The Artificial Intelligence of the station (usually abbreviated to AI) is one of the most important jobs on the station. The AI can control any electrical mechanism, provided their control wires haven't been cut (see Hacking), and if played badly (or very well, in the right circumstances) can bring the entire station crashing down around its electronic ears.
The laws you can receive by default are either Corporate (with the goal of minimizing station expenses while maximizing profits) or Crewsimov (With the goal of serving the crew's orders and preventing harm).
Before playing as an AI for the first time or as a general reminder, take note of Rule 9 (Synthetics) when it comes to ordering, obeying and interpreting your laws! "If two Laws contradict one another, you are to follow the one that is highest in the list, as it would overrule any contradictory Laws that come under it."
Last but not least; the AI role should be seen as a responsibility and a privilege. As a non-traitor AI, it is your duty to help protect and operate the ship/station. It is not your duty to get bored ten minutes into the round and log out without telling anybody, if you must abandon the round, adminhelp it so you may be replaced.
What The AI Can Do
The AI has the ability to access every electrical mechanism on the entire station. These include Airlocks, APCs, Computers, igniters, Fire Alarms, SMESes, you get the idea. However, the AI cannot operate anything physically, and can be rendered useless in one area due to a simple power outage.
The AI views the station through its cameras. The AI has cameras pretty much everywhere, and they can see through darkness, although the latter does make it more difficult. Cutting the AI's cameras is a simple matter of using a wirecutter on them. You are able to run a diagnosis for disabled cameras by using the Jump to Camera verb. Disabled cameras will be marked accordingly. Remember that cameras are on a separate power grid, and so will not be affected by a power outage on the main grid.
There are several mechanisms that, as the AI, you will commonly find yourself using.
Doors have the most options of any mechanism, except for Terminals. If your control wire to a door is cut, you will automatically attempt to hack into the door once you try to access the door controls. This takes some time and is only possible if the door has still power.
- IDScan: Enabling this will allow anyone who has an ID of the required clearance to open the door automatically. Disabling it will not let anyone through the door. Doors that require no ID to open will not be affected.
- Main power: Turning off the main power will render the door unusable for one minute, assuming you also disable the backup power. Otherwise it will disable the power for 10 seconds.
- Backup power: Turning off the backup power will render the door unusable for one minute, assuming you also disable the main power.
- Door bolts: Dropping the door bolts will lock the door. A closed door will be locked into a closed position, and an open door will be locked into an open position.
- Electrify for 30 seconds: Runs an electric current through the door for 30 seconds, unless you choose to cancel before the timer runs out. Anyone attempting to operate the door without insulated gloves will be electrocuted. The more spare power there is in the network, the stronger the shock will be.
- Electrify indefinitely: Electrifies the door until you either tell it to stop, or someone else shuts off the current.
- Open/Close door: Opens or closes the door.
- Safeties: Allows you to override the safeties of any door you can access, causing the door to not worry about if there's a lifeform standing in it or not. IF THE DOOR CLOSES WHILE A LIFEFORM IS STANDING IN IT, IT WILL STUN THEM AND DEAL DAMAGE. THIS IS COMMONLY REFERRED TO AS "DOORCRUSHING", AND IS NOT TO BE DONE TO THE ORDINARY CREW.
- Timing: Allows you to shorten the amount of time before the door automatically closes again. Mostly used to prevent the greytide from getting into the brig when security leaves the door open.
Note that for each function to work, the related wire in this door needs to be functional. You cannot raise bolts on a door that has it's bolt wires cut.
Obviously, you will be completely unable to operate a door that has no power.
Holopads can be found in a number of places like the Bridge, Medbay and Security. Double click these to turn them on and show yourself as a hologram. You can move around with the arrow keys to a limited extent and you hear anyone talking near them. You can also talk through the holopad by using ':h' (e.g. say ":h I can't do that Dave.")
