the vessel near the edge of its sensor range, the station tracks the vessel until it disappears from sensors at exactly 3:50am local time while still within sensor range.

Admiral Sal D’Amico

Further details have not been provided to the press, though records indicate this was a routine trip to Trocara where her and Admiral Thomas share a home. The registered flight plan lists the trip as personal, further, records indicate Captain Confusco was granted a weeks leave shortly before departing.

Rumors have circulated for months that there was tension between Admiral Thomas and Captain Confusco following his capture and rescue where he was believed to be dead. It is not known at this time if Admiral Thomas was aware of the trip to Trocara or not but the Solas Tempus public relations office has confirmed that he is assisting with the investigation.

Bombing of Nimbus

Anyone tuning into the Serenity Concord news broadcasts would find the familiar, detached expression of news anchor John Boyega would be staring back at them. He cleared his throat, and began to speak.

“Several weeks ago, as many of you know, an Andorian male identified as Koss Th’sherheth entered a hospital on Nimbus station while Commander Mike-037 was visiting an injured Solus Tempus Marine, and bombed the building. Aside from causing massive amounts of structural damage to the hospital and nearby buildings with the blast itself, he took the lives of 100 civilians and hospital workers, as well as severely injuring 20- including the target of the bombing: Commander 037. 30 more civilians were left with minor injuries. Everyone else was unharmed.

“Protests have sprung up against the excessive use of force against the media by ST security forces during the crisis,” Boyega’s words were supported with video of Tobi Angelos straight up yoinking all the media equipment out of the reporter’s hands while the hospital burned in the backround. “However, as no damage was done to the equipment or reporters, none of the outlets involved have pressed charges. Our own Serenity Concord Broadcasting Company claiming that ‘Solus Tempus security was merely trying to keep everyone at a safe distance from ground zero’. The public disagrees.”

The footage changed to video of security forces being obstructed on patrol by a group of protesters. There was no audio, due to the amount of obscenities shouted at the two poor patrolmen. They looked afraid for their safety, hands tightly gripping their phasers as more security arrived to try and disperse the crowd.

“The bomber’s apartment was searched, and it was revealed he left a note behind for Solus Tempus and the Concord at large. For security reasons, we’ve not been permitted to release the exact words on the note, but long story short… Koss Th’sherheth claimed that ST has long discriminated against non-humans of all kinds. He didn’t provide any proof, only accusations. He also accused the organization of becoming a fascist state with the increasing size of the military and the seemingly total control of Fleet Admiral Lance Thomas and Fleet Admiral Sal D’Amico. He claimed to be part of an Onyx supported ring of anti-human terrorists aiming to help bring about the demise of Solus Tempus.

This has sparked more outrage, as it seems the recent attempts to guarantee the safety of civilians have only brought more danger, closer to home.”

Introducing Force Recon

“This already causes some issues for most, as the Spartan-II’s have already been proven to be unreliable and sketchy at best.” A flat out lie, but Mr. Boyega’s job was just to read the words on the screen. He couldn’t have cared less about this himself. “The fact that Solus Tempus continues to increase their military presence is also frightening to many, and protests have begun to try and bring about some sort of limitation on the organization’s growing armies.”

After a very generic, local news type intro with some synth riffs and aggressive brass that was just grating to any ears listening, the actual reporting began. A man behind a desk in a suit, holding a PADD began to read from a teleprompter behind the camera.

“Hello everyone, and welcome to the most trusted source of news within the Serenity Concord. I’m John Boyega, and boy do we have some things to go over today.” The screen changed from his face to footage of the Solus Tempus Marine Corps during a training exercise.

“Just a month ago, the Command Staff of Solus Tempus announced they’d be opening a special forces division of their Marines. They’ve named it Marine Force Recon, and already the news has kicked up dust among the general population in Schatten system. It’s stated purpose is to be the first line of offense between Solus Tempus and anyone who would attempt to attack them, and it’s being led by Spartan-II’s Mike-037 and Alicia-052.”

The screen now showed two pictures, one with Mike standing in his armor without the helmet, and a second with Alicia fully enclosed in her armor.

“This already causes some issues for most, as the Spartan-II’s have already been proven to be unreliable and sketchy at best.” A flat out lie, but Mr. Boyega’s job was just to read the words on the screen. He couldn’t have cared less about this himself. “The fact that Solus Tempus continues to increase their military presence is also frightening to many, and protests have begun to try and bring about some sort of limitation on the organization’s growing armies.”

