SNN News Digest (October 20 – October 30, 2180)

The latest news from the Solar System. In this issue:


from our SevCol CorrespondentRogue trading vessels frequently violating Luna embargo

Merchants willing to risk the increased Phalanx presence to make a quick buck trying to smuggle goods to and from Luna are rampant. Since the start of the embargo, Luna authorities have reported 48 illegal ships at the different Luna stations and even at the moon itself.

Despite the sanctions for violating the embargo, these rogue merchants try to smuggle their wares into the Lunar colony, or to pick up valuable Luna-exclusive goods. These ships are often identifying themselves as ships from another colony and under another name than the one under which the ship is officially registered. This leads to a lot of confusion and uncertainty about the legal status of the trade.

The ships coming in mostly bear the usual “call sign of convenience,” which not always represents the colony of the ship’s owner or its managers. Finding out who is behind the ship is a difficult process – SevCol Ship Registration informed that real ship owners re-register the vessels under the fictitious owners’ names and regularly change operating companies in order to evade sanctions. Additionally, the vessels often change call signs.

How do the ships manage to enter Lunar space without being noticed? An investigation by SevCol Ship Registration tracked a ship named Sirohi flying under a call sign of Nature Reserve Earth that deviated from its planned route toward Mars Orbital station. Shortly after passing the first few jump gates from Earth it disappeared from the radars. This means that the crew turned off its navigation system which usually allows the ship to be located by satellite. The same ship has later been spotted by Luna residents loading several crates with Luna produced goods, in violation of SevCol prohibitions. SevCol Ship Registration said that many vessels use this method, despite the risks for getting into an accident.

SevCol has further increased Phalanx presence on ships frequenting the space lanes leading to and from the most frequently used merchant routes to the Luna stations, and several patrol ships with Phalanx personnel on board are guarding the space routes most likely used by inventive trade vessels.


from our Mars correspondentMartian researchers develop and implement new AI subroutines

In a quest to enhance the current AI routines upon which the martian society is based, researchers from the Carmack College have implemented an improvement to the social intelligence of the supercomputer clusters in each settlement. This social intelligences makes interaction with the supercomputers by interpreters much easier. The new system simulates empathy and can rudimentary interpret the emotional state of humans and adapt its behaviour to them, giving an appropriate response for those emotions. This is done while not violating the basic principles upon which the AI has been built.

Emotion and social skills play two roles for the intelligent agent. First, it must be able to predict the actions of others, by understanding their motives and emotional states. This involves elements of game theory, decision theory, as well as the ability to model human emotions and the perceptual skills to detect emotions. Also, in an effort to facilitate the interpreter-computer interaction, the AI will be able to display emotionsm even if it does not actually experience them itself, in order to appear sensitive to the emotional dynamics of the interaction.

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