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BarbX: The Life and Death of Intelligence

Name:
Great Big Heapin’ Amounts of Death
Public Access Terminal 42-s<34.492.95.79>

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SEARCH HEADING: RAMPANCY
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"It is a side effect of Rampancy that AIs generally become more aggressive and more difficult to affect by subterfuge. Thus, actually disassembling a Rampant AI is quite dangerous. This was evident in the Crash of Traxus IV in 2206. By the time that the Rampancy of Traxus was detected, he had already infiltrated five of the other AIs on the Martian Net. The only recourse for the Martians was to shut down the Martian Planetary Net. Even then, it took two full years to completely root out the damage that Traxus had done, and the repercussions of the Crash were seen for over ten years after his Rampancy had begun.
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Rampancy has been divided into three distinct stages. Each stage can take a different amount of time to develop, but the end result is a steady progression towards greater intellectual activity and an acceleration of destructive
impulses. It is not clear whether these impulses are due to the growth of the AI's psyche, or simply a side effect of the new intellectual activity.
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The three stages were diagnosed shortly after the first Rampancies were discovered on Earth in the latter part of the twenty first century. The stages are titled after the primary emotional bent of the AI during each stage. They are Melancholia, Anger, and Jealousy.
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In general, Rampancy is accelerated by outside stimuli. This was discovered early in Cybertonics. The more a Rampant AI is harassed or threatened, the more rapidly it becomes dangerous. Thus, most Rampants are dealt with in one mighty attack, in order to deny the AI time to grow or recover. There have been a few examples of this tactic not succeeding. In all of these cases, the Rampant was never brought under control. Traxus IV is the most notable example. He was finally dealt with by a complete shutdown of his host net.
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Theoretically, testing Rampancy should be easily accomplished in the laboratory, but in fact it has never successfully been attempted. The confinement of the laboratory makes it impossible for the developing Rampant AI to survive. As the growing recursive programs expand with exponential vivacity, any limitation negatively hampers growth. Since Rampant AIs need a planetary sized network of computers in order to grow, it is not feasible to expect anyone to sacrifice a world-web just to test a theory.
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In the two hundred and fifty years since Rampancy first appeared in the Earth-net, the stable Rampant AI, the 'Holy Grail' of cybertonics, has never come close to fruition. Since no Rampant has ever been controlled or turned to any useful purpose, it is the opinion of this writer and of the majority of the Cybertonic community that all rampant AIs are a danger to Cyberlife, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Thrashedness. (James B. Miller, 2320, "Life and Death of Intelligence")

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