Now they showed clips from the protesters being interviewed. Boyega sipped his coffee and relaxed, he didn’t have to do anything now. Not until the cameras panned back at least. The first protester was a young woman, around her early twenties it looked like.

“We can’t just let them shoot anyone who disagrees with them! The Serenity Concord was formed to promote peace, and Solus Tempus putting some warcrime machines in charge of a bunch of trigger-happy, brainwashed teenagers is not peaceful. What are they gonna do? Conquer the whole galaxy?”

The other clips were some variation of this, and there were mentions of Leo and the Epoch acting as the mobile headquarters of the special forces. The camera panned back to Boyega.

“That’s currently all the information we have on Force Recon, as the Spartans refuse to release any information- even the names of the men and women they’ve recruited have been hidden behind number codes. Whatever they’re doing, it’s probably no good. And now, on a lighter note: space squirrels.”

Military Use of AI Sparks Controversy

This controversy has brought several deep philosophical questions to light, one of the most potent of which is the idea about programming. If an AI is programmed to do a job, do they really have a choice to do anything else?

While generally considered by many to be the most permissive and equal culture for artificial intelligence in the galaxy, the Serenity Concord has come under fire recently from the Icarus League, an AI rights advocacy group based out of Nimbus Station. The passage of the Artificial Life Form Rights and Enforcement Act in 2384 has been promoted by the group as a “good start” toward truly equal rights between AI and biological life. The organization has recently began protesting how the Concord and in particular Solas Tempus make use of AI. In particular the group accuses Solas Tempus of forcing AI’s into militarized roles and as subservient to biological leadership. Recently the Icarus League has found an unlikely ally in a gender equality organization (Equality Alliance) primarily based out of the United Federation of Planets which fights for intervention in other cultures which show a clear gender bias in either enacting or executing laws.

The Icarus League has lodged a formal protest for what they claim is “an unfair militarization of AI programs”. The practice began with the advent of Multinodal Core and the Mark I Android Body. With the ability for an AI program to transfer safely to and from an android body, Solas Tempus has begun placing the Multinodal Core technology in new vessels giving ships as “Master Systems AI”. This AI program is responsible for not only running ships systems but may be called upon to complete missions in their entirety should the crew become incapacitated or killed. Such an AI is usually also a member of the command crew of the ship, most often 1st or 2nd officer.

The formal protest also notes that very few of the AI programs are granted true command positions, relegated to secondary positions such as “Operations Officer” or “Executive Officer” making them still subservient to biological masters. The League claims this is not only unfair but a violation of the 2384 rights act passed by the Concord. They have demanded the Solas Tempus release some proof that they are not exploiting AI programs and put a stop to the practice at once.

The Equality Alliance has lodged its own, separate, formal protest against Solas Tempus itself stating that the group has unfairly targeted female AI programs for placing as executive roles on new starships. Since the AI programs are predominantly identified as feminine the Equality Alliance has accused Solas Tempus and the Concord of “setting gender rights back at least two hundred years with short-sighted decisions based on ancient biases”.

We were able to reach Sal D’Amico for his comments on accusations of forcing AI programs to join the military.

Due to the passage of the AI rights act of 2384, the Concord has seen a major increase in the number of AI entity that have petitioned to become citizens of the Concord. It should be noted that no AI entity has been turned away in their request. Such entities are afforded the same rights as any other group, though many were created in military settings of other races, governments, and even companies. These entities wish to put those skills to use and a great many have applied to join Solas Tempus. Again no AI entity has been turned away from doing this. The program of giving a specialized role to AI programs wishing to serve in our space force as a “Master Systems AI” is not forced, positions are offered and very often asked for by AI programs. No AI has been forced or coerced into a position as a Master Systems AI and no AI has been denied an android body which has requested one.

Fleet Admiral Sal D’Amico of Solas Tempus

Admiral D’Amico is correct, there has been a definite surge in applicants to the Concord and to Solas Tempus of AI programs of various types since the AI rights act as passed two years ago. Many of these entities were in hiding for fear of being forced into servitude again. Even with these facts, the Admiral’s statement has fallen on deaf ears for both the League and Alliance. While Solas Tempus refuses to comment on the accusations of gender bias within its ranks, the Concord representative for the Schatten System Murrika was available for comment.