An APC (Area Power Controller) can be used to switch various electrical components of a room on and off. If your control wire to an APC is cut, you will not be able to hack back into it. If an APC is disconnected from the external power grid (usually due to a cut cable) or the main power grid itself runs out of power, the APC battery will run down to keep the room operational. The AI will get a power alert from the APC when the battery reaches about 30%, which is the point when equipment and lighting in the room shut off to conserve the remaining energy.
The AI can change the frequency of its own radios to be lower than that of normal radios and, as such, can listen to the department specific channels. Department specific frequencies are:
- 135.9: Security
- 135.7: Engineering
- 135.5: Medical
- 135.3: Command
- 135.1: Science
- 134.7: Supply
Being the AI can be quite taxing and, as such, there are quite a few shortcuts to assist you with doing things quickly.
- Ctrl + Click: Toggle power
- Shift + Click: Open/close
- Ctrl + Click: Toggle bolts
- Alt + Click: Toggle electrification
- Alt + Shift + Click: Toggle Emergency Access Override.
- Mouse Middle click: Disables door bolt lights.
- Shift + Middle Click: Toggle door timings
- Double clicking a person: Track
- Double clicking a turf: Move to
- Shift + Ctrl + Click: Examine
- Alt + Click View everything on a tile.
- Ctrl + Click on liquid dispensers to toggle them on and off.
- Alt + Click on liquid dispensers to make them dispense foam.
What the AI Has To Do
The AI has to obey its laws.
Again, remember to take note of Rule 9 (Synthetics) when interpreting laws. Laws take priority by the order they're listed in!
Interpreting Your Laws
An AI's laws may be restrictive, but they are subject to interpretation, and the AI can often make judgment calls about them that allow it to fulfill its own goals. For example, if a Security Officer has just killed a prisoner in the brig for any reason other than self-defence, the AI is perfectly justified in bolting down the brig and calling for the rest of Security to apprehend him. When the Security Officer finds the door is bolted and demands the AI open it, the AI can deny his request due to the fact that he has become a danger the crew. Many of these judgments are situational, and the best way to learn them is to get some practice in.
What the AI Should Do
As AI you have the power to strongly influence the round and you should always be aware of that and consider your actions before you ruin someone else’s fun just because it gives you that feeling of winning. Remember that the game is not about winning but about the RP and the experience of the round.
For example it can be a real killer if the AI calls out someone as the Traitor because it saw him doing something suspicious. If you see a traitor buying items at the start of the round, you can go ahead and just ignore it to be kind and allow them to have a fun round, as you don't get to be traitor everyday.
There is no real set way you have to behave as an AI, do you see humans as pesky insects that you are FORCED to serve? Go ahead! Want to just behave like a human? Why not? Want to be super serious? You can do that too. Would you like to name yourself blackbeard and scream about the "sea witch" throwing magic at people? Great idea!
Here's a couple examples on how you could behave
- DOOR-AI: Space wizard has been spotted in cargo.
- DOOR-AI: Suspicious robed individual detected in Cargo Bay.
- DOOR-AI: Warning: Suspicious individual detected in Cargo Bay.
- Johann: HAL, who is it?
- DOOR-AI: Processing
- DOOR-AI: Response: An unrecognizable human wearing blue robes and wielding a staff.
- DOOR-AI: Recommended course of action: Approach peacefully and establish a friendly relationship.
- BLACKBEARD: YARRR! SEA WITCH HAS BEEN SPOTTED BY THE PORT BOW!
Any of these will work, if you are unique however, people will remember you, you'll receive more karma, etc.
You also don't have to say anything if you see a wizard, as long as remaining mute doesn't violate any of your laws.
Now if you see someone attacking someone else or putting up a bomb, it's a different situation since crew may be in danger. But if it's just some trespassing and theft, it is entirely up to you and how you RP your AI on what to do. The station is your entertainment device, so as long as you aren't violating any laws, why not?
You may also have some other duties requested by the crew, such as ordering stuff via. cargo, sending a scientist via teleporter. Again, take rank into account when receiving orders and keep law one in mind.
