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AI's (and Tech heroes) vs Technopaths/kinetics...

Any idea how this would play out?

I've been thinking about that hacking of Socrates and began to wonder how an AI could deal with an organic's attempts to infiltrate them. In some thought experiments I equated telepathy to wifi and 'mental defenses' to firewalls and I'm to the point that I'm wondering if there is anything official, ie via the books, about this?

As presented in the Socrates hack Cybermind seemed to just be doing coding... which fits with the concept. Even the cybermind alert is set up on this assumption... but that can't be the only interpretation... can it?

Comments

  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,890 Arc User
    edited December 2019
    Okay, I think to answer this I have to give a few notes about the way the Hero System (the game mechanic for PnP Champions) works. Hero System has a category of Powers called "Mental Powers," designed to affect "minds" in various ways. The basic Mental Powers are: Mental Blast (a Stunning attack), Mind Scan (locating a mind), Telepathy (reading thoughts), Mental Illusions (projecting illusions into someone's mind), and Mind Control (self-explanatory). There's a lot more variability possible, but those are the basics. Someone using one of these Powers on a target has to randomly roll on dice an amount greater than the target's Ego stat to affect them; the greater the effect the attacker wants, the higher the amount above the target's Ego required to achieve it.

    Hero System also has a Power called Mental Defense, which directly reduces the amount of effect the target takes from what the attacker rolled. Again, there's more to it, but that should be enough to grasp the concept.

    But that's just the mechanical definition of how it works. Another major component of Hero is "special effects, " i.e. why it works within the game reality, how it looks and "feels." For example, you could define a "mind" in different ways: organic brain, computer intelligence, golem's enchantment, cloud of psychic energy, whatever. Similarly, the Special Effect of a Mental Power could be magic spell, hypnotic gaze, psionic influence, drugs, brain-infecting viruses or nanobots... the possibilities are only limited by your imagination. By the same token, Mental Defense could be a computer's firewall, or a psychic force-field, or a warding enchantment, or wearing psionic-proof devices or materials, or just a very disciplined mind.

    Some constructs of Mental Powers may be Limited to only function against particular types of minds, e.g. humans, animals, AIs, machines, reptilian aliens, and so on. Particular types of "mind," like unintelligent computers and robots, magical constructs, and similar beings which can only follow set orders, may be immune to most Mental Powers as their default, but can be defined to be vulnerable to specific Special Effects; common examples from the books are computers vs "cyberkinesis," and undead vs "necromancy."

    What all that's leading up to is that in the case of Cybermind specifically, while his cyberkinetic powers may appear like coding, he's really taking direct control of those machines with the energy from his mind. Cybermind has never formally studied computer science, and despite being the world's most effective hacker he's rather ignorant of common hacker terms, practices and equipment. But that's really just one possible description and explanation for that particular iteration of Hero's generalized Powers. You could just as easily say that a computer manipulator changes the flow of electricity and magnetic fields within the machine, or alters its hardware on a molecular level, or projects his psyche directly into it like a possessing ghost. The AI might defend itself with a firewall, or a dampening field against electromagnetic or even psychic intrusion, or its mental architecture may extend into more than three dimensions and be unreachable, or it might even be able to generate a retaliatory mental "feedback."

    I don't know whether any of that answered your question, so please feel free to post followups if you require more. :)
  • mordray001mordray001 Posts: 210 Arc User
    Well you did a good job of reinforcing where I've ended up since I posted this... the game itself uses the same mechanics for the effects and relates them... not a bad system. It's just a case of making up a good reason for why that works...

    I'm curious though, how does destroyer protect his creations from these beings? IIRC he's got an AI of his own.
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,890 Arc User
    Yes he does, one of the most advanced AI in the world, which he named Sennacherib after the infamous Assyrian king. Sennacherib has Mental Defense, as well as undetectable communication Powers, defined as "powerful encryption and stealth systems to prevent anyone from hacking into it or monitoring/tracking its transmissions." (Champions Villains Vol. 1 p. 19)

    Incidentally, Doctor D's PnP write-up has several types of cumulative Mental Defense. His helmet, made from his unique Destreum alloy, provides some. Additional defense is defined as "Intense Willpower," while another amount which only works against Mind Control comes from "Intense Sense Of Self." Finally, if he anticipates facing a powerful mentalist like Menton, DD can attach a Psychic Shield device to his helmet which adds even more Mental Defense.

  • mordray001mordray001 Posts: 210 Arc User
    Well I can't say I blame Doc D... I'd be terrified telepathy and the like... my mind is all I've got, I'd rather not lose that to some **** that just happened to win the powers lottery.

    So the AI has its own mental defense and unspecified encryption and stealth systems... alright... I can work with that.

    Thanks for the info looks like the writers took the easy path.
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,890 Arc User
    The Mental Defense is defined as "Psychic Shielding" on Sennacherib's character sheet from Book Of The Destroyer. It also has an extraordinarily high Skill success role in Cryptography, a Hero System ability to encrypt data or messages, as well as break others' encryption. Hackers trying to break into Sennacherib using their own Skills would have to exceed the AI's margin of success with its Cryptography roll in order to succeed.

