At Midnight, All Beasts Shall Hunt
A Singularity Story by JosephArmstead
A FALCONEVE & QABUKKI "Deus Metallicum" Adventure
The technological singularity, sometimes called "Kurzweil's Singularity" in acknowledgement of the 2006 book "The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology" by futurist Ray Kurzweil*, is the hypothesis that the invention of artificial superintelligence will abruptly trigger runaway technological growth, resulting in unfathomable changes to human civilization. According to this hypothesis, which can also be referred to as, simply, "the Singularity", an upgradable intelligent agent (such as a computer running software-based artificial general intelligence) would enter a 'runaway reaction' of self-improvement cycles, with each successive generation becoming more intelligent than its predecessor, and each new iteration developing more rapidly, causing an explosive evolution in machine-intelligence and ultimately resulting in a powerful superintelligence that would, qualitatively, far surpass all organic human intelligence.
*NOTE: The term "the Singularity" was popularized by author Vernor Vinge in his 1993 essay "The Coming Technological Singularity" more than a decade BEFORE Kurzweil's work.
The Organik Animate Nations' Prime Minister was still recovering from the awful experience of her second assassination attempt and the Free Sentience Media was again bemoaning the failure of the United Terran Technologies Guild to successfully create a Faster-Than-Light propulsion drive. It was during that news cycle that Aerik Eaon Falconeve witnessed The Queryant and his hand-picked team of Node-Op Interruptors running from the The Harukleyzian's armored street militia, a squad of armed, autonomous Intellidroid Synthbots popularly known as "Schematricians".
Quite honestly, that was among the last things Aerik Eaon Falconeve had expected or wanted to see on a bleak morning like the one that greeted him when he'd exited the lobby of the Organik Translator Terminus on the Bridgeflow's Dayside Perimeter.
Armed Synthbots should not have been tolerated on the streets of the city.
The inevitable level of culture shock a visitor experienced when disembarking outside the Translator Terminus resembled a physical assault on the senses. Even though, by Earth standards, the architecture of the buildings radiating out from the hub-like location of the Terminus was cramped and compact, the Inconel omni-steel and palladium-based metalli-glass, multi-columnar structures along the boulevards were imposing and mighty, signifying the power of human ascendency. Some of the tower buildings reached a height of eighty stories while other disk-shaped edifices straddled the avenues on snaking, tentacular legs resembling the exposed aerial roots of a colossal metal tree. The bulging, sclerite-plate shells of beetle-like public transport vehicles moved slowly up and down the avenues, carrying passengers to and from their destinations amid an astounding array of much smaller three-wheeled personal transport vehicles. Cascading arrays of radiant crystal diode illumination warred against the encroaching dark deepness of the eternal night beyond the artificial atmosphere. Narrow lines of airborn sky vehicles flew computer-controlled, flow-delineated traffic patterns overhead. The sound accompanying the tableau was similar to that of a mechanical waterfall: insistent and pervasive and loud.
Falconeve had already been aware of the Translator Terminus' reputation for crime and violence, but traveling through Feynmann's Manifold, as the terminus was properly called, was pretty much the only way he was going to be able to safely rendezvous with The Queryant without jeopardizing his alias and blowing his cover.
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Tevun-Krus #49 - Best of 2K17Science Fiction
Well, we here at Tevun-Krus have been doin' this sort of thing since 2014. What is "this sort of thing"? Best-Of issues, of course! And 2K17 is no different-- That's a lie! Best of 2K17 is different, in that this time we wanted* to bring you 38 bran...