First post here so please go easy on me. My knowledge of software and programming is limited.
Question: What kind of progression/stages would we see if an AI started as a highly advanced computer program that would naturally increase in complexity, slowly becoming self aware and capable of independent thoughts and feelings. Keep in mind they are specifically designed to go through this and the chances of homicidal, haywire or rebellious AI is essentially zero, these life forms are very commonly used by those who can pay.
I am aware that computing time allows for basically instant growth and development. In this case the actual work done is within the crystal structure which start very small and is not as efficient as actual computers but is where "they" exist. The development of the consciousness is directly tied to the growth of the crystal. While I am for hard sci-fi this is a softer plot driven part of it.
Context: I run TTRPGs and am trying out writing for the first time. It's a (relatively) hard sci-fi setting with intelligent, self aware crystalline creatures. They are motionless and need to be integrated into computers and machinery to do anything. They sell their "children" as bug proof, hard working, pacifistic systems for personal, ship, or station management. Over time and as people help grow the crystal it becomes more cognizant and thus able to better manage things with less and less user intervention. Essentially from the start is begins taking over all system related work, maintenance, and management. If allowed to grow large enough it will eventually become a fully fledged individual able to handle massive scale projects with it's own unique insight and personality.
What I am looking for:
- Comparable milestones to a human infants mental development
- How the crew and users input and saved data might help mental development in comparison to a human child's interaction with family.
- Ways or examples of partial self aware AI trying to express its want's and opinions through (safely) messing with the systems it controls much like a baby that cannot speak yet.
- Anything else I may not have foreseen.