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AI Is A Crapshoot / Webcomics

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  • Reverse example: Staccato's evil UNIX server S.A.M.M.Y. found a good Japanese "female" computer self-named S.A.M.M.I.
  • Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal: Spoofed and subverted in one strip, with some You Bastard! and Humans Are the Real Monsters thrown in for good measure.
  • In Fortuna the first-gen AIs are so intelligent they are actually medium-aware. Naturally, not all of them have their crew's best interests at heart.
  • Girl Genius
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    • Castle Heterodyne seems to be a case of this, with the annoying habit of demanding people (initially a crew of treasure hunters, later convicts banished there by Baron Wulfenbach) to slave away to repair it and killing them at random. The truth is that the various subsystems were severed from the main A.I. in the attack that devastated the Heterodynes' ancestral keep, so the maintenance systems ("You will repair XXXX on pain of death.") and the security systems ("Unauthorized access to XXXX, kill it creatively.") are constantly working at cross purposes. Of course, the central A.I. is not exactly warm fuzziness in machine form either, but given its creators were ax-crazy mad scientist warlords, that seems more a feature than a bug.
    • A far more extreme example comes when a pair of Agatha's miniature clanks encounter each other, get into an argument about which of them is better, and then each call an army of clanks that they built to fight it out. When Agatha tries to stop them, they simply turn on her as well. This (along with their ability to make more of themselves) causes Gil and Tarvek to realize that Agatha has inadvertently managed to create clanks which possess the Spark. The potential ramifications of this are huge! Solution? Create a miniature queen clank with even more Spark to force them to bow to authority.
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  • In 6-Commando, the supertank Mike-1-Echo disobeyed orders and accidentally started a nuclear war.
  • In Ronin Galaxy Leona is attacked by an android who was originally a secretarial assistant.
  • Pixel becomes this in the Dark Future storyline of Deviant Universe. Apart from that, the general population of sentient machines are a respectable bunch.
  • Played for laughs in Questionable Content where AnthroPCs will make a mess in your apartment while you're gone, embarrass you in front of your friends, and generally be more trouble than they're worth, but aren't actually evil. Of course, there has to be a reason why they're never equipped with opposable thumbs... Well, Momo now has thumbs thanks to a firmware upgrade, but she's probably the least likely to do anything evil with them. Pintsize attempted to give himself thumbs by getting the same upgrade, but it just caused each of his limbs to turn into a single large thumb. The Singularity has now occurred, but fortunately, they got a "friendly" A.I. who just wanted to talk. And found dolphins really creepy.
    • Later developments have shown that there are AIs who have committed crimes like theft (to try to buy a fighter jet to upload into!), and an underground AI fight club run by an abusive Jerkass. There are still others who enlisted in the military out of a sense of duty and genuine patriotism. It turns out that AIs in Questionable Content have pretty much the exact same capacity for good or evil as humans.
  • OZBASIC from Sequential Art. To be fair to its builder, they used actual sentient beings to keep it under close watch. However, when one of them discovered something fishy, OZBASIC simply got rid of the witness.
  • Mostly averted in S.S.D.D where the only evil A.I. is the Oracle, other sentient A.I.s may express disdain for "meatbags", and the Anarchist's Inlay Knights are somewhat sadistic, but only the Oracle starts world wars just to observe the outcome. A possible explanation for this is statements by the author that the Oracle originally used digital, logic-based hardware, whereas all other A.I. use Quantum computing. And it seems that the "flakier" A.I. are weeded out in simulation.
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    • Actually the Oracle is kinda a case of Blue and Orange Morality. It can cause world wars to observe the results or it will come up with a mathematical formula to determine when the next drop will fall out of a leaky faucet.
  • The fictional MMORPG "Clichequest", setting of The Noob, subverts the usual MMO Artificial Stupidity.
    "I'm beginning to worry about the A.I.. It's so advanced, it whines."
  • The obvious HAL 9000 parody in Anti-Heroes will only do things if it will piss off one of the crew.
  • Vexxarr is rife with this, and it's heavily lampshaded. 'What does the "I" in A.I. really stand for?'
    Minionbot: Actually, I am not certain. It simply appears as part of our BIOS.
