I'm pretty sure I read this story at Baen Free Library, but as they've taken down most stories to re-organize, I don't remember the title. I'm not sure if it was a book by itself or just a story in a collection - I think it was a in collection.

The story is set in the future and computers and AI-programs are controlling very much. Some wants to let it control more, but are vary that it may become intelligent and turn against it's human masters. It's quite a philosophical debate on the issue, among other thing how logic and rationality (ie. a computer program), could cause a response indistinguishable from aggression and a "evolutionary" fight for resources - but really for quite different reasons.

Eventually they decide to set the proposed system up in an abandoned space-station and let it control most aspect of it. Military-and science-personnel will be on-board, partly to monitor and partly to disrupt and "attack" the system. The hope is to see how the system responds, if it will "evolve" and become truly sentient, and if it will attack humans. The theory being that if they can't get the test-system to evolve and/or attack humans, then there is no danger for the real system they plan back on earth ever will either.

Of course, things doesn't go quite after plan, and for a while humans and computer is at war. Finally a truce is reach, and the program actually understand why the humans did it, that humans are fragile and must be protected - and that it soon will return to earth.

1 Answer 1


The two faces of tomorrow - James Hogan

Raymond Dyer's project had developed the first genuinely self-aware artificial intelligence that could learn and change its own programming to meet unanticipated problems. But could the AI—code-named Spartacus—be trusted to obey its makers And if it went rogue, could it be shut down As an acid test, Spartacus was put in charge of a space station and programmed with a survival instinct. Dyer and his team had the job of seeing how far the computer would go to defend itself when they tried to pull the plug. Dyer didn't expect any serious problems to arise in the experiment.

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