Sunday April 19, 2009
Book 11: Massively Parallel — Part I: High Olympus Command
Note: "Growpramming" is not a typo. It's a word. Go look it up (in a 22nd-century book of jargon relating to artificial intelligence.)


Narrator: High Olympus Shipyards, temporary quarters.
Para Ventura: It's a design flaw, that's what it is. Tagon doesn't trust Artificial Intelligences, so Commander Andreyasn tried to build one that doesn't need to be trusted.
Narrator: (General Kerchak's naked-time ends in one hundred and ninety-five hours.)
Para Ventura: He built TAG with enough processing capacity to be an H-V six, but hobbled TAG's "sense of self" to keep him in line.
Thurl: And that's why you can't wake TAG back up?
Para Ventura: It's got to be. He had an identity crisis, and the only identity he could fall back on was a collection of off-the-shelf personality overlays.
Para Ventura: I've got a design here that I know will work, but I'm growpramming to a set of requirements I'm not sure I understand.
Thurl: Lieutenant, if you don't understand what's required of a warship A.I., what do you think you're doing monkeying around with ours?
Para Ventura: I misspoke. I know exactly what the A.I. needs to do for the ship. The problem is Tagon.
Para Ventura: I don't know what he wants, but I know that if I ask him he'll give me the wrong answer, the customer never knows what he really needs.
Thurl: Tagon wants a tactical genius that happens to be a virtuoso with drive, shield, and weapon systems.
Para Ventura: I know. I've got that in here already. But that's not what Tagon needs.
Para Ventura: He needs. . . Now, I'm guessing here. . . He needs an A.I. who can do all that stuff while making Tagon feel like he's still really in charge.
Thurl: You're not building an A.I., you're psychoanalyzing our Commanding Officer.
Para Ventura: My job would be so much easier if he'd conform to a nice textbook sociopathy.