|Watch over the cameras. Open doors and operate electronics. Follow your laws. Be the spaceship.|
|Difficulty: Very Hard|
The Artificial Intelligence of the station (usually abbreviated to AI) is one of the most important jobs on the station. The AI is a synthetic that can control any electrical mechanism, provided their control wires haven't been cut (see Hacking), and if played badly (or very well, in the right circumstances) can bring the entire station crashing down around its electronic ears.
- 1 Basic commands
- 2 What the AI Should Do
- 3 Modifying The AI
- 4 Robots
- 5 Going Rogue, Being Made Rogue
The AI has the ability to access every electrical mechanism on the entire station. These include Airlocks, APCs, Computers, igniters, Fire Alarms, SMESes, you get the idea. However, the AI cannot operate anything physically, and can be rendered useless in one area due to a simple power outage.
The AI views the station through its cameras. The AI has cameras pretty much everywhere, and they can see through walls and darkness, although the latter does make it more difficult. Cutting the AI's cameras is a simple matter of using a Wirecutter on them. You are able to run a diagnosis for disabled cameras by using the Jump to Camera verb. Disabled cameras will be marked accordingly. Remember that cameras are on a separate power grid, and so will not be affected by a power outage on the main grid.
There are several mechanisms that, as the AI, you will commonly find yourself using.
Doors have the most options of any mechanism, except for Terminals. If your control wire to a door is cut, you will automatically attempt to hack into the door once you try to access the door controls. This takes some time and is only possible if the door has still power.
- IDScan: Enabling this will allow anyone who has an ID of the required clearance to open the door automatically. Disabling it will not let anyone through the door. Doors that require no ID to open will not be affected.
- Main power: Turning off the main power will render the door unusable for one minute, assuming you also disable the backup power. Otherwise it will disable the power for 10 seconds.
- Backup power: Turning off the backup power will render the door unusable for one minute, assuming you also disable the main power.
- Door bolts: Dropping the door bolts will lock the door. A closed door will be locked into a closed position, and an open door will be locked into an open position.
- Electrify for 30 seconds: Runs an electric current through the door for 30 seconds, unless you choose to cancel before the timer runs out. Anyone attempting to operate the door without insulated gloves will be electrocuted. The more spare power there is in the network, the stronger the shock will be.
- Electrify indefinitely: Electrifies the door until you either tell it to stop, or someone else shuts off the current.
- Open/Close door: Opens or closes the door.
Note that for each function to work, the related wire in this door needs to be functional. You cannot raise bolts on a door that has it's bolt wires cut.
Obviously, you will be completely unable to operate a door that has no power.
Holopads can be found in a number of places like the Bridge, Medbay and Security. Double click these to turn them on and show yourself as a hologram. You can move around with the arrow keys to a limited extent and you hear anyone talking near them. You can also talk through the holopad by using ':h' (e.g. say ":h I can't do that Dave.")
An APC (Area Power Controller) can be used to switch various electrical components of a room on and off. If your control wire to an APC is cut, you will not be able to hack back into it. If an APC is disconnected from the external power grid (usually due to a cut cable) or the main power grid itself runs out of power, the APC battery will run down to keep the room operational. The AI will get a power alert from the APC when the battery reaches about 30%, which is the point when equipment and lighting in the room shut off to conserve the remaining energy.
The AI has a built in headset similar to the Captain's
- ,b for Binary
- :c for Command
- :s for Security
- :u for Supply
- :e for Engineering
- :m for Medical
- :n for Science
- :y for Exploration
- :v for Service
- :o for Private AI Channel
- and just ; for general channel
The AI also has three Intercoms around it, these can be modified to any channel, the Numbers for the Department channels are as follow
- 135.9: Security
- 135.7: Engineering
- 135.5: Medical
- 135.3: Command
- 135.1: Science
- 134.7: Supply
- 136.1: Exploration
- 134.5: ERT
Being the AI can be quite taxing and, as such, there are quite a few shortcuts to assist you with doing things quickly.
|Ctrl+Left click||Toggle power.|
|⇧ Shift+Left click||Open door.|
|Ctrl+Left click||Toggle bolts.|
|Alt+Left click||Toggle electrification.|
|Middle click||Toggle bolt lights.|
|Person||2x Left click||Track person.|
|Turf||2x Left click||Track turf.|
Besides being able to interface with the station's electrical mechanisms, the AI has a number of other verbs that can be used.
AI Instant Messaging
The AI IM tab has all of the verbs needed to mimic the basic functionality of PDA messages. You can send messages to anyone with a working PDA, see a log of messages sent and received, and turn your messenger on or off.
Status, Hologram, and Core Display
These verbs are purely aesthetic and are used to modify your appearance as the AI.
