A research team from the University of Cambridge's Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER) has launched a Civilization 5 mod that adds superintelligent AI to the 4X colony-builder. By considering how we live and interact with hyper-intelligent bots, the project aims to demonstrate the knock on effects this may have on humanity.
The Superintelligence mod introduces a number of AI technologies to the tech tree. Success is in turn hinged on your ability to govern humanity's reliance on sentient beings, wherein AI could be either beneficial or devastating.
"Artificial intelligence can initially provide some benefits, and eventually can turn into superintelligence that brings mastery of science to its discoverer," reads the mod's Steam page blurb. "However, if too much artificial intelligence research goes uncontrolled, rogue superintelligence can destroy humanity and bring an instant loss of the game."
The mod's creators suggest the Superintelligence mod only affects Civ 5's late game, therefore it's worth kicking things off in the modern era in order to see the mod's full effects from the off.
"We want to let players experience the complex tensions and difficult decisions that the path to superintelligent AI would generate," says the CSER's Dr. Shahar Avin, so reports RPS. "Games are an excellent way to deliver a complex message to a wide audience. The Civilization games series has an amazing track record of presenting very complex and interlocking systems in a fun and educating way, including major risk issues such as nuclear war and global warming."
The Superintelligent Civilization 5 mod can be downloaded via Steam.