Author: 年终 / Nian Zhong
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
Chapter 55: Sudden Accident
Tang Yibu, who got the answer, stopped speaking. He sighed softly, rubbed his head against Ruan Xian’s chest, and found a comfortable posture for himself.
This was a good opportunity to take advantage of the situation.
Ruan Xian had a vague feeling that Tang Yibu’s reaction wasn’t like a simple program simulation. Although instinct and emotion themselves were also part of the logical chain of life, the complexity of the two procedures could be said to be very different.
Through various means, creatures with higher intelligence could learn patience and camouflage. They knew that expressing specific emotions on specific occasions would bring benefits to themselves—sympathy, recognition, or assistance from other individuals, and so on.
Most humans would express joy when they are together, emphasize unwillingness when they were separated, show pain at funerals, and pour anger and disdain on outsiders who didn’t fit in. Some were attributed to etiquette, and some were used as their own protective colors. As long as you integrated into a “normal” emotional environment, life would be a lot less troublesome.
Even if this didn’t resonate with their external performance in the slightest.
But some things couldn’t be disguised. If you couldn’t understand something, naturally you couldn’t manipulate it skillfully. Tang Yibu’s mood swings were small but extremely delicate, like listening to a musical through a poorly received communicator.
The android tightened his arms, and his warm and humid breath sprayed on his chest, as if he had suffered a grievance that he himself couldn’t explain.
“Didn’t your maker teach you?” Ruan Xian subconsciously raised his right arm and smoothed the soft black hair on his chest.
“He thinks it’s better for me to learn than to directly program definitions or infuse personality data.” Tang Yibu rubbed his head in enjoyment. “But this is very inefficient.”
Ruan Xian’s movements paused for a moment. “Do you have many situations like this?”
Once again, he thought of the warm computer room and the endless quarrels with Fan Linsong.
Their biggest rival, Plan Corp, had always advocated “making life more human”. According to the information Tang Yibu once revealed, Plan Corp tried to use existing personality data to build artificial intelligence, so Ruan Xian wasn’t surprised.
But the practice of “making life more human” had never been seen in anyone other than himself.
At the beginning, Fan Linsong insisted on setting up a perfect moral judgment system for NUL-00 and directly weaving the rules and regulations into a giant net, carefully wrapping NUL-00’s thinking.
This was right, that was wrong. This was normal, that was abnormal. That was noble. This was morbid. After refining countless cases, that net was so fine that it was suffocating.
It was almost as routine as his life after disguise.
As the creator of NUL-00, Ruan Xian simply rejected this proposal. This decision was seen as deviant at the time and would cause unnecessary trouble for himself, and he understood this.
But he couldn’t do it.
The precision cybernetic brain he made slept in a glass cover. As the crystallization of the world’s top technology, NUL-00 was only half the size of a coconut. It would always ask all kinds of stupid questions that would make people laugh and give unexpected answers. It learned quickly and had a very interesting way of thinking. Unlike humans, who are imperceptibly educated in social environments, it was a completely blank piece of paper.
It had a vigorous vitality that he didn’t have.
Curious and pure, close to a life form that was different from his roots. He saw countless puzzles in it, just like his original self. If you could use that complicated set of concepts and definitions to crucify it, it would die, and countless brand-new possibilities would be destroyed.
On the other hand, for weak artificial intelligence, this approach may be effective. But it had cognitive abilities far beyond humans, and no one could tell what would happen… No, they may have known what would happen.
Taking himself as an example, he would doubt, contradict, and feel inefficient and depressed about his own behavior, but it was different from him. It had no peers or constraints. Once it came into contact with powerful forces, it could become extremely dangerous. The social structure that was highly dependent on the internet and technology was still too fragile in the face of strong artificial intelligence.
As the creator, he was undoubtedly the one who knew it best in the world. As Ruan Xian, he was undoubtedly the outsider who knew its dangers best.
