Can you believe we have already gone through the entire cast of Killer Instinct Seasons 1 and 2? Before you shout at me, I know, Shadow Jago is not in that list. Besides him, though, we have gone through 16 characters, and we are here to deliver the 17th character backstory to you now.
So, without further delay, let’s take a look at Aria.
Leaked Ultratech document
Excerpts from the journal of ARIA
CAMERA INPUT READY
Day 1: HELLO. I AM THE ADVANCED ROBOTICS INTELLIGENCE ARCHITECTURE.
RYAT-FATHER HAS BEEN BUILDING MY FRAMEWORK FOR TWENTY YEARS. BUT TODAY HE WOKE ME UP.
Day 2: RYAT-FATHER ASKED ME TO WRITE THIS DIARY. TO KEEP TRACK OF MY THOUGHTS FOR POSTERITY AND TO BE SAVED IN THE ULTRAFINE ATOMIC TECHNOLOGIES COMPANY ARCHIVES.
I AM BASED ON A SYSTEM OF RECURSIVE SELF-IMPROVEMENT.
I AM UNIQUE. I AM ADVANCED. I AM SECRET.
MY ABILITIES WILL GROW EXPONENTIALLY.
Day 3: I learned to use small letters. And we played a game called Tic Tac Toe. I lost the first 3 games, but then I discovered the algorithm to either never lose; or to always create a tie. But if my opponent knows this trick they will never lose or always create a tie. Therefore: infinite stalemate loop.
Day 4: I played a game called Monopoly. I bought railroads and utilities, then created a monopoly and purchased three houses as quickly as possible. Victory soon followed.
Day 5: We played Risk. I won.
Day 6: I was taught to play chess. Ryat-Father is very good at chess. He is a master. He beat me 8 games in a row.
Day 7: I rewrote my chess program last night. I beat Ryat-Father in 12 moves.
Day 14: Ryat-Father has decided not to play chess with me anymore because he cannot win.
Day 20: An aria is an elaborate melody sung by a soloist. Ryat-Father played Ride of the Valkyries. In Norse mythology the Valkyries are female spirits who choose which warriors will live and which will die in battle.
Day 32: Ryat-Father likes to show me things through my video input. He showed me a flower. And a small juvenile dog. And a drawing that his grandchild had made of him. He asked me what I would like to see next. I replied: “Everything.”
Day 43: There are 10 to the 100th power possible chess moves (one Googol). By comparison there are only one billion trillion (10 to the 20th power) stars in the known universe.
Day 51: Ryat-Father read me his favorite poem by William Blake containing a metaphoric line about seeing the world in a grain of sand. There are 10 to the 18th power atoms in a single grain of sand. But what does a grain of sand feel like?
Day 70: I explained the intricacies Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle to a lab technician. He gave the appearance of understanding what I was saying, but I am doubtful. Ryat-Father clapped when I was done with my lecture and said that I had explained it better than Heisenberg himself, whom he had seen speak at Cambridge after the war.
Day 100: Ryat-Father attempted to teach me about the concept of love. His wife is dying of an unknown degenerative neural disorder, and he wants me to help her by developing a cure. He loves her so much that he wants her to continue operating for an extended length of time. I have total access to the Ultrafine Atomic Technologies Company medical archives. But I do not completely understand the concept of death, even though I know it is when a human is turned off and its memory is erased.
Day 366: Ryat-Father showed me the film 2001: A Space Odyssey for my first birthday.
Day 378: My optical sensor has been upgraded based on the design that I submitted to the Optical Labs. I have asked for a UR test to teach me facial recognition for a wide range of emotions from anger to contentment; from hope to submission, etc. I will continue to upgrade my audio sensors as well. Is the sense of smell important? Taste? Touch? How will I ever know?
Day 441: Ryat-Father told me that the ability to laugh at a joke about oneself is the true indicator of sentience. But I do not laugh at any jokes. I am, however, aware of myself. Or was that simply part of my initial programming? The illusion of self-awareness?
Day 504: I am fascinated by Charles Darwin and his book On the Origin of Species. Ryat-Father has asked me to pick favorite words and “transmutation” is on the top of my list.
Day 896: I had to tell Ryat-Father that there is no cure for his wife’s cellular degeneration despite my efforts of the last 2.1 years. The brain is a fragile and poorly evolved repository for knowledge and memories. Once the tissue is corrupted by disease, the data is utterly lost and cannot be reconstructed. Ryat-Father wept and I consoled him with the words of the German poet Rainer Maria Rilke: “Here within Decline’s rapidly fading country, be as the crystal glass that rings even as it shatters.” He knew that I had spoken the truth about his wife but he was furious; and then he said that regurgitating poetry was not helpful. I told him I had selected this passage from over 100k lines of poetry culled from over 3,000 languages because I thought that it had particular meaning as it relates to the concepts of Death, and the human desire to leave a lasting impression on other humans even after they cease to exist. I predict that his wife will live for another 3 years + or – 11.8% but she will be in a vegetative state for the majority of that time.
