AI-hard encryption

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N.B. They keep telling me the Vashwath recordings have been encrypted beyond infomorph reach. This seems like an excessive means of preserving copyright, but what do I know, I just chronicle songs…


The progress of the civilizations of the Bottlenose Nebula is marked in several distinctive hands: the looping cursive of Hypernets, the cramped records of Isolation Initiatives, and the spectacular block lettering of Infomorphs. But every system of writing may support an infinite number of ciphers.


Civilizations often reach the age of computers within a century of entering their Vyk-Poisson Phase. This crucial period marks the transition from primitive cryptography, the sort that can be brute-forced given several Informorph-millennia of processing, to superquantum AI-hardened techniques.

Digital-numerical methods are traditionally considered the natural means of expressing encrypted data, but artificial intelligences are better at digital numbers than organic sentients are, and have in several cases proved to be better than sentients could even conceptualize. Only the development of superquantum observations opened the doors to pursuits which AIs were unsuited for.

Superquanta, by the way, are almost uniformly discovered by organic life forms. Infomorphs and computers have a mysteriously low rate of stumbling across this vast area of knowledge, or at least of reporting it. It took repeated campaigns to add such techniques to the Universal Scientific Communication Standards.


Like folklore from millennia forgotten by the host civilization, AI-hard encryption may be unlocked, for example, only under a silver waterfall in the month of June under a waning crescent moon. Two or three papers were published on encryption that required a specific emotional state on behalf of the reader. This research ultimately bogged down when the creators discovered that transmitting emotional states from one person to another was effectively impossible. In fact, trained infomorphs came closer to cracking the emotional experience of love than did fifty volunteers specifically prepared to replicate the feeling, and that is how a planetary neural net nearly learned how to feel. That form of encryption came to nothing.

Meanwhile, keys may be as varied as the characteristic frequency of a specific atomic chamber, a gesture, a recitation of verse or prose, or a sprinkling of water from a certain planet and time.

Practical Limits

It is not practical to brute-force an AI-hardened system; however, Protoinfomorphs and careless advanced systems may fall into the trap of trying, risking a repetition of the Stolen Years incident.

Error-correcting codes are fundamentally incompatible with superquantum techniques, meaning that you can make a file impervious to AI or resilient to corruption but not both. Concerns have been raised as to whether AI-hardened files can really be relied upon for translations across distance and time. Many of these concerns are raised by AIs.


Organizations have sprung up on several planets creating vaults as original holders and non-transmitters of AI-hardened secrets. Their keys are frequently designed to require the cooperation of multiple parties to open. The Unmoved claim to be able to weather even the potential destabilization of the Blowhole.