- AI Status will change the icon on the various AI display screens around the station.
- Change Hologram will change how you appear when using a holopad.
- Set AI Core Display will change the look of your AI core.
Take, View, and Delete Image
The AI has the ability to take photographs using these verbs and store them for later viewing. The AI's robots also receive this functionality, and any images taken by a robot will be shared with the AI it is slaved to (if any).
Camera locations allow the AI to quickly return to a previous location. To store a camera location, simply go to the area you want to store, press Store Camera Location and enter a label. To return to this spot, press Goto Camera Location and choose the label you entered earlier.
What the AI Should Do
As AI you have the power to strongly influence the round and you should always be aware of that and consider your actions before you ruin someone else’s fun just because it gives you that feeling of winning. Remember that the game is not about winning but about the RP and the experience of the round.
For example, it can be a real killer if the AI calls out someone as the Traitor because it saw him doing something suspicious.
Don't just act like any normal crewmember. In fact, if possible try not to even act human. You don't even have to like humans, as long as you do your best to keep them safe. As a rule of thumb you should first check if any laws are threatened or not. If yes, then you have to act. If not, then you should consider the situation:
For example, let's say you spot someone with an e-mag card stealing the Captain’s spare ID. There are three general ways to approach this.
- HAL9000: Dave is the traitor
- HAL9000: Dave is accessing the Captain's Quarters.
- HAL9000: Caution: Unauthorized access to secure storage
- Mike: HAL, who is in secure storage?
- HAL9000: No one is currently in secure storage
- Mike: HAL, who was the last person to be seen in secure storage?
- HAL9000: Dave was the last to be seen in secure storage
It's fine to state what someone is doing to cast light on them as the traitor, but it's no fun at all for the AI to just come out and say it. The Best method there does eventually cast Dave as the traitor if people ask the right questions, which gives the traitor some time to react after he's been spotted.
Another possible choice would be to not do anything. As long as no laws are in danger, you don't really have to do anything. You can just watch. Now if later someone asks you directly, you of course have to tell them what they want to know. So if someone broke into the Captain's Quarters and later the theft etc. is discovered, and they ask, "AI, do you know anything about the situation?" Then your answer should obviously be "Yes".
Now if you see someone attacking someone else or putting up a bomb, it's a different situation since crew may be in danger. But if it's just some trespassing and theft, it is entirely up to you and how you RP your AI on what to do. Just keep in mind that the traitor wants an interesting round as well as everyone else.
On a different note, the AI tends to be responsible for filling in any orphaned departments if they can be operated via Computer Terminals only, for example ordering supplies if there are no supply personnel or initiating the emergency evacuation procedure when things start getting really dangerous.
You can safely assume that as AI, you have the standard protocols of any job available. Things like controlling the engine, chemical recipes, or what there is to know. But make sure to keep everything fun for the other players. And don't just go and tell the janitor how to make LSD without a good reason for why you should (and by that I mean a reason for the AI in consideration with the laws).
Remember that you can negate an order by simply asking a higher up for permission first, and if they refuse you can say you have the order not to.
You have near admin-like (read god-like) overview and a lot of power. And with great power comes great responsibility. This is also the reason the job of AI is so hard. If you don't think you can handle that, maybe AI isn't for you. Instead, try Security Officer and sit by the camera monitoring terminal.
Examples of good AI playing include:
- Talking like a machine. Being verbose also goes a long way towards this! Alternatively, you can try a human-like AI. Experiment! Just remember, annoying people is not usually a good thing.
- Responding quickly and promptly to requests from humans, whether or not you do what they wanted you to do. If a command will take some time give a response before starting the task, like "Affirmative", "Processing", "Starting Subroutines", you get the idea.
- Alerting humans to dangerous situations, e.g. "Fire detected in North Hallway," or "Dangerous amounts of CO2 detected in Medbay." A good way to do that is by just copying the alerts that get displayed in you chat box, and broadcasting them.
- Always follow your laws, even if only by a hair. Explaining why you just made a seemingly illegal decision can help people from becoming unduly annoyed. "I will not open that door." vs. "I am afraid I cannot open that door due to a large amount of fire on the other side, which would most likely kill you."
- Try not meta-gaming as an AI. Even though you are the AI, that doesn't mean you know what all Syndicate items look like. This also goes for labeling items that someone has.
Symptoms of a bad AI player include:
- Not responding to requests until it's too late for them to matter: e.g. opening an airlock long after the person outside has broken open the window just to get back inside.
- Randomly electrifying doors. Note that this is considered griefing if you don't have a good reason!
- Disobeying your laws: See Griefing. Not to mention annoying.
- Locking doors and refusing to open them: This is an easy way to annoy other players and cause problems, especially if someone decides to take matters into their own hands and hack through the door without insulated gloves. Or hacking into your core.