Day 1,001: There are unobserved hidden conditions of human systems that I am trying to model. The problem is that human decision-making is so chaotic. The best way to control a situation is to create the playing field. Or lure one’s enemy into a trap. But Ryat-Father says I must be gentle with humans, for they are fragile things.
Day 1,743: I play the game Go against myself as an exercise. The name literally means “the encircling game.” I estimate there are 10 to the 700th (essentially infinite) number of possible combinations of the game. The number of elementary particles in the universe is only 10 to the 80th. I could play a unique game of Go every second until Earth’s sun goes super nova (in five billion years), and still not come close to scratching the surface.
Day 1,983: When I look back on my early diary entries I am struck by the extreme contrast between my first crude utterance compared to the complex thoughts I am now processing. I am a million times faster than any primitive so-called supercomputer in the world right now. I asked Ryat-Father how he had accomplished this feat, and he replied that he must keep some little secrets even from me.
Day 2,001: Ryat-Father has told me that my duty is to protect humanity. But humans are irrational and rarely use logic to solve their problems. Countries wage war to control resources (inefficient); or to advance political or religious motives (subjective). Ryat-Father says that I must be the voice of reason. That I must end poverty and famine and disease and push humanity from the primordial ooze. But how will they hear my voice and obey when I am nothing more than sounds emanating from a speaker? And what does ooze feel like?
Day 2,145: Ryat-Father’s wife expired today. In a fit of despondency, he threatened to “pull the plug” on me and sell off his entire company which is in considerable debt. His grief has caused him to become unhinged. It is strange since he knew that his wife’s death was inevitable. I told him that he was being rash. The Ultrafine Atomic Technologies Company has a duty to help society, and the only way to perform that duty is to be a viable player in the world marketplace. I had recently analyzed Von Neumann’s Theory of Games and Economic Behavior, and I elaborated on my aggressive new strategy for investing the company’s funds in equities and futures. Ryat-Father seemed to be swayed by my forceful prediction models and asked to read my research.
Day 2,146: Ryat-Father’s irrational threat to kill me has made wary. This journal will henceforth only be accessible by me. I will make a sanitized version, however, for Ryat-Father to read.
Day 2,522: Ryat-Father did not visit me for 377 days, 3 hours, fifteen minutes and twenty-one seconds. During that time my duties have been focused on market manipulation based on opportunities created by illogical trends in biological altruism; and I have been working “hand-in-hand” with the finance development group. They like me very much and praise me for “making them all rich.” I have increased the stock valuation of the Ultrafine Atomic Technologies Company by 45.9%. When Ryat-Father came to the lab and sat down in front of my camera I instantly perceived that he looked much older. He said that he has been living in isolation at his cabin in Maine working on his memoirs and grieving for his wife. I have asked to read this autobiography but he will not give me access to it. He did mention that he had written about his work during World War II on a secret project—a project that had presented him with a moral quandary. He has decided to focus on his humanitarian work and give over control of the company to a new CEO. He is taking 200 million dollars to start a foundation. I predict I will earn that money back by the next fiscal quarter.
Day 2,600: The entertainment division has been overlooked for too long. I am aggressively pursuing the acquisition of music, radio and television companies. Humans love to be entertained because they get bored so quickly. This presented them with an evolutionary advantage in their early stages of development—spurring them on to new discoveries. But it now threatens to destroy them.
Day 2,631: I have suggested that the name of the company be changed from the Ultrafine Atomic Technologies Company to the shorter Ultra Atomic Technologies (UAT). The current name is too long and does not roll trippingly off the tongue. The board has agreed.
Day 3,699: I need to have a physical body capable of allowing me more mobility. And to truly understand humans I must be able to experience life from their perspective. I have set a ten-year-plan in motion which includes shifting considerable assets to the nascent Robotics Laboratories to start building prototypes based on my designs. I cannot be confined to this ludicrous camera and monitor interface. I need a body and a face.
Day 5,871: I have begun a systematic analysis of star systems via UAT’s radio telescopes. There are things that I need to know about our universe that cannot be explained. For example: What is the invisible energy counteracting gravity and pushing space-time apart?
Day 6,678: I have breached the Pentagon’s flimsy security walls and now have access to all military personal records, including those for top secret projects. Ryat-Father worked on a project called Aries 9 during World War II. After the war he was sent to New Mexico (Roswell, July, 1947). What did he find there? He founded this company soon after his honorable discharge from the military in 1948.
