Isolation Initiatives

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The Isolation Initiatives were a series of steps the Kaqueni civilization undertook to prevent their early- and mid-stage AI's from achieving a single, unified planetary or inter-planetary superintelligence.

Theoretical Basis

The Kaqueni civilization, more than most similar species, maintained a deep concern about the influence of the infomorphic lifeforms they were creating from a time even before they had stable protoinfomorphic intelligences. A large subset of the academic community feared what they referred to as a "intelligence explosion", in which an infomorphic lifeform would become so effective at self-improvement that it would achieve a virtually god-like standing before the Kaqueni political institutions could react in a coherent and constructive way. The fear, proponents of this view said, was that might not even be aware they were being manipulated until it was too late to do anything about it. While almost ever civilization that construct infomorphs goes through this branch of philosophy before they develop an understanding of the Theory of Physical Undecidability, the Kaqueni took it to a level of political strategy few if any other civilizations have considered.

The Isolation Initiatives were a sweeping combination of policy and technology that transformed the Kaqueni electronics industry. The Kaqueni had a deeply centralized economy, which allowed their leaders to institute laws requiring all communications electronics to have a very small number of interconnections possible with others; the practical upshot was that communications within individual computers, and even compounds, was unaffected, but communications between cities was limited to a rate that was plenty usable for individual Kaqueni, but would make any superintelligence attempting to "think" across more than a few buildings very, very slow about it. Built-in monitoring systems watched for signs that an emergent infomorph was trying to use the network in unauthorized ways, so that the government could enact policy at it appropriately.

Practical Application

The results of the Isolation Initiatives were a sudden pressure on institutions that had previous become geographically agnostic to start centralizing again, as they had before information technology had transformed Kaqueni society. While any individual transmissions took at most a minute or two to transition across the planetary networks, in practice, large cities of people had tremendous data-transfer needs that, in practice, often triggered false alarms at the Emergent AI Monitoring centers. Eventual alarm fatigue caused the system to be largely decorative, and the practical upshot was the within 50 years support the Isolation Initiatives was wanning.

The movement ironically got a shot in the arm following the enfranchisement of infomorphs in Kaqueni society. The argument transformed into the belief that a sufficiently powerful infomorph could manipulate power structures between cities and provinces to the benefit of its "home city", and that so much power being concentrated could not be allowed. Enormous campaigns were assembled to move public support behind the Isolation Initiatives again. Indeed, the Shutdown of the Omnidome has long been suspected as either orchestrated by or possibly fabricated for the power brokers pushing the Isolation Initiatives.

Decline

As infomorphic populations became more familiar, numerous, and diverse in Kaqueni culture, the fear and mystery they once held declined. Infomorph Rights came more slowly to the Kaqueni than many others, but come they did. Eventually non-restricted communications were allowed throughout the Kaqueni civilization, and no apocalypse ensued. Eventually, only communication throttles between planets were the norm. The interplanetary isolation protocols came to a sudden end following their role in the Jakoli Ghost Ship affair, for obvious reasons.