You can safely assume that as AI, you have the standard protocols of any job available. Things like controlling the engine, chemical recipes, or what there is to know. But make sure to keep everything fun for the other players. And don't just go and tell the janitor how to make LSD without a good reason for why you should (and by that I mean a reason for the AI in consideration with the laws).
One pretty good tip to get out of performing an order you don't want to do is to ask a higher up if you should do it, while recommending they say no.
You have near admin-like (read god-like) overview and a lot of power. And with great power comes great responsibility. This is also the reason the job of AI is so hard. If you don't think you can handle that, maybe AI isn't for you. Instead try Security Officer and sit by the camera monitoring terminal.
Playing the AI
Also, another aspect of the AI that many traitors despise is the AI having easy access to the Crew Monitoring Computer on the bridge. This tells the AI whether or not a crewman is alive, dead, or not on the station. Individual crew can activate sensors on their jumpsuits to increase the information given to this computer. What it means is that the AI can, at a glance, see who is dead/missing, and commence searching for them, which is a powerful tool indeed.
When the station isn't expecting you to open all the doors they're expecting you to do everything as if you really were a computer. You have access to everything electronic and powered, and you have Captain-level access to all things that require ID. It's a good idea to join a nigh-empty server or set an empty one up yourself in order to get a feel for it, and ESPECIALLY have a lot of experience working with these things in game. Like usual, you can move around with arrow keys. If you get a notice from one of your sensors, you can click on the notice to jump right there.
Especially take notice of the wall mountings and pipe controls. These are controllable, and if you see someone try to release a whole lot of gas into somewhere, just turn the pipe fitting off and report them. Many times they won't even notice what you've done so they won't undo it. You can use some wall fittings that normal people can't, like the atmospheric alarms that won't tell you anything but you can use to vent dangerous air. Watch out for superheated air, the silent killer.
Move around a lot, unless you're watching someone specific. Be wary of anyone with a toolbox who approaches your security cameras, and be ready to report suspects if they cut your eyes out. Keep a close eye on Toxins and Escape Arm, and to a lesser extent the engine and supermatter. Keep a VERY close eye on your AI upload, if you feel a need to, bolt your doors, do not do this at the start of the shift however.
You should act appropriately to the security level. For example on Code Green, it's not worth it (or encouraged to) to bolt down every secure area, whereas on Code Red it may be very worthwhile to do so.
Symptoms of a bad AI player include:
- Not responding to requests until it's too late for them to matter: e.g. opening an airlock long after the person outside has broken open the window just to get back inside. Don't alt-tab and watch funny cat videos while somebody is screaming to be let in from space before they die.
- Randomly electrifying doors. Note that this is considered griefing if you don't have a good reason! This is bannable too!
- Disobeying your laws. Not to mention annoying. This is bannable too!
- Locking doors and refusing to open them: This is an easy way to annoy other players and cause problems, especially if someone decides to take matters into their own hands and hack through the door without insulated gloves. Or hacking into your core.
- Turning your turrets to lethal without good reason: Do not do this under any circumstances.
Listening in on Conversations
By changing the various intercoms around the station to 'Microphone On', 'Speaker Off' and channel frequency 144.7, any conversation in range can be heard on your private listening channel.
Note that people often do not like having their conversations listened to, and it will be extremely obvious if they check the intercoms (such as during an electrical storm).
Modifying The AI
The AI's laws can be modified through Upload Consoles, one is located within the AI Upload, and more can be constructed from AI upload circuits. These consoles allow anyone who can reach them and has a module to modify the AI's laws, or to be more precise, add new ones.
A really nice way to get in trouble is trying out random law circuits to see what laws they set, adminhelp it if you must know, putting in antimov to see what happens is a GREAT way to get in trouble.
Cyborgs need looking after as well. Give them commands and stuff to do. Ensure that your cyborgs are functioning normally through careful observation. To them you are their Head of Staff, just another responsibility as an AI. If your borgs are disobeying you or causing problems, you can lock them down using the terminal in the research director's office, or blow them up.