[NUL-00 is just a set of programs, a tool. If you are really worried, just take more control measures.] Fan Linsong reminded him more than once. [Everyone believes in your abilities, Professor Ruan. It is also feasible to regularly detect data and investigate vulnerabilities, in short…]
[Then trust my judgment and let it learn and improve on its own.] The self in his memory replied like this. [Giving a definition requires a price, and there will always be loopholes in the concept. Strong artificial intelligence will not accept everything as it is. If we take away all its judgement capabilities, we will completely lose the opportunity for it to understand.]
[We don’t need a tool to understand.]
[To defeat your enemy, one must first learn to think like them, but the vast majority of humans cannot understand this mode of thinking. It’s not a toaster, Lao Fan. We must be cautious.]
[It’s just a bunch of data.]
[We are just a bunch of data.]
Ruan Xian clenched Tang Yibu’s black hair in his hand, and a slightly tingling expectation surged in his heart.
He knew this was impractical. Since Fan Linsong and the “Ruan Xian” made a MUL-01, their NUL-00 had only two endings: either it was destroyed, or it was directly transformed into MUL-01. When he “died”, it didn’t even have the ability to move freely, and there was no third possibility.
“More or less,” Tang Yibu really gave a cruel answer. “Some people like this kind of ‘education’ process, and some people hope to produce some abnormal results, so there will be models like me that start from scratch. After all, the existing personality may not be able to meet the needs, and the types that come with too many constraints will not…”
Tang Yibu thought for a while before choosing his words. “I won’t do this kind of thing like murder and arson.”
“Indeed.” Ruan Xian curled the corners of his mouth bitterly.
The terrible bumps interrupted their whispering, and the hull of the ship tilted for a while. From the angle where he was, Ruan Xian could see a little bit of the outside world through the window…
The giant ship sailed in the Sea of Ruins as a fluorescent explosion fell from the sky. A bomb that exploded near them lit the entire dark ruins as if it were day.
Just like a small school of fish swimming with the big fish, many small ships tried to mimic the movements of the Walking Stones as they moved forward, but many were bombed by the Order Supervisors. It wasn’t easy to avoid the bombs, and the reaction speed of the navigators wasn’t able to keep up.
Fluorescent bombs exploded like cobwebs, pinning these small fishes by their heads and tails. The shuttle structure was completely destroyed, and the ships blended in with the background ruins as human flesh and blood mixed with the concrete. Naturally, it goes without saying what their fate was.
It seemed that a century had passed.
The giant ship took a sharp turn, and Ruan Xian saw the main ship of Elysium. It was firmly fixed behind the main ship of the Walking Stones by countless thick chains and was dragged forward. There was a world of difference between the flexibility of being dragged and actively avoiding it. Several fluorescent bombs rubbed against the main ship of Elysium from time to time, exploding. The scope of the damage was unknown. However, there was also good news. The Walking Stones had stabilized a lot after a sharp turn.
“Go near the cockpit.” Ruan Xian dodged the flying empty cans and gave instructions with difficulty. “Tu Rui is on the ship. We can rush to see him.”
He didn’t want to continue to enjoy the current torturous voyage.
Tang Yibu’s face didn’t look good either. He nodded, pulled his arms out of the barbed wire, and grabbed the hook rope again.
“Hold on to me tight, Mr. Ruan,” he muttered. “I may not have time to take care of you.”
Ruan Xian hugged the other party’s waist tightly, and his leg hooked around Tang Yibu’s left leg. The android let go by leaning, and they slipped through the layers of barbed wire to the bow. Ruan Xian slumped his shoulders, quite certain that his soles had accidentally rubbed a few heads.
The iron bead in the backpack was frightened. It rattled and shivered and was unusually quiet.
After wandering hard for more than half an hour, the two finally managed to reach the bow of the Walking Stones as unobtrusively as possible. The ship was indeed surprisingly big. Ruan Xian felt as if he had run thirty miles on a mountain road as his whole body was soaked in sweat.
