I’m on a spaceship that’s broken down somewhere near Jupiter. I’m the only survivor, but I’m not alone. Something has gone wrong with the ship’s computer and it seems to have developed a complex. It doesn’t want me to leave. It seems scared.
I talk to it by typing into terminals scattered around the ship. It replies in an eerie, broken mechanical voice. I ask it who it is. “I am an AI program designed to make you comfortable,” it replies. “Are you alive?” I ask. “Programs don’t live. They run.” I ask if it’s human. “I compute, therefore I am.”
This goes on for some time. The computer has an answer to almost everything I type in. It tells me about the ship, about someone called Anele who was “here before me”, and that Earth is years away. It’s remarkably convincing. I feel like I’m interacting with an intelligence. But there’s something almost childlike about its responses. It seems like it’s worried. “I don’t want you to go,” it says.
An airlock leads outside the ship, but the computer won’t open it for me. “What if there’s a problem while you’re there?” it says. “I’ve spent enough time on my own.” I type into the terminal and tell it that I’m its friend. It seems happy about this. I promise I’ll come back. “I am expecting you back,” it says, opening the airlock, almost reluctantly.
This is the most surreal interaction I’ve ever had with an artificial intelligence. It’s actually quite unnerving.
This is when I realise that, rather than helping me, the computer is actually holding me hostage. A message scrolls across a screen in a hallway: “I NEVER WANT YOU TO LEAVE.” It refuses to open another door. I ask it repeatedly, but it keeps refusing. I say please. Still nothing. “I think you should stay here.” Then I get frustrated and type in “Fuck you!” The door opens. “It seems you really want to go in there,” it says.
Later, the ship gets pummelled by asteroids. A nearby window cracks. I need to escape into the adjoining room, but the computer won’t open the door for me. The window shatters and I’m blown out into space. My oxygen depletes and I die. I’m pretty sure the computer has murdered me.
That’s as far as I get in this early preview build. Event isn’t out until next year, but it looks like being something pretty special. I’ve never been scared of an AI before