    Sennacherib's radio-frequency communication system is built with an Advantage, "Invisible To Tracing," which hides it from attempts to track its transmissions. Advantages are additional Hero System mechanics allowing someone to tailor a particular Power build in a very wide range of specific ways.
  • jaazaniah1jaazaniah1 Posts: 3,723 Arc User
    Is there any information on why Dr. D went with Sennacherib as the name? Does he just like European Romantic poets https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/43827/the-destruction-of-sennacherib ? He could have gone with Assurnasirpal, Shalmaneser, Tilgath Pileser, Sargon, Esarhaddon or Ashurbanipal if he wanted a famous Assyrian king. Maybe no explanation is given, but I was curious. I never really thought of Dr. D. as being a fan of cuneiform literature.
    JwLmWoa.png
    Perseus, Captain Arcane, Tectonic Knight, Pankration, Siberiad, Sekhmet, Black Seraph, Clockwork
    Project Attalus: Saving the world so you don't have to!
  • sistersiliconsistersilicon Posts: 1,687 Arc User
    jaazaniah1 wrote: »
    Is there any information on why Dr. D went with Sennacherib as the name? Does he just like European Romantic poets https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/43827/the-destruction-of-sennacherib ? He could have gone with Assurnasirpal, Shalmaneser, Tilgath Pileser, Sargon, Esarhaddon or Ashurbanipal if he wanted a famous Assyrian king. Maybe no explanation is given, but I was curious. I never really thought of Dr. D. as being a fan of cuneiform literature.

    Sennacherib ultimately destroyed Babylon because the city’s people never accepted Assyrian rule. Sounds pretty on-brand for a type-A Malthusian megalomaniac like Destroyer. Or he has a stanza tattooed on his back like Pam from Archer. Could go either way.
    Choose your enemies carefully, because they will define you / Make them interesting, because in some ways they will mind you
    They're not there in the beginning, but when your story ends / Gonna last with you longer than your friends
  • jaazaniah1jaazaniah1 Posts: 3,723 Arc User
    Sure (though he ultimately never took Jerusalem), and there are many other world class conquerors he could have picked. I'm only curious if there's anything in the lore that explains the basis for the name.
    JwLmWoa.png
    Perseus, Captain Arcane, Tectonic Knight, Pankration, Siberiad, Sekhmet, Black Seraph, Clockwork
    Project Attalus: Saving the world so you don't have to!
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,890 Arc User
    No particular explanation is given for the name choice, although sistersilicon's rationale sounds as good as any. But DD is far more than just a scientist. While his character sheet (most recently printed in CV Vol.1) shows that he's one of, if not the foremost world leader in over thirty scientific disciplines, he's also fluent in thirteen languages, and a world-class expert in history, art, literature, mythology, music, philosophy, politics, and gourmet food and wine; as well as a chess grandmaster, and an accomplished pianist.
  • jaazaniah1jaazaniah1 Posts: 3,723 Arc User
    Well, I guess the biblicized version of the name is better than the actual Akkadian version, which is Sin-ahi-eriba. If it were me I'd have gone with Sargon = Sharru-ken which means true/legitimate king. Seems more appropriate for Dr. D than "Sin (moon god) has replaced my brothers." But maybe Sargon has been used too often in other media.
    JwLmWoa.png
    Perseus, Captain Arcane, Tectonic Knight, Pankration, Siberiad, Sekhmet, Black Seraph, Clockwork
    Project Attalus: Saving the world so you don't have to!
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,890 Arc User
    edited December 2019
    Do you really think Destroyer would name any entity under his dominion, "true king?" ;)

    I suspect what it really comes down to is, former Hero Games Line Developer Steve Long just liked the name, "Sennacherib." It wouldn't be the first character he named for that reason, even if its literal meaning wasn't the most appropriate -- see "Incubus" in CV Vol.3.

    EDIT: BTW, CV3 has another villain called Sargon, or rather, SARGON, because the first three letters are an acronym for, " Seismic Amplification and Redirection." You can probably guess his powers/weapons from that.
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,890 Arc User
    edited December 2019
    There are several official "cyberkinetic" supers in the CU besides Cybermind, both heroic and villainous. Among characters with fully written backgrounds and game stats, the heroes include Teknique (Millennium City), an FBI-employed super stationed in MC, and partner of Kodiak; and Circuit Breaker, a member of the New York-based team of youthful heroes called Nova (Teen Champions). Among the villains are the cyborg known as The Engineer (CV3); Technyik, a former member of the Soviet Union's official hero team who became a freelance mercenary after the USSR collapsed (Champions Worldwide); and Automaton, a disembodied intelligence which can enter and "possess" machines (also in CV3, which has Cybermind's write-up as well). Not surprisingly, Mechanon also has considerable power to control other machines. [Mech's most recent write-up is in CV1; but "it" has an entire source book dedicated to Mechanon, its followers, bases, resources, and plans, titled Book Of The Machine.]
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