LOGICAL—BUT NOT REASONABLE
By the mid-21st Century, technology had become much too complicated for humans to handle—and the computer network that had grown up to keep civilization from tripping over its own shoelaces was also beginning to be overwhelmed. Even worse, it was becoming part of the problem. Computers were logical, but not reasonable, and some of the rigorously logical solutions the silicon governors came up with had come terrifyingly close to causing fatal accidents. Something Had To Be Done.
Raymond Dyer's project had developed the first genuinely self-aware artificial intelligence that could learn and change its own programming to meet unanticipated problems. But could the AI—code-named Spartacus—be trusted to obey its makers And if it went rogue, could it be shut down As an acid test, Spartacus was put in charge of a space station and programmed with a survival instinct. Dyer and his team had the job of seeing how far the computer would go to defend itself when they tried to pull the plug. Dyer didn't expect any serious problems to arise in the experiment.
Unfortunately, he had built more initiative into Spartacus than he realized....
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