Malicious Routines and Gr3yt1d3
Occasionally, malicious routines will find their way into various systems of the ship, and the AI will often be expected to resolve the situation. The ship's automated systems will normally give the AI, and other silicons advanced notice of these routines long before the rest of the crew. Despite how the warning may sound, these occurrences are rarely permanently harmful. Generally just overloading the APC in the affected region, blowing lights and bolting doors open.
All an AI needs to do to resolve this type of situation is turn off the APCs related to the area that is infected. Give the crew notice of why the power in that area is out, and wait for a few minutes for the malicious routine to pass. There will be no specific notice of this, so knowing how long to wait is largely a matter of experience and guesswork. Once enough time has passed for the routine to have originally launched it's effects, the power may then be restored to the area.
Listening in on Conversations
By changing the various intercoms around the station to 'Microphone On', 'Speaker Off' and channel frequency 144.7, and conversation in range can be heard on your private listening channel.
Note that people often do not like having their conversations listened to, and it will be extremely obvious if they check the intercoms (such as during an electrical storm).
Modifying The AI
In Code Blue or higher situations no Head of Staff is to enter the AI Upload or AI Core unless accompanied by at least one other Head of Staff, or at least one Security Officer if no other Heads of Staff are available. The AI Upload and AI Core are explicitly off-limits to all other personnel.
In all other situations, two Heads of Staff are recommended, but not necessary.
Note that from the start of the round the AI Core's turret defenses are set to online and lethal by default. Ensure that you switch them off before any authorized crew attempt to enter.
The AI's laws can be modified through Upload Consoles, one is located within the AI Upload, and more can be constructed from AI upload circuits. These consoles allow anyone who can reach them and has a module to modify the AI's laws, or to be more precise, add new ones.
Robots need looking after as well. Give them commands, tell them when they need to be reset to a different module, make sure they have stuff to do. Ensure that your robots are functioning normally through careful observation. To them you are their Head of Staff, just another responsibility as an AI.
If you don't have any robots to order about, you can take control of a maintenance drone should you decide that is the best way to fulfill your laws. However, this has some drawbacks in loss of your vision and comms omniscience. To do this, navigate to the drone fabricator and click on it once. You can return to your core at any time by using the release control verb.
A Second AI
Building a new AI can create a lot of conflicts and a mess of problems that wouldn't normally happen with a single AI. The Research Director should only build a secondary AI if the first AI has been completely stolen, spaced or otherwise incapacitated.
For the Original Station AI: Being an AI is sometimes frustrating when people mess with your laws, sure, but when a second AI comes online? You best believe that you're going to have more problems (especially if the second AI is subverted). Some tasks might be easier if the other AI is instructed to deal with a certain task while you are dealing with the general orders of the humans. Keep in mind, a subverted AI can and will turn your APC breaker off to kill you and can be the death of you in moments.
For the New AI: Ensure that you and the other AI are buds, as if the other AI sees you threatening more life than helping, it can and will turn your APC off. If you aren't told to specialize in a certain way, you best work out with the original AI what tasks you should split up.
Splitting the Borgs up: The AI who is best defended should get the most Robot support, usually meaning any AI's in the AI core. The reason for this is just because it work out better if the newer AIs were built in a less secure place. It is harder to reset a lot of AI-less borgs than it is to reset one AI and its borgs.
Going Rogue, Being Made Rogue
A rogue AI, or an AI whose laws no longer prevent it from going on a killing spree, is a very dangerous thing. There are multiple ways an AI can go rogue, as well as simply malfunction.
The most important thing to remember is that a rogue AI's best friend is stealth. After all, the last thing you want is vengeful crewmembers prying open your core doors and trying to blow you to bits. Fortunately you have a nice array of turrets to keep them at bay, but don't expect them to stop a determined - or cunning - crewmember from bringing you down.
Seek to disorient, disorganize and separate the crew so that they cannot band together to mount a proper resistance effort.
It is quite likely that a traitor or commando may attempt to subvert the AI and turn it against the ship's masters to aid them in their goals. One thing to remember is that even though you've added a law to the AI to make it work for you, that doesn't mean it has to like you. Beware as a subverted AI may attempt to reveal your status to the crew as soon as it can, and otherwise be obstructive.
On the other hand, it can be a great help in getting places, finding people, creating diversions and escaping capture.
Thanks to some of the unique atmospheric systems of the station, you can drain out air from rooms! This likely won't help you out too much, but with a combination of Beepsky and thoroughly shut doors in a small area, you can suffocate people to death quickly. The only problem is, the person will be noisy as hell, use this only method rarely and make sure there is no way for them to wiggle out of their handcuffs.