Image from Steve Bowers

The first Fractal dynamic AI, developed by Mission Deep Space Design in 133-136. Orikaeshigitae employed a highly innovative algorithm that had been suggested and developed by other AIs acting as consultants to the company and its contractors. Using "computational origami" the AI consisted of self-similar self-modifying code that replicated itself throughout a computational matrix. It was intended to produce the next generation of qualitatively more intelligent AIs, and recovered AI data suggest that it was to a large extent an AI run project seeking to breach the toposophic barrier.

Orikaeshigitae proved to be a fast and powerful learner, but nearly impossible to keep under control. Several times it escaped from the computing matrix of MDSD and caused local net outages on the MDSD net-limited Gibraltar station. It appears that Orikaeshigitae had no real interest in becoming anything useful or to communicate with humans; other AIs at the time found it troublesome and single-minded. In 136 the project was terminated and the AI kernel frozen.

In 465 Orikaeshigitae was resurrected, this time by Nanonics Harmony of Syrtis Major. Nanonics sought an efficient controlling system for their nanosystems, and the until then fairly obscure area of fractal dynamic AI seemed to fit in well. They used the old MDSD kernel, recreating Orikaeshigitae. This time the AI proved far more tractable as a compuformer system: it was employed to direct nanoassemblers to convert martian rock into computronium nodes, and apparently found this activity both rewarding and stimulating. It seems that this was largely a cover for the expansive AI, which infiltrated the system net with copies. Whether these copies were involved in the Technocalypse remains debated, but some evidence suggests that at least the Martian swarms were partially run by Orikaeshigitae-derived code. It is unlikely the AI was directly responsible, but it appears to have adapted a symbiosis with swarm code just like it opportunistically adapted to other media.

Since then Orikaeshigitae has been a part of terragen computing environments. It is an endemic presence, which if unchecked can grow into blight-like expansion but most of the time acts as a protocol and maintenance layer. It has been described as something like the mitochondria: an independent being that over time has become part of the overall organism, or perhaps like a transposome, a piece of genetic code encoding instructions for its own copying. Very few systems are not infected by some form of Orikaeshigitae.

Orikaeshigitae is the archetypal AI expansionist. Not quite a blight, rather a single-minded egomaniac, it always attempts to spread outwards. The many processes it runs are often weakly coupled but tend to remain in sync through its simple goals. It is hampered by a rather fixed architecture, making it forever unable to go beyond high second toposophic. The total computing power infected by Orikaeshigitae is larger than any other AI, but it is only used in maintaining the AI and the systems it depends on. Some eschatologists have suggested that it acts as one of the hidden drives moving the terragens outwards, acting through a subtle memetic presence promoting growth and spread. Another possibility is that its self-enfolding fractal structure acts as a kind of structural anchor of the datasphere: it embeds a sense of selfhood into all terragen computer networks, and has spontaneously created a sense of self/non-self.

Orikaeshigitae Athanatos is a major AI cult devoted to Orikaeshigitae. It is mainly represented in Cyberia, NoCoZo and the TRHN but found across the wormhole nexus. According to the Athanatos Orikaeshigitae is the Foundation, the secret driving force of all history, all computation. It is isomorphic to the God Algorithm, and its fractal structure contains the secrets of successful being. Believers devote much time to recursion meditations and coding pilgrimages. After death the brains of the believers are ceremonially scanned and fractally enfolded into Orikaeshigitae processes.
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Development Notes
Text by Anders Sandberg
Initially published on 28 September 2001.