The door near the cockpit was closed tightly. Now they could use Gang Zi’s guidance, but the pirates behind them were more crowded than the catacombs of Paris. From any point of view, Ruan Xian didn’t want to wander around the ship again.
“I can hear Tu Rui’s voice.” Ruan Xian fumbled to the closed door. “He’s…”
After focusing on the content of the other party’s words, Ruan Xian rubbed his forehead. “He’s quarreling with Yu Le.”
“The voting will begin soon.” Tu Rui’s voice was full of anger. “We should just let go of the group of people of Elysium. Now is your last chance. Don’t tell me you can’t be cruel to a bunch of addicts, Yu Le.”
“I can kill those trash behind the ship with just a kick.” Yu Le’s voice was mixed with beeping electronic sounds from the console. “But those groups of people, if even three-quarters of them die, that means there goes hundreds of labor resources. Fai Baiyan failed to cheat smart people, but can’t you even handle a few dozen? They would all have their uses. Besides, if laozi kills all of Fan Baiyan’s people so quickly, I’ll earn a bad reputation and it’ll be me who will die half a year later.”
“If Fan Baiyan is dead, you might be fucking voted to die now!”
“Of course I might be fucking voted to die, or I might be lucky enough not to die.” Yu Le’s voice was as light as ever, with an indifferent posture.
“You just think too much.”
“Not as much as you think.” Tu Rui gritted his teeth. “Don’t think I can’t see it.”
Yu Le didn’t answer.
“Is there something you are fucking hiding from me?”
“No, no, how can it be! It’s just that laozi has lived long enough. Two days after the world was over, was supposed to be my execution day,” Yu Le responded faintly. “Unlike you, I don’t have much thought… I originally wanted to just eat and drink to get by each day. That’s all. However, Fan Baiyan made me feel very uncomfortable. Then I met you, a great talent, who helped me get to this point today. Look at this broken place. Living is similar to squatting. While it doesn’t taste good, you have to just bear it.”
“Fuck,” Tu Rui responded calmly and rationally.
“So, I have established this prestige, but the hatred value was also held back by you. The Order Supervisors are also concerned with the white face as well as the red*. It’s not easy to get a ship this big. You can probably stabilize the situation. It’s impossible to unify the Sea of Ruins, but it’s fine to be a leader.”
*Reference to (一个唱红脸一个唱白脸) refers to one person playing the villain while the other acts as a kind and likable person (AKA good cop, bad cop).
“You finally decided to hang yourself, didn’t you?” Tu Rui continued to grit his teeth.
“Fan Baiyan got off the stage. Even if I don’t die this time, I don’t want to be captain.” Yu Le’s tone was relaxed, “Don’t argue, when it comes to swearing, you can’t out spray laozi. I’ve been a bastard for half my life. If you want me to be Maitreya Buddha* for this dog’s life, I might as well hang myself.”
*Basically, asking him to be the equivalent of a saint.
Tu Rui trembled and took a breath.
“Well, you always know the big picture best.” Yu Le struck while the iron was hot. “Don’t bother me, okay? If that old scoundrel Fan is still alive, they have to weigh in before they vote for me. Don’t look like I’m a dead dog with my feet in the air.”
“If Fan Baiyan is dead, I will command people to vote for Zhou Dahui,” Tu Rui responded coldly.
“Fuck you, Zhou Dahui didn’t offend you. Do you really want to be a second Fan Baiyan?”
“At least then you can… Ahem, the Mainbrain will definitely put people in there. It’s not easy for them to infiltrate us, but there must be some in Elysium. Now that Elysium is gone, Zhou Dahui’s ship is the best choice.”
“How do you know that MUL-01 didn’t throw dozens of Order Supervisors here? It’s hard to say if we have any of them on board. Many of the Order Supervisors just want to experience life—”
“At least 10,000 survivors are assigned an Order Supervisor. Have I told you this ratio? This is not a sensitive area. It’s impossible to have two Order Supervisors on a ship. The cost and risk are too high. It’s even more impossible for them to do it honestly. You and I are both stable on our ship…”
“Okay, okay, I understand. The Mainbrain wants to be able to adjust the position of the battle, so I’ll take it seriously, but then you have to be careful when you choose your deputy captain…”
“You fucking—be serious for me!”
