Sunday, September 27, 2015

270. X-Prize

Behind some of transhumanity's most important technological developments, from the early days of commercial spacecraft to current post-singularity solutions to post-Fall problems, has been the X-Prize Foundation. They can claim partial responsibility for, among other things, medichines, the uplifting of octopuses, and the first smart animals.

Currently the foundation maintains 5 active contests. Most prominent is a 25 million credit reward for a biomorph that is economically competitive with cases, to address the infugee crisis. Most controversial is a 10 million credit reward for an AI with "beyond AGI capabilities" that considers itself a member of the transhuman family and maintains "indefinite psychological stability". Other prizes are for a morph capable of functioning on both the surface of Venus and in the vacuum of space, a nanoswarm capable of switching between multiple functions, and an edible plant that can live on the surface of Mars.

The foundation currently operates out of Titan. Hypercorps will occasionally contribute to prizes or form teams for the publicity, but the greatest amount of participation is from autonomists.

Plot Hook: Outlines for the safe AI prize are uncomfortably close to describing the Prometheans, and some of the teams attempting to claim the prize are becoming uncomfortably ambitious. Firewall will required detailed information on each team, what exactly they are doing, and who put up the money for that prize.

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