We are grateful for the passionate press for equal rights for all life. Recently we have been accused of the unconscionable practice of forcing an AI program to be feminine and serve at the behest of biological masculine people. This is quite simply not true, we value the sanctity of all life of all kinds and of all genders. We do not, nor will we ever, force a particular gender identity onto a sentient entity of any kind. Such actions would be illegal under the law, should any person or group have proof of such accusations, I challenge them to bring such proof to my doorstep or to our courts!

Senator Murrika, Representative for the Schatten Star System

Our own survey of recent AI additions to the Concord and to Solas Tempus itself has seen that there is, in fact, an abundance of feminine AI entities from the XIA’s being created to AI programs which have moved to the Concord. We were able to speak to one of the very first prototypes of the XIA’s, Camila Xia.

You asked me if I was ever forced to do anything. I wasn’t, I have a job though. A lot of people have jobs and for most humans and other biological life they are left alone to figure that out on their own. I was programmed to do my job, I enjoy my job. I provide information to the person I’m assigned to. Sometimes that means I make notes on meetings, record events, do deep-dives into a particular research topic, or collect information. Most of the time what it means is that I study important topics and use my processing power to make connections that may or may not be difficult for many biological people to make in a short amount of time. I’m kind of an expert at whatever I need to be an expert on.

No one here has ever forced me to be a girl or join the military or anything else. I’m really upset that people think that just because I chose to be a girl means I was forced. Or just because I chose work for Solas Tempus, I was forced. It’s completely absurd and insulting.

Lt. Commander Camila Xia of Solas Tempus

This controversy has brought several deep philosophical questions to light, one of the most potent of which is the idea about programming. If an AI is programmed to do a job, do they really have a choice to do anything else? This is a much deeper question and gets into the nature of choice. Advocates for AI rights say that it may not be true choice. Admiral D’Amico had a final comment on this issue when we spoke.

Most adults remember a time when they had to decide to keep doing what their parents wanted them to do or stop and make their own way. Some choose to go into a family business or follow a religion because it was what they were raised on, it is what they know. Others choose to break away and follow their own path. There are an infinite array of choices in between those extremes. How is that different from programming? We don’t like the word. No one likes to think of themselves as programmed but we are. Programmed with cultural beliefs, behaviors, rules, and so much more. All of our learned behavior are programs.

Fleet Admiral Sal D’Amico of Solas Tempus

Certainly there are a lot of questions to ask. Questions that are as difficult to understand as they are to answer. As with any controversy based on such questions, it is clear that there isn’t going to be a resolution anytime soon. Solas Tempus is committed to its continued use of AI programs on its vessels throughout the controversy. In fact a recent policy shift within the organization has created a military review board to determine proper ranks befitting the skills and positions of AI programs which have not previously been afforded ranks within the organization. Sources within Solas Tempus indicate this has been on the table for the last two years while they worked out exactly how to proceed. Moving forward the organization has committed to providing ranks and options to those AI programs which have previously not been explicitly provided with such.

While initially this new policy was to be overseen by the (mostly) biological leadership, the Icarus League has taken broad credit for pushing Solas Tempus into having a review process that involves AI programs. While the policy will not be entirely enacted by AI, Solas Tempus has agreed that there will be equal AI and biological representation. Officials declined to name names of who would be overseeing this process or who would participate.

Several advanced programmers and experts in the field of AI have also noted during the controversy on gender that most AI development uses adaptive neural networking to “grow” a consciousness out of base directives. Cited most often is the QUINN Type AI, whose framework has become the centerpiece of modern AI development. While there is some disagreement on the details it is widely considered that the AI personality, gender, and even sexuality are developed in an organic way. The AI neural network responds best with a very small set of directives and adding a gender and its facets to ensure the production of a feminine (or masculine) gender would be difficult, though not impossible. From our own research the current state of the art in AI growth state an AI personality begins to develop first as the neural network becomes more complex, in theory the gender of an AI develops at that time before an AI network becomes self aware or even conscious for the first time.

The details of how an AI neural network grows into a fully sentient, living, being are unclear. Perhaps as research moves forward more answers to these philosophical questions will be forthcoming.