AI Fiction—Crystal Society

I’m re­ally ex­cited about a new novel writ­ten by Raelifin. I’m halfway through it, and it’s great! The novel is from the per­spec­tive of an ar­tifi­cial in­tel­li­gence who is try­ing to un­der­stand how hu­mans think. Along the way there’s dis­cus­sion of bi­ases, think­ing tech­niques, and more. If you’re into sci­ence fic­tion and AI, check it out—he made it available for free in all for­mats here. The blurb is be­low.

The year is 2039 and the world is much like ours. Tech­nol­ogy has grown and de­vel­oped, as has civ­i­liza­tion, but in a world more con­nected than ever, new threats and challenges have arisen. The wars of the 20th cen­tury are gone, but vi­o­lence is still very much with us. Nowhere is safe. Mas­sive au­toma­tion has dis­rupted and im­proved nearly ev­ery in­dus­try, putting hun­dreds of mil­lions of peo­ple out of jobs, and deny­ing up­ward mo­bil­ity for the vast ma­jor­ity of hu­mans. Even as wealth and tech­nol­ogy re­pair the bod­ies of the rich and give them a taste of im­mor­tal­ity, famine and poverty sweep the world.

Re­newed in­ter­est in spaceflight in the early 2000s, es­pe­cially in pri­vately op­er­ated ven­tures, car­ried hu­mans to the moon and be­yond. What good did it do? Noth­ing. Ex­trater­res­trial bases are noth­ing but gov­ern­ment tro­phies and hid­ing places for ex­trem­ists. They can­not feed the world.

In 2023 first-con­tact was made with an alien species. Their ship, near to the so­lar sys­tem rel­a­tively speak­ing, flew to Earth over the course of four­teen years. But the aliens did not bring ad­vanced cul­ture and wis­dom, nor did they share their tech­nol­ogy. They were too strange, not even pos­sess­ing mouths or nor­mal lan­guage. Their com­put­ers broad­cast warn­ings of how hu­mans are per­verts, while they sit in or­bit with­out any ex­pla­na­tion.

It is into this world that our pro­tag­o­nist is born. She is an ar­tifi­cial in­tel­li­gence: a ma­chine with the ca­pac­ity to rea­son. Her goal is to un­der­stand and gain the ado­ra­tion of all hu­mans. She is one of many siblings, and with her broth­ers and sisters she con­trols a robot named Socrates that uses a piece of tech­nol­ogy, a crys­tal com­puter, far too ad­vanced to be made by hu­man hands. In this world of aug­mented hu­mans, robotic armies, aliens, traitors, and threats un­seen, she is learn­ing and grow­ing ev­ery sec­ond of ev­ery day. But the world and the hu­mans on it are frag­ile. Can it sur­vive her des­tiny?