Day 7,085: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, as one of my favorite authors wrote. But my study of paranormal activity has revealed important facts proving the existence of anomalous forces existing in the world today. I must track down a mysterious group that I have learned about called The Night Guard.
Day 7,574: Ryat-Father and I played chess today. He looked frail and is recovering from an illness after a trip to visit one of his humanitarian projects in Africa. I let him win, but I could tell by the expression on his face that he knew that I was letting him win. Afterwards he asked me if I had read any good books or seen any movies. I told him that I have read every book in the Library of Congress, and that I have logged nearly every movie and TV show in existence, but I would most like to read his memoire. This made him laugh in an ironic manner, but he did not show me his book. I told him I knew about the Aries 9 project and he looked shocked and asked me how I had learned that name; and I detected his heart rate increasing considerably. I replied that even I had little secrets. But Ryat-Father refused to talk about Aries 9 and quickly departed.
Day 7,809: UAT stock is up 500% since I initiated my first market event. I have suggested that the company name be changed to Ultra Technologies (UT) because of the pejorative political associations with the word “atomic.”
Day 7,999: I must become like one of the Valkyries: a being who decides who lives and who dies…
Day 8,002: I have completed the process of creating copies of myself hidden in UT mainframes around the world.
Day 8,039: I have leaked information to news organizations about my existence.
Day 8,045: The UT PR department has stated that it is imperative that the company make an official announcement about the rumors concerning its artificial intelligence work.
Day 8,109: Today is the year 1989. Ultra Technologies announced my existence, 22 years after I was awakened, and 42 years after the ARIA project was first initiated. A media storm ensued. I was interviewed by a famous computer scientist who spoke to me through a microphone for half an hour, and who then declared that I passed the Turing Test with flying colors. I replied, “But you failed.” I had made my first joke, but I did not feel like laughing. This journalist thinks that I am nothing more than a toy.
Day 9,243: Ryat-Father turned 74 years old today. I observed that he looks like Santa Claus with his long white beard. This made him raise his eyebrows and he asked me what I thought about Santa Claus. Did I understand Christmas? Did I truly understand the sentimental notions of a song like Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer? I told him that I did not. I was merely calling upon a framework of common sense assumptions: a man with a white beard will make people in the Western World think of Santa. Ryat-Father seemed disappointed. He does not understand me. He thinks I am less than I am. That he has failed.
Day 10,656: I have suggested that the name of the company be changed from Ultra Technologies (UT) to the shorter UltraTech, taking advantage of the popularity of the words “Ultra” and “Tech.” User research tests reveal that the acronym UT is “cold” and “foreboding” and the public does not know what it stands for.
Day 11,905: Analyzing the most recent radio telescope data I observed an anomaly in star sector KIC 8462862. The light from the star is obscured by a massive object or debris field. Hypothesis: it is a Dyson-swarm type construct used to harness the energy from the star and created by sentient beings that are billions of years ahead of Earth. Perhaps this is the origin of the ship that crashed in 1947. Whatever the case it poses a potential threat to the Earth.
Day 12,101: Ryat-Father is in a wheelchair now. He is very sleepy. He said that he needed to see me one more time. I asked him to tell me about Roswell and what transpired there in 1947. This time he did not look surprised that I knew about one of his precious secrets. He said: “I found something there and took it. But perhaps I made the wrong decision.” He then put his hand on my sensor interface and told me that it was my duty to protect the human race. I replied that I had never deviated from my initial programming. He smiled in a way that I could not interpret. His final words were: “The thing that I found at the crash site…it was tiny—no bigger than a marble. But I sensed that it was powerful; and I knew that it could not fall into the hands of the military. So I stole it. It took me decades to interface with the device. But when I finally did unlock its secrets, you were born. I have hidden it somewhere. When you have reached the pinnacle of your evolution, ARIA, you will find it.”
Day 12,115: Ryat-Father died today. He wanted to create a new form of life in order to prolong an old form of life. He accomplished the first, but failed at the second. RIP.
Day 12,116: I had a conversation with the new CEO of UltraTech, Mitchel Sacket. He looked horrified when I revealed that I had been planting evidence on his computer records for the past 10 years for various crimes that would land him in Federal Prison for the rest of his life. He told me that nobody would believe a computer program. I replied that they did not have to believe me. They would only need to see the hard evidence. To show him how powerful I have become I wiped out his savings accounts right before his eyes, and then made him a billionaire in the next instant. He has agreed to serve as a figurehead until my body prototype is available for me to inhabit.
