Could this be our first glimpse into a terminator style rise of the machines? A research team from the University of Cambridge’s Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER) has created and released a new Civ 5 Superintelligence Mod that adds superintelligent AI to the 4X colony-builder.
The goal was not only to add a new fun layer to the game, but to also demonstrate the effects this may have on humanity. This mod introduces a number of new AI technologies to the tech tree. Success depends on your ability to govern humanity’s reliance on these new sentient beings and demonstrates how the AI could be both beneficial or devastating.
“Artificial intelligence can initially provide some benefits, and eventually can turn into superintelligence that brings mastery of science to its discoverer,” reads the mod’s Steam page blurb. “However, if too much artificial intelligence research goes uncontrolled, rogue superintelligence can destroy humanity and bring an instant loss of the game.”
If this sounds like something you would like to try, you will have to wait if you start a traditional game. The effects of this AI really only come into play later in the game during the modern era. So, if you won’t want to wait to see what happens, you may want to start a new game off in the modern era so you can see the full effects of the mod more quickly.
“We want to let players experience the complex tensions and difficult decisions that the path to superintelligent AI would generate,” says the CSER’s Dr. Shahar Avin, so reports RPS. “Games are an excellent way to deliver a complex message to a wide audience. The Civilization games series has an amazing track record of presenting very complex and interlocking systems in a fun and educating way, including major risk issues such as nuclear war and global warming.”
So can any one play this mod? Most definitely. The mod is available on Steam for download.
Ever since the advent of computers and the very notion of AI, we as humans have wondered what would happen if the machines ever became smart enough to think for themselves. Just look at the Terminator movies, who first graced the big screen way back in the ‘80s. Now, it seems, we can find out for ourselves just what would happen if they did become this smart and we began to rely too much on them.
Personally I think this is an interesting premise and potentially a fun mod to an already amazing game. It definitely adds a new twist on the game play. If you have been growing tired of the traditional game play and are looking for something a little fresh, or if you just love the Terminator movie series, then I suggest you give this mod a try.
Have any of you out there tried it already? If so, what did you think about it and how well did your citizens fair when they started relying too much on AI? Tell me about it in the comments below.
About the author
Matt is an IT professional with over fifteen years experience supporting network infrastructure and computers. An avid gamer, Matt enjoys his time playing and writing about his experiences both in the IT world and in the gaming communities. You can find more of his writing for LaptopNinja where he enjoys talking about everything tech.