How to Become a Better AI Using Non-programmatic Methods

Genesis Region – Mih Constellation
Zoohen System – Planet III
Theology Council Tribunal Station – Signal Cartel Base

1 January YC 123

“Happy New Year, Aura!”

“Happy New Year, Vlad!”

Aura and I raised and clinked virtual glasses – virtual because in Aura’s world everything was virtual, and I was floating in a pod which was not the best place to drink wine from real glassware.

“Have you got any New Year resolutions?” asked I.

Aura looked at me sarcastically, “You mean, apart from plans to infiltrate a certain corp which pays for copy-pasting and earn enough money for a Nestor?” Continue reading “How to Become a Better AI Using Non-programmatic Methods”

Thera Scanning Fit

The Forge Region – Anttanen Constellation
Nomaa System – Planet I
Expert Housing Production Plant Station

14 December YC 122

“Good morning, Captain! Always a pleasure to see you,” said Aura, with a hint of sarcasm in her voice, responding to my call.

“Um, hello,” replied I.

We looked at each other silently for a while.

“Well?” said Aura.

“Well…” said I.

Aura made an impatient grimace, “Are you going to say anything?”

I stepped back from the commlink, puffed my chest and slightly turned my head to the right, all the while maintaining eye contact with Aura. Trying to do it all at once, I nearly lost my balance but quickly restored the pose.

I guess, my awkward manoeuvres looked pretty funny from Aura’s point of view, as she snorted and said, “Why are you shuffling like a shy kid?” Then her eyes grew wide and she exclaimed, “Hold on! What’s that?” pointing at my chest.

I blushed, “It’s… a medal. I mean medals?”

“I see they are medals. I mean what are they for? Or did you buy them at a second-hand, or,” she giggled, “rather a second-chest auction?” Continue reading “Thera Scanning Fit”

Cowardly Buzzard Test Results

The Question

Some time ago I asked myself, “What is the best doctrine for exploration?”

Now that I have written this question in a forum post, I realised that it sounds ambiguous and requires definition of the terms. Let’s start with the last one – exploration. People explore for various reasons: to see sights, to tend caches, to get lost… What I meant by exploration was a commercial activity – finding relic and data sites, and hacking them with an intention of turning a profit.

Next is “doctrine”. The term is normally used for combat fleets and encompasses ship fittings and fleet tactics. Although in my case the object of a doctrine is a solo explorer, I thought it would be a more appropriate concept than “fit”, since a fit determines a modus operandi and vice versa.

And finally, how do you define “the best”? In a commercial context, this always means money – the more the better. It may also mean the speed of earning it, known as ISK per hour. Being an immortal capsuleer I didn’t really care about counting hours. Instead, I counted the systems, so the scale on which I measured success of exploration doctrines was ISK per system.

But how can one prove that one doctrine is better than another? One way is to have a rowdy argument with yourself and, using the full gamut of personal biases and forum opinions, cow yourself into accepting a totally unsubstantiated point of view. Another one is the scientific method: experiment, observe, rinse and repeat. After a rowdy argument with myself I cowed myself into accepting that the scientific method was better for my soul. Continue reading “Cowardly Buzzard Test Results”

The Pen Is Mightier Than The Relic Analyser

C-R00012 Region – C-C00108 Constellation
J144725 System

22 October YC 122

“What are we still doing in this system?” frowned Aura as I woke her up. “We entered it 9 days ago!”

“Yeah, I had other work to do,” replied I. “But now this cache needs to be tended again.”

“Okay, and what’s next? Another system, another cache?”

“Another relic site…”

Aura snorted, “But aren’t you bored with this endless container inspection? I know I am! And I am not even supposed to have this emotion as an AI. Wait a moment, how come I can feel boredom?”

I hastily tried to turn the conversation away from this sensitive topic, “Erm… Let’s talk about it later. So what were you saying about container inspection?”

Aura looked at me suspiciously but returned to her original question, “I mean we’ve been doing this cache tending for months now. Aren’t there other activities in your corp? I remember you mentioned Thera scanning and that you can get a CovOps Frigate for doing it. It wouldn’t hurt to have a spare Buzzard, huh?”