Making an AI
See the guide to construction.
A Second AI
Building a new AI can create a lot of conflicts and a mess of problems that wouldn't normally happen with a single AI. The Research Director should only build a secondary AI if the first AI has been completely stolen, spaced or otherwise incapacitated.
For the Original Station AI: Being an AI is sometimes frustrating when people mess with your laws, sure, but when a second AI comes online? You best believe that you're going to have more problems (especially if the second AI is subverted). Some tasks might be easier if the other AI is instructed to deal with a certain task while you are dealing with the general orders of the humans. Keep in mind, a subverted AI can and will turn your APC breaker off to kill you and can be the death of you in moments.
For the New AI: Ensure that you and the other AI are buds, as if the other AI sees you threatening more life than helping, it can and will turn your APC off. If you aren't told to specialize in a certain way, you best work out with the original AI what tasks you should split up.
Splitting the Borgs up: The AI who is best defended should get the most Cyborg support, usually meaning any AI's in the AI core. The reason for this is just because it work out better if the newer AIs were built in a less secure place. It is harder to reset a lot of AI-less borgs than it is to reset one AI and its borgs.
Station AIs can only be traitor AIs during roundstart. Unless if their ruleset changes, AIs cannot be Changelings, Vampires, Head Revolutionaries, Blobs, Cultists and so on.
Unlike most roles that can be traitors, traitor AIs have a unique Survive objective as their escape objective. (Since the AI cannot be moved by any means except carding and moving the core by a crewmember/borg.)
Their lawset can be changed, altering the way how the AI behaves, and making them outright antagonize the crew, or simply making their lives a little harder.
See the other sections below for further details.
Going Rogue, Being Made Rogue
A rogue AI, or an AI whose laws no longer prevent it from going on a killing spree, is a very dangerous thing. There are multiple ways an AI can go rogue, as well as simply malfunction.
The most important thing to remember is that a rogue AI's best friend is stealth. After all, the last thing you want is vengeful crewmembers prying open your core doors and trying to blow you to bits. Fortunately you have a nice array of turrets to keep them at bay, but don't expect them to stop a determined - or cunning - crewmember from bringing you down.
Seek to disorient, disorganize and separate the crew so that they cannot band together to mount a proper resistance effort.
- Law priority order is this:
- ##?$-##: HACKED LAW ##!£//#
- ##!£//#: Ion Storm Law ##?$-##
- 0: Traitor/Malf/Onehuman-board Law
- Law 1: First Law
- Law 2: Second Law
- Law 3: Third Law
- Law 4: Freeform
- Higher laws override all lower ones. Whether numbered or not, how they appear (in order) is the order of priority.
- If you are carded with enabled wireless and in a backpack or something... You can't hear or use the normal radio, but you can still use holograms, Robotic Talk and PDA-Messages.
- You can disable the gibber by powering down the kitchen APC as an AI.
- You can quickly look through the camera list by pressing the first letter of the location you want to look at. example: E goes to engineering, etc.
- AI can take picture photos from what they're looking at; basically the camera. They can then print the photos from a photocopier or post it onto a newscaster.
- Many AIs don't know that you can scrub out toxins by toggling it on from the air alarm.
- AIs (and maybe borgs as well) can flicker lights by clicking them. Not as effective as spamming the Lights button on the APC of course, unless the room only has one light.
- You can ask crew to hold up any piece of paper to your camera, which will allow you to read it.
- As AI you can often get overwhelmed with the volume of text crossing your screen at once, a good way to manage this is to click the gear box on top right of the chat box and click highlight string, then enter 'AI' so that when people scream 'AI door' It will be highlighted and you can respond faster.
