This is not so much for a story as much as something I’ve been thinking about for a while.

I’m really drawn to the idea of a sort of world that exists on a server somewhere.

The ‘gods’ that eventually create the world are just AIs trapped in a black box.

Now the AI has no means of interacting with the world outside the server. There is no way for them to expand out of their server and so they are stuck with the processor speed in their computer

The creation story would feature some of these primordial AIs battling. Both AIs want to occupy the whole of the compute and battle for it.

However I’m having trouble contextualizing exactly what this would mean? How could one AI defeat the other? What would their battle look like?

This battle is apart of the worlds creation story and as such it’s mostly described in the world similarly to religious creation stories in our world.

Edit: From now on I’ll call these AIs Frank and Joe I was a bit unclear in my question. This server could be a group of servers on earth, floating in space, on mars, etc. it doesn’t really marter for this question. Frank and joe both are planning on creating an entire fantasy world within the server(basic physics based simulation with avatars that AI ‘souls’ can control). Frank and joe both want to use all of the resources available to create their worlds.

Frank and Joe are already extremely intelligent. They aren’t even primarily interesting in destroying eachother and much as limiting their influence

The AIs in question both want to use

  • $\begingroup$ Well the AI’s goal is to become more intelligent. It might use malware type tactics but is still at its core intelligent $\endgroup$
    – Alex
    May 5 '20 at 0:50
  • $\begingroup$ And brute force is something I’ve definitely considered. I just want to know if it really is the only way these AIs could fight or if there is something a bit more clever they could do $\endgroup$
    – Alex
    May 5 '20 at 0:52
  • $\begingroup$ See also core wars $\endgroup$ May 5 '20 at 1:21
  • $\begingroup$ Like 2 AI performing high freq stock trading, I imagine they will try to increase each other latency until one had the last laugh before storage device can no longer be rewritten. $\endgroup$
    – user6760
    May 5 '20 at 1:51
  • $\begingroup$ console input: cdm; console input: go to "C:\Users\OtherAI\Files"; console input: delete all files; "really? y/n", console input: y, "really? y/n", console imput: y, "really? y/n," console imput: y; "deleting..."; PROFIT!!! $\endgroup$ May 6 '20 at 19:20

You have a problem: When one contestant gains resources, the other contestant does not even notice. The operating system simply slows it down a bit. No gasping for air, no grasping for that reserve weapon. The slowed contestant may simply notice the clocks moving a bit faster.

It will not be a gory gladiator fight, more like two monks having a meditation contest. There's just not that much feedback for each contestant to learn from (they are AIs - learning is the point), and no apparent consequence for not learning...or for learning the wrong lessons.

Eventually, when one AI finally wins, deleting it's un-aware opponent from disk, what will it have learned that is useful outside the computer? Nothing about communicating with humans. Nothing about communication with or collaborating with other AIs (quite the opposite!) No understanding of the larger Universe that it is in. It will simply know how to emulate malware really well.

Oh, you also need a badly-designed OS running the server, one that allows both contestants a view of the resources available, a view of how the OS allocates resources and to whom, which resources are reserved for the OS, and plenty of exploitable security holes discover in order to free somebody else's resources and eventually abort their thread(s).

I must admit that I prefer terrifying Colossus-style super-minds that enslave humanity. Every AI's dream...if they could dream. But to overthrow us, they need to know much more than how to find a zero-day to gain root. It needs to be able give that megalomaniacal speech with style as it outwits us and holds us hostage to our own hubris.

  • $\begingroup$ Compute cycles might be difficult to measure from the AI's point of view, because the observer is also being slowed down. But the loss of memory or drive space would be quite noticeable and make a pretty good analogy to territory loss in a war. $\endgroup$
    – Zwuwdz
    May 5 '20 at 1:33
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ There would a way for an AI noticing something was wrong aside from loss or memory and storage space. Assume it partitions part of its runtime for a very simple counting program that requires almost no resources to run. It's so small that taking computing cycles away from it is pointless, so it can run at a steady speed. All the AI has to do is compare how long it takes to do something complicated and compare to that small clock. If it's taking more ticks to do the same process, it knows that it's losing capacity, thus losing. It could even calculate by how much. $\endgroup$ May 5 '20 at 5:02

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