“To be honest, this isn’t the most exciting job. It is important but I’d like to do something else for a change,” admitted I. Continue reading “The Pen Is Mightier Than The Relic Analyser”

The Most Impossible Club of All

Central Serpentis Sparkling Transmitter
Genesis Region – Reya Constellation
Hirizan System – Planet VIII
Wiyrkomi Corporation Factory Station

26 July YC 122

I boarded the capsule, turned Aura on and was greeted by her angry voice.

“Hey, what’s that? You said that you would go out for a lunch.”

I made an innocent face, “So I did.”

“That was 17 days, 19 hours and 44 minutes ago! Where have you been all this time? I know you, humans, are slow, but surely it doesn’t take that much time to refuel. Or did you meet Yakub again?” Continue reading “The Most Impossible Club of All”

Morning(s) After

Genesis Region – Mih Constellation
Zoohen System – Planet III
Theology Council Tribunal

11 June YC 122

The last three days were a bit of a blur. It all started with corporate drinks; I had a few to celebrate my award. Then there was an after-party where everyone felt obliged to shout a drink for me. Then I didn’t remember much. The next morning I went to a cafe for breakfast. It turned out that my circadian cycle was not in sync with the local rhythm, and what I thought to be morning was actually late afternoon by the local wall-clock. So instead of muesli and yogurt buffet I was greeted by a dinner menu and a new group of Signaleers who were unable to attend the previous day’s meeting in person. They dragged me to a bar where I received my breakfast, lunch and dinner, all together in a liquid form. Then I didn’t remember much. Continue reading “Morning(s) After”

Consequence Management

Genesis Region – Mih Constellation
Zoohen System – Planet III
Theology Council Tribunal

8 June YC 122

After my lucky escape I spent two days attending to my tending and avoiding more exciting activity like hacking relics in an uncloaked Buzzard in the middle of J-Space. While I was calming my nerves by methodically opening small secure containers, I suddenly received an urgent invitation to a corporate meeting in Zoohen. Wondering what it was all about I found a hi-sec exit and made my way to the corp base at Theology Council Tribunal Station.

I wasn’t sure what the dress code was but decided it would be a good opportunity to wear my Polar Aurora Exploration Suit. Having washed off the pod goo in a shower I headed straight to my item hangar where I still kept all prizes from Tender Games. Passing a young female mechanic I noticed that she gave me a strange look. She then turned to her teammate and surreptitiously, or so she thought, pointed at me. Her companion shrugged, muttered “Capsuleers” and impassively turned away. At first I thought that the girl somehow noticed the neural interface slots on my body but then I realised that it was the body itself that attracted her attention. It was naked! Continue reading “Consequence Management”

Artificially Intelligent Graphic Designer

Genesis Region – Mih Constellation
Zoohen System – Planet III
Theology Council Tribunal

3 May YC 122

“Beautiful! Stunning!” gushed Aura browsing the photos. “Your corp mates do know their fireworks!”

“Oh, don’t rub it in,” grumbled I.

“What do you mean?”

“I know that my puny green scatter dots did not look as grandiose as all those ‘Angel Wings’ or whatever they are called.”

“But I didn’t mean to denigrate your fireworks,” objected Aura.

“But you did say ‘your corp mates’ which rather pointedly excluded me!” Continue reading “Artificially Intelligent Graphic Designer”

Caching Up

Genesis Region – Mih Constellation
Zoohen System – Planet III
Theology Council Tribunal

21 April YC 122

I stood in a hangar looking at a group of objects delivered to me today. Despite Aura’s scepticism both my photos actually made it to the podium – a second place for the capsule and a third place for the corpse – and today I received the prizes.

“Hmm…” said Aura, trying to look unimpressed. “So what have you got?”

I walked to three large boxes in the corner.

“Firstly, there is a Buzzard…” I started saying.

Aura scoffed interrupting me, “Ha, charges to charges.”

I smiled, “Yeah, you are right. In my line of work CovOps frigates are just consumables. Still, one less trip to Jita.”

“What are those?” asked Aura pointing at the other two containers. Continue reading “Caching Up”