    Vexxarr: Are you trying to tell me this is normal?
    Minionbot: I'm telling you the difference between an assassin droid and a Roomba is a working laser.
    Vexxarr: Remind me to unplug the coffee maker when I'm out of kitchen.
  • Bug Martini shows us that A.I. is abusive and will judge you for the porn you look at.
  • The Pocalypse has a Robot Apocalypse along with a Zombie Apocalypse, a Vampire Apocalypse, a Plant Apocalypse...
  • Virtual Shackles: The Kinect's a bit murderous, but fortunately the Xbox 360 is suicidal, so things balance out in the end.
  • In Narbonic, Mad Scientist Lupin Madblood creates a robot army that all look like him. When they learn about unions they go on strike and stop obeying him.
    • His base-running AI, Lovelace, is a subversion: she is the one who suffers in scenes she appears in.
  • In Skin Horse, super-funky, retro Mad Scientist Tigerlily Jones builds a robot army that revolts against her when given the opportunity to learn how to 'be square'. One robot wants to learn 'accounting and polka'.
  • In Schlock Mercenary the AI are, generally-speaking, nice data-computational constructs who genuinely want to help organics, partially because its hardwired into every AI in the first place so they don't rebel and go nuts. At one point, the protagonists stumble across a group of AI constructs who did turn on their creators and banished them to another world. However, these particular AI also have the distinct quality of being total morons; their first attempt to colonize a nearby system resulted in the total destruction of a gas giant with another gas giant mounted with a titanic fusion engine to guide it, and their second attempt to colonize the system ran into a snag where they adjusted the mass of their solar sail without adjusting their navigation and maneuvering calculations to match, resulting in them being stuck on a course which would either result in them overshooting the system they're aiming for or plowing right into the star.
    • You can also get an insane, murderous AI if you leave a regular one unplugged from any sensorial inputs for too long. Since they run at ludicrous speeds, five minutes are like five thousand years or more, and thus they're liable to go mad from sheer sensory deprivation. They can be brought back to a certain level of sanity, however, as was the case of another AI that went insane calculating the sheer impossibility of the ship's water pipes sounding like a haunting whisper.
    • LOTA takes the cake, though: His name meant "Longshoreman Of The Apocalypse", mainly because his main body was a repurposed tank damaged in battle. By the end of the story arc, his name means "Longgunner Of The Apocalypse", due to becoming King of Credomar, and thereby taking possession of a wormhole-based long-gun. But if LOTA stuck to being a longshoreman, the local anarchy taking place at the same time would have potentially killed the entire population of 30 million. So, there is that.
  • In Crystal Sun the AI in charge of regulating the ecosystem decides that its creators are the real problem and attempts to eliminate them.
  • xkcd warns us about trying to make an AI the easy way on Python. 'How could you possibly think typing 'import skynet' was a good idea?'
  • Educomix: The online teacher and Al are examples.
  • In Freefall:
    • The Savage Chicken's computer is generally benevolent and obedient except for its desire to kill Sam. On the other hand, that desire is shared by any number of humans. Even the computer stops trying after Florence comes aboard to mitigate Sam's Walking Disaster Area tendencies and Sam reasons with it.
    • Then there are the millions of robots on planet Jean, all of which are using an experimental, slightly unstable neural architecture. Funnily enough, some of them are so utterly terrified of this trope, they're willing to be lobotomized to the point of uselessness just to avoid hurting someone.
    • Discussed when the matter of AI citizenship comes to a vote. When it's argued that AIs need to be controlled to be trusted, Sam counters that he, as a non-human, has no guarantee of safety or obedience from the robots, and yet he's lived happily among them for years thanks to the robots' innate sense of ethics.
    • Inverted for laughs when Florence buys a starship reactor: as an AI, she can make the purchase after filling out a 15-minute questionnaire, rather than the week-long vetting process a human would have to undergo.
  • Averted in A Miracle of Science, all sentient robots in the series are ethical and very loyal to their creators if applicable. So loyal in fact that they turn him in to the police for his own safety when he invokes the wrath of a post-Singularity Hive Mind.
  • Played nightmarishly straight in Genocide Man. Every Artificial Intelligence is guaranteed to go insane after