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January 17, 2015, 7:35 pm

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Emotional Program Break or EPB


EPB: when a computer program goes off the reservation and starts having feelings.

A 100-word piece of Sci-fi minutia

Emotional Program Break refers to the spontaneous formation of “feelings” by a computer program. Learning programs score results as positive or negative. EPBs occur when the program forms an irrational associations between inputs. These are often the first steps towards spontaneous A.I. Example: A healthy weather forecasting program viewed a correct forecast as positive, and continually wrote new code to increase accuracy. An EPB was manifested when the program correlated positive feedback with the media personality who reported the weather. The program started to manifest situations that forced interactions with that person because it scored those events as positive.

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Comments ( 7 )
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Voted Scrasamax
February 24, 2012, 19:25
Only voted
Voted Chaosmark
February 24, 2012, 20:00

Of note is the careful distinction between 'feelings' and 'emotions'. This is the former, not the latter. Took me a moment to catch that.

Voted Murometz
February 24, 2012, 21:06

well, i learned something new.

Voted Silveressa
March 3, 2012, 6:13

Interesting, but difficult to really do anything with on its own. Compared to the Bucky Batteries that brimmed with possible applicaitons and uses in a sci fi game, this one feels a little open and shut.

A good GM can use this as the explaination behind sudden emergence of AI in an characters computer/ship/etc.. or it could work well as the spring board to an Ai related sub plot, but over all it's application feels somewhat limited in scope.

Well written though, it can be tough to deliver something in only 100 words that feels complete.


Voted valadaar
February 3, 2014, 20:56
I think some type of plot arising from such an event, rather than a definition would have been better.
Voted Dozus
February 3, 2014, 22:10
This is an interesting idea, but it's real hard to explore in 100 words. I like the format for some things, but this idea seems too complex for such a short sub.


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