In my story, the AI on a space ship has been corrupted, causing it to try to kill all living occupants.

The ship is on a collision course with a planet, and the main controls are inoperable due to the AI (crashing in to the planet happens to be the most effective way for the AI to kill the passengers, as most other systems have overriding safeguards). The only way to regain control is by accessing a control panel outside the ship, obviously via spacesuit.

What would be a logical reason for these controls to be outside?

  • $\begingroup$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. $\endgroup$ – James Feb 19 '18 at 17:29

31 Answers 31


The outside panels are a redundant feature for maintenance crews and emergencies when the internal panel is otherwise not accessible. There's also some minor idiot proofing created at the request of corporate customers that allows the internal control room (which includes the AI) to be password locked with a physical key override. The AI changed the password on the crew and they don't have the key for the internal panel (It's on the planet where the ship was purchased) but they do have the key for the external panel. For safety reasons, there is a mechanical override on the escape hatch, thus the AI can't actually lock it.

Honestly, I'm more concerned with why an AI would ever want to kill its passengers (along with itself). An external control panel is way more believable than a kamikaze AI. It would have to be caused by some sort of virus created by alien spies or radical extremists/terrorists.


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