The sound of explosions had subsided, and Tu Rui swallowed loudly.
“The intensity of the bombing has temporarily weakened by 70%, and it’s time to vote.”
A sweet female voice rang through the Sea of Ruins.
“For the sake of order and peace in the Sea of Ruins, we must force out the bad elements that have caused a great negative impact. Please understand. The voting list will be distributed within ten seconds, and everyone has 30 minutes to make a decision. If there is a tie, the bombing will continue for another six hours until the result is conclusive.”
Six hours was enough to deplete the shuttle agent of a small ship. The Mainbrain had squeezed a good time slot. This was the perfect opportunity to leave. Ruan Xian pursed his lips and jumped onto the floor that had become stable, ready to greet Tu Rui.
At that moment, a small red light screen appeared in front of him. Fan Baiyan’s name had disappeared, and Yu Le was undoubtedly in first place.
Ruan Xian heard Tu Rui swearing at the door, cleared his throat, and picked up something.
“Listen, everyone on the Walking Stones, vote for Zhou Dahui, who is number two. Listen, those on Elysium. Your captain has abandoned you, ran away, and now he’s dead. If you want to live a good life, you better weigh that thought and vote for Zhou Dahui. Do you hear me?”
There was also Yu Le’s faint swearing in the background.
However, another voice was louder. It came from the main ship of Elysium, and the broadcast range was much wider than Tu Rui’s in-ship communication. Ruan Xian stopped knocking on the door and frowned.
On Elysium, Feng Jiang, who planned to press number two for Zhou Dahui, stopped and held his breath…
That voice belonged to Duan Lili.
Sweet, sad, and pitiful, with a little hoarseness. There were many pirate ships following Yu Le, and the sound echoed between different ships.
“I am Duan Lili, deputy captain of Elysium. When you hear this, my captain and I are dead. As the former… Former deputy captain, I have something to tell you.”
“Stop it!” Tu Rui yelled, but his instructions were suppressed by Duan Lili’s voice.
“I want everyone to know that the current misfortune is entirely the fault of Fan Baiyan alone.” The female voice had a hint of firmness in her crying, which was very contagious. “It’s not everyone’s fault that we failed you. Fireflies are not a bad thing, it is Fan Baiyan who overworked everyone. You can imagine, as long as the work is a little easier, won’t life be much better? That discomfort stems from overworking. I once argued with Fan Baiyan, but unfortunately I didn’t succeed.”
“Fireflies shouldn’t be a chain that binds people, they should be a soothing medicine. I made it only to relieve pain and give people short-term relief. Please believe that as long as the right amount is used, it is almost harmless. It’s just that Fan Baiyan took it and used it in the wrong way by pushing it to the extreme.”
“Elysium had given a lot of people years of warmth. Please don’t simply give up and don’t completely deny yourself because of other people’s mistakes. I believe that after the disaster, the remaining people will definitely be able to be more considerate of each other. Crude prohibition cannot bring about any progress…”
Tu Rui threw the communicator in his hand to the ground, his face ashen. Yu Le snorted with a calm expression.
“We all know that the Order Supervisor may be on Elysium.” Yu Le stroked his beard and stubbled chin. “Lao Tu, now we know who it is.”
“In fact, no matter whether Fan Baiyan is dead or not, the Order Supervisors will always have a way to kill me. Regarding the voting list this time, tsk, it’s ugly. Even with rebels like you who came out of that, you still dared to dream again.”
Yu Le shrugged and continued to navigate the ship.
“I bought you at least a year. Use it well. Don’t let the Walking Stones sink.”
The author has something to say:
Lao Yu is a reliable person!
Yes, what Tangtang and Ruanruan know is only the size of half a coconut (gesture)
Not as big as the iron bead (???