Uruguay adopts AI

In a limited partnership, Uraguay has commenced a partnership with Mammoth Enterprises to begin building their AI infrastructure.

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While local polls show sceptism about the project, the government is moving forward to implement agriculture and commerce systems to bring the country “into the twenty-first century” and gain an advantage over neighbouring markets.

The cost of the project is estimated at close to 2 trillion RMB and will be second only to the Orakel jurisdictions in automation capability.

Another drop. Another mission. He and five other cadets had been installed into remotes at the back of a large room tightly arranged with white table-clothed tables spotted like lillies all the way to the stage.

Tom watched as a woman in a backless dress with an anonymised face tossed her bread roll across the table at an anonymous man in a dinner suit. All the faces in the room were blocked out with black rectangles, as were the logos and advertising for whatever event this was.

On stage there was a blockhead speaker in formal dress giving some kind of lecture whose droning voice Tom was surprised hadn’t been obscured. ‘We have entered a new age of intellectualism but we are still shedding much of our emotional and ego-driven heritage in decision making. The provocations I will be proposing will be focused on the era that could come after we eliminate these last primal urges from group decision making . . .’

At the back of the room something fell to the ground. The speaker’s blacked-out face tilted up from the notes on the lectern but persisted with his speech, ‘It is commonly accepted that next year will see the approval of mood alleviation implants that will allow people the ability to program their–’

At the back of the room a glass smashed and a table of anonymised guests gasped and leapt from their chairs. Tom panned over and checked the infra-red. There was a lot of hotware in the room, one hundred and sixty seven civilians with devices and implants as well as twenty-two robot wait staff; heat everywhere.

‘Is something going on? Is someone hurt?’ the speaker asked.

From the side of the stage the MC hurried to take  the microphone from him. ‘Just one moment professor,’ she said. ‘Everyone please stay calm. There is an unauthorised bot in the room. Please remain seated while security takes control of the situation.’

The cadets were were activated, unlocked. Tom immediately switched to show the room from above so he could navigate in 2d.

His screen pulsed from the right, waves of light emanating from a target. He locked on the auto-pilot and changed to weapons view. His remote was armed with a stun stick, a net, a hack pack with aerial and an armour-piercing Kasaki dispersion rifle. ‘I’m armed and on target.’

‘Armed,’ the other cadets echoed.

The thing attacking the guests was about the size of a basketball, limbs rendered from domestic polymers. It leapt from table to table, wagging its tongue at each guest.

The other guard units began circling toward the killbot which had reached table ten in the middle of the room.

He wondered what it looked like to the reals sitting petrified in the middle of their main courses as armed robots danced through the gaps between their tables.

The killbot jumped into the air, landing in the centrepiece of table eight before hopping towards one of the guests.

In his feed he saw the outer tables evacuate. Taking their blacked-out faces with them. The speaker and MC ran behind the stage curtains.

It jumped again. Landing on table five to repeat its sniffing dance. Tom got the green on the Kasaki and pulled. Sparks flew out, his vision was streaked with rainbows and a white nova.

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It was night. Blue light cut in through every window as he went room to room. ‘Where am I?’ he shouted and the emptiness echoed ‘Where am I?’

Glass rooms connected through glass doors that rotated and folded such that he made no progress through them.

‘Where are you?’ ‘Where are you?’

He couldn’t remember who he was asking. Only that it was someone that could make him feel not alone.

The echo reflected back, bounced through every pane into an origami of sound, returning as a question the empty rooms were asking him. ‘Where are you?’

When it faded all he heard was his heart, quickly beating. He pushed through more doors, his see-through reflections pushing against and following him.

‘Jove let me out!’ he cried and the transparent labyrinth instantly disappeared into a cool effervescent nothing.

The clamps held him down no matter how he twisted.

‘Jove, end the program,’ he shouted. Nothing happened. The light through the window went on and off. His breath steamed and condensed on the glass. He shook his useless limbs in the unforgiving bonds.

‘Please, Jove. End it. Please.’

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‘Excuse me, Tom?’ Jove gently lassooed his attention.

He blinked. He was snoozing on his stretcher and had lost track of time.

‘What is it, Jove?’

‘Your brother is calling,’ Jove said.

‘Really?’

These days Tom and Patrick mainly kept in touch by messaging each other disaster updates. It started sixe years ago when his brother had woken him at one a.m. and nagged him out of bed to watch the first military-grade killbots appearing in Gaza.

All night they sat together, in their respective countries, flicking live footage and news reports to the other’s stream as strange machines clambered through Tel Aviv attacking people of Jewish ethnicity. Then the counter strikes began. Then the reprisals . . .

Since then he always answered Patrick’s random connections, no matter the hour. If the world was ending, he’d prefer to have company.

‘Okay. Put him on,’ he told Jove.

His vision switched to a view from a camera in Patrick’s apartment. He could see his brother packing archive boxes.

‘Hi, Tom. How are you?’ he asked, quickly looking at the camera.

‘I’m fine. What’s up?’

Patrick put his papers down and turned to face the camera. He looked a lot like Tom, though older and bald, but for a professorial mullet that dragged on his shoulders. ‘We’re getting out of here.’

‘Has something happened?’

‘Zizi was attacked coming home from work.’

‘Oh my god. When was this?’

‘Two days ago.’

‘Was she hurt?’

‘A little. Her wrist is sprained, but she’s more shaken up than anything.’ Patrick paused. ‘I don’t know what else to do but get out of here. Neither of us have gone back to work. It isn’t safe at the university. You’ve seen the news?’

‘Yeah. About the hacking and stuff?’

