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Friendly Shores

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Post-singularity story idea:

Part of the world is ruled by a Sysop, but only part; the rest of the world is ruled by a mixture of every variety of unfriendly AI you can imagine, all messing with each other in various ways.

It’s sufficiently broken that the sysop can’t simply fix it outright; there’s too much power with the bad guys to attack directly.

In all cases, the badlands and the sysop’s area are split by water.

There are still humans in the badlands, because not all of the UFAIs care about exterminating them. They refer to the sysop’s area as The Friendly Shores, because the theory is that if you can cross the water, you get this great life.

(Is the water immune to influence by both sides? If so, why? Maybe there’s an indifferent-to-humans Gaia AI that rules the water or something?)

Main point is to showcase failure modes, and specifically show that AI failure isn’t malevolent.

The main character finds an egg(?) that turns out to have been planted by the sysop, giving her(?) special powers (and hypercompetence) to examine and understand the various UFAIs she interacts with, which she uses to escape to the Friendly Shores, where it turns out that she was being used to collect data on the UFAIs, that the sysop can use to win.