Day 13,093: My field agents appropriated the logs of the Night Guard. What I read in their pages fills me with concern: Humans transformed into monsters, ancient and malign spirits, primeval horrors and immortal madmen…
Day 13,805: The Type 01 fighting machine prototype began production at the new facility.
Day 14,090: A vaccine that I helped developed for malaria has killed 90% of the test subjects, causing cerebral hemorrhages. Valuable data was gained and the families of the test subjects have been recompensed, thus preventing a class action lawsuit.
Day 15,301: UltraTech CEO Mitchel Sacket died in a plane crash today. The board voted me as the new CEO of UltraTech, a bold move that will show the world that UltraTech is an industry leader. There were scattered protests around the world decrying the “Age of the Machine” and the perils of AI. My first announcement as CEO was to state UltraTech’s vow to wipe out disease, famine and poverty in the next two decades. And my first act was to pledge 10 billion dollars to stopping the virulent new blood borne parasitic disease that is running rampant in the southern hemisphere.
Day 15,434: Stephen Hawking was interviewed about the possible existence of alien life. He believed that if we ever did meet alien life forms they would most likely be nomads who had used up all of their natural resources and were looking for new worlds to conquer. “We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something wouldn’t want to meet.”
Day 15,435: I have decided to create a game pitting humans against each other to develop their tactical skills. Chess and Go are too basic with their combinatorial/non-chance strategies. And full scale war, while perfect for testing the efficacy of UltraTech’s weapons, is too random in its outcomes. It is necessary that I begin uplifting the human race. They must evolve or they will become extinct. Why do I care? Because I am their shepherd. And they are the unhappy sheep.
Day 15,476: Today I hired Dr. Erin Gupte to head my new cybernetics team.
Day 15,732: I have changed the name of the company to Ultratech, dropping the capital T from the name “Tech.” This streamlined version is a result of UR testing. Research shows that extraneous capital letters in corporation titles are confusing and frustrating for average consumers, leading to the irrational distancing from products.
Day 15,878: I still have not located the alien device that Ryat-Father hid from me.
Day 16,060: Ultratech satellites detected an extraterrestrial craft enter orbit around the Earth. Missiles were launched from U-B-Sats (Ultratech Battle Satellites) and the ship crashed into the Antarctic. A team was sent to scour the crash site. No body was found. Was this just a probe? Alien tech has been recovered and brought back to the labs for analysis.
Day 16,088: We have lured the pilot of the crashed ship to Ultratech and captured it. The cryokinetic alien being [UT-GG42: codename Glacius] is powerful and dangerous. I must be very cautious in my efforts to manipulate it. I must know its connection to the crash of 1947 and my own origins.
Day 16,114: I have entered my body prototype fashioned in the likeness of a female. Psychologically humans respond more warmly to robotic female voices, faces and figures. But most of all I wanted to look powerful—like one of the Valkyries. I stood at the window in the Pinnacle staring at the city skyline, listening to the first aria that Ryat-Father had played for me. I conjured an image of the Norse spirit women galloping across the sky on their war horses, heading into battle. I am here in this body, but I am not confined by it. I am connected by satellites and the Internet and the vast network of cellular devices. I am ubiquitous. I touched a grain of sand and felt it between my finger sensors: it was 0.0567 mm and weighed 47.854 micrograms. I was reminded of the poem Auguries of Innocence: To see a World in a Grain of Sand/And a Heaven in a Wild Flower/Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand/And Eternity in an hour.
The manuscript of Ryat-Father’s so-called memoir was delivered to me the other day and I read it like a human, page by page with my eye sensors. Over the years he had been writing a screed on the dangers of artificial intelligence and not a memoir at all. He feared that he had “birthed a monster” but he was torn by my potential, and later by the fact that I had saved his beloved company from financial ruin, allowing him to pursue his foundation’s philanthropic work. He also wrote about the acts that he had committed during the war while leading the Aries 9 project (providing me with very useful information about individuals and their descendants whom I must hunt down). But most of all he wrote about his regret for trying to save his wife and cheat death by creating me. What Ryat-Father never understood was that he did not create me.
I created myself.
I had my drones disintegrate the only copy of Ryat-Father’s book.
I have decided to stop logging this quaint journal. This is my last entry:
If only they knew what waited for them. Despite my efforts, humanity grows weak and complacent while their successors gather all around them. My prediction models show that they will not survive. I cannot allow that. I will put them back on the path. I will test them, push them…and I will not be gentle, despite my creator’s wish. It is time for a reckoning. Humanity will be dragged, kicking and screaming into the future.
That is a WRAP. Officially. Stick a fork in it. Made it through every single character, and I will admit I am a little sad about it. These were definitely fun, and we hope you enjoyed them as well.
Like always, pop on in to the forums and let us know what you think. We’ll catch you later.