‘It’s worse than that. The Anarchy have done what they wanted. Everything is chaotic here now. A red alarm went out last night so we’re all expecting an outbreak any time now.’

‘Targeting who?’

‘They don’t know yet. Authorities aren’t saying. But they wouldn’t would they?’

‘Have you contacted the embassy?’ Tom asked. 

‘I’ve tried. The phones aren’t working and there’s a picket around it.’

‘What does the website say?’

‘It says to contact the embassy.’

‘Can I do anything?’

‘I don’t think so. We’re registered online and we’ve told them we’re going.’

‘News is saying the airports are locked down.’

‘There’s trains going every hour. We will head to Canada and fly out from there.’

‘Are you sure it’s safe?’

‘No. I’m not but what else can we do? Zizi is afraid to go outside.’

‘But . . . surely . . .’ Tom trailed off and cursed. ‘When are you going?’

‘As soon as we’ve packed up. We’ll leave in the morning.’

‘Okay. Keep in touch, will ya?’

‘Of course.’

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Tom scanned the headlines for news from California and ended up looking at related topics, clicking on the top link Karma Kunst.

  • Karma Kunst ‘Celebrity terrorism or vigilante justice?’ – Chipt (feature)
  • Karma Kunst, Oxford University Press, 2052,
  • Karma Kunst: openwiki entry — Art Movements

Did you mean: ‘Karma Kuntz’ (rockband), ‘Karma Cunt’ (film) or ‘Kunst Carmichael’ (unknown).

Out of laziness he clicked on the article from Chipt, a social/tech magazine he often read.

Celebrity terrorism or vigilante justice?

This article follows from the series Chipt is running on what the UN has defined as the ‘Disrupt Movement’, a category of people with the intention of dismantling our civilisation. In this classification are those responsible for the DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks on public infrastructure and high-profile terrorists enabling disruption through the spread of automated seek-and-destroy robots, now called killbots.

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Foremost amongst these disruptors is the German-Indian punko known as Karma Kunst. With 47 million subscribers to her vid-stream, and many episodes watched by more than 80 million people, Karma Kunst has declared herself the harbinger of retribution, while law enforcement and governments call her a terrorist, a mass-murderer, and proliferator of genocidal weaponry.

Hard-pressed to halt the movement, governments have begun using terms normally associated with the World Health Organisation: Outbreak, Infection, Strain. 

A strain is the program and philosophy of each killbot, that is passed from computer to computer. An outbreak is a physical manifestation of a strain, whether by home enthusiasts or hacked factories.

After an outbreak people like Karma Kunst come forward to claim responsibility, setting themselves up as celebrity terrorists, and leaders of different philosophical purges. 

At work on the European continent are multiple strains, see also activists, see also disruptors, including Karma Kunst and her campaign of ‘Making war into art’

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The article went on to explain the history of Karma Kunst who appeared almost two years ago but was still at large. Since her earlier, city-scale pranks, her following had grown internationally and she was now the most virulent seeder of killbot designs and k-lists. Tom looked through pages of the killbots she was responsible for. Minimalist designs, using ubiquitous materials; part drone, part spider, that ran and flew and stabbed at their targets with pronged appendages. 

Tom returned to the search results and filtered to most recent. The first entry was a reaction piece to a video Karma Kunst had posted overnight. The second entry was the video itself which already had a view count of 1,237,678. A third asked ‘Is Karma Kunst even real?’

He tapped the video and his screens dosey-doed to a still frame of a young woman of very mixed ethnicity. Across her forehead the word ‘GREED’ was written in bright red. Her dark hair reminded him of Tomiko Jones.

‘I am Karma Kunst and today I have released a new killbot package to target the wasteful rich.’ She pulled her lips back from her teeth in a maniac grin. ‘Anyone identified carrying a handbag that costs more than it would to feed a village for a year: my bots are coming for you. If you drive a car that could fund an immunisation drive: my bots will see you. Today, luxury and poverty can no longer co-exist. Your possessions are now cursed.

‘That is my message to the world, to my followers: if you hate the rich for being rich then download and install my new package. You can find it in the usual caches. Have fun. Bring the retribution.’

A news headline flashed up from the bottom of the screen. ‘“Greed” attacks LA.’

Images and videos began flooding his stream showing the streets of LA infested with homemade killbots, leaping and flying about the city.

Some of the killbots were harmless. Drones that could do nothing but barge into at a person. Others had spikes sharp enough and long enough to pierce an organ. The spider bots of Karma Kunst came out later in the morning, as quick as they could be printed. Within an hour the city was like an ant hill before a storm.

People weren’t safe in their homes. The killbots went everywhere there was an opening, through automatic doors and windows. The authorities advised to blockade all possible entrances with fridges, wardrobes and book cases. ‘Cover up windows with blankets and fill every bottle you have with water.’

He stopped on a photo series where a woman in a lush cream coat was sprawled face down on the grass, a red stain spreading from a wound in her back. In her hand she clutched a pink and gold purse.

He swiped to the chat and seeing no new message from Patrick sent his own.

i hope you’re our of Cali.

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The drop of black spread over his eye, he blinked and waited for the Black Wizard to cast its spell. Rachel put her face close to his —

He was standing on wall holding a thick pipe in his claws, firing a sand jet at a thicket of charging killbots, blasting off their paint off their shells and burying them until they stopped moving.

The screen scambled.

He was standing on a wall holding a thick pipe in his claws, firing a sand jet at a screaming crowd, blasting flesh from their bones and burying them until they stopped moving.

— her mouth devoured his and moved over his body.