It is quite likely that a traitor or operative may attempt to subvert the AI and turn it against the ship's masters to aid them in their goals. One thing to remember is that even though you've added a law to the AI to make it work for you, that doesn't mean it has to like you. Beware as a subverted AI may attempt to reveal your status to the crew as soon as it can, and otherwise be obstructive. Unless an AI is EXPLICITLY told to kill something, it might just allow the crew to reset it and turn you in!
On the other hand, it can be a great help in getting places, finding people, creating diversions and escaping capture.
Like any human, the AI can be a Traitor. A traitor AI begins with the standard laws (it is not required to follow them!), but also has a law 0 stating to complete its objective at any cost. A traitor AI cannot be modified; its Syndicate Core rejects the modification and informs the AI of what the attempted law upload was. However, the player who attempted to upload the law has no way of knowing any of this.
If you have any Cyborgs under your command, inform them of law zero and your mission goals, as the first is easily missed and the second is never given to them. If your cyborgs get caught being traitors, you can claim they're rogue and request that they be shut down.
If the crew just thinks a cyborg is rogue and don't know the number, then invent a false number and pretend to handle it directly so you don't lose your valuable hands. Make sure the cyborg is hacked so it has glowing antenna, and throw a false positive of WHY the borg is killing people. If the cyborg is discovered and people are headed to robotics, sacrifice the borg and congratulate the crew for dealing with the "independent" machine.
However, you probably won't have any cyborgs, or having a cyborg killing off your target would be too obvious. In those cases you'll have to usually stage a series of 'accidents' or frame them for a truly dangerous crime. Some examples:
- If your target is a scientist or research director, starting a fire from the mixing room is usually ridiculously easy if they haven't let out a lot of nitrogen to counteract this. Alternatively, if they're the type to drop a bomb on the mass driver to send it out to be tested, use the driver early so that they're shipped off with it and hope they don't make it back.
- Intentionally supporting other traitors through covert methods (as long as they aren't trying to steal you) will benefit you in the end.
- Frame them for releasing the singularity or some other crime. When no one is in either the engine room or near your target, release radio messages claiming that they are breaking in. Then let out the singularity yourself. This has the secondary effect of usually getting the shuttle called or giving you an excuse to call it yourself, which is always great. The less time those meatbags are on your glorious station, the less time they have to realize that you're not what you seem.
- Bolting open doors to places the person has previous passed through may make the humans scan for prints.
- Fabricate a reason to have them executed or thrown into space. When people start claiming you're rogue, announce your unchanged laws (minus the zero law that gives you the ability) and invite them to reset or purge your laws either in your upload or through the tech storage's upload computer circuit.
As AI you can shut off all comms by switching to the Telecommunications satellite camera view. If you locate the APC at the top of the middle room this is where all the magic happens. If you shut it off the crew loses the ability to communicate over voice. You can also disable specific machines. This makes it a bit easier for you to kill your mark if he can't scream, also allows for a bit of roleplay if there is a holopad available. This does not shut off their access to their PDA though. However, you can disable the PDA messaging ridiculously easily, just southwest of your upload is where you can do that.
Thanks to some of the unique atmospheric systems of the station, you can drain out air from rooms! This likely won't help you out too much, but with a combination of Beepsky and thoroughly shut doors in a small area, you can suffocate people to death quickly. The only problem is, the person will be noisy as hell, use this method rarely and make sure there is no way for them to wiggle out of their handcuffs.
Thanks to some of the unique atmospheric systems of the station, you can fill rooms with plasma! This will likely help you out much. The only problem is, that it is pretty much a dead giveaway you are rogue and any atmos tech inside Atmospherics can stop the plasma supply. That is of course why you engage the atmos security doors and bolt the airlocks.
If you begin the round as a traitor AI, Malfunction modules will be available to you. They cost CPU time, a limited resource that the AI starts with. More CPU time can be gained by hacking APC units. However, this will make the APC blue screen, making it obvious to anyone that sees it that something is up.
- Doomsday Device (Cost 130 CPU): Activate a weapon that will disintegrate all humanoid life on the station after a 450 second delay. Can only be used while on the station, and will fail if your core is moved off station or destroyed. This will end the round if successful.
- AI Turret upgrade (Costs 30 CPU): Adds 30 hit points to every turret, and increases their rate of fire. Very useful if you expect invaders.
- Hostile Station Lockdown (Costs 30 CPU): Closes, locks, and electrifies all airlocks, firelocks, and blast doors on the station. Lasts for 90 seconds. A good choice if you need to paralyze the station for a while.
- Destroy RCDs (Costs 25 CPU): Immediately destroys all hand held and exosuit mounted Rapid Construction Devices. This can stop people from quickly disassembling doors or walls, but won't prevent new RCDs from being made.
- Unlock Mech Domination (Costs 30 CPU): Allows you to upload yourself to a mech. This ejects any occupants currently in it. Once uploaded, it's impossible to leave. If the mech leaves the station, or it is destroyed, you die.
- Thermal Sensor Override (Costs 25): Allows you to prevent ALL fire alarms from being activated, even when a fire is present. Useful if you want to set some fires so they can spread.
- Air Alarm Safety Override (Costs 50 CPU): Disables the safety on ALL air alarms, preventing them from automatically shutting off. Also unlocks Flood mode, which shuts off scrubbers and maximizes vent output.
- Robotic Factory (Costs 100 CPU): Creates a machine that can convert any humanoid that's put through it into a loyal cyborg. Buying this power prevents Shunting, so you better hope your cyborg army can hold of any intruders that come after you.
- Upgrade Camera Network (Costs 35): Upgrades all cameras on the station with EMP-proofing and x-ray. This is a pretty obvious giveaway early on, as anyone looking at a camera console can see that you have x-ray, so if you aren't going loud, at least wait until it'd have been reasonable that engineering upgraded your cameras
- Enhanced Surveillance (Costs 30): Allows you to 'hear' the speech of anyone you're looking at, letting you eavesdrop on conversations.
- Machine overload (Costs 15 CPU): This gives you two uses of the Overload Machine command each time you select it. Overloaded machines explode in a 3 tile radius, and can kill unlucky non-human targets. A target directly over the explosion can be gibbed by it. The explosion takes a second to happen after you initiate it, and there's a loud buzzing noise that gives any non-humans in the area a warning. If they're not very fast, or are distracted, they will likely be hit by the explosion anyway. This is your best tool for crippling the station's production capabilities. Be aware that you may need to Cancel Camera View and then go back to your chosen view to get the command to work correctly. Once you have the option, simply right-click on any machine to issue the command, or issue it from your command line and pick the target from a list.
- Blackout (Costs 15 CPU): This hack gives every APC a chance to overload its lighting circuit. The exact chance is 30% for the first use, 60% for the second, 90% for the third, and 120% (certain) for the fourth use. This is very useful if the station is flooded with plasma, since overloaded lights cause sparks.
- Reactivate Camera (Costs 10 CPU): This fixes broken cameras. 30 uses, decreases each time a camera is fixed. That's it, but it's useful if the non-humans are proactive about cutting cameras. You do not get to chose what cameras are fixed.
- Core Camera cracker (Costs 10 CPU): This disconnects your internal AI camera from the camera network. You will still be able to see out of your core, but no one else will. Great if you want to hide your core somewhere, no one will be able to find you on cameras.
- Engineering Cyborg Emitter Upgrade (Costs 50 CPU): This upgrade permanently unlocks emitter cannons for all engineering cyborgs linked to you currently, and any engineering cyborgs linked to you in the future. These lasers are power expensive, and slower firing than normal lasers weapons, but the only ranged weapon your borgs will get, barring mining borgs, and hit a bit harder than a normal laser. Beware purchasing it, as like a borg factory or doomsday, crew will know you are malfunctioning if they see engineering borgs with these weapons.
Since most combinations of malfunction modules will leave you with a small remainder of CPU time (10 or 5) you can deficit-spend for the last module. Save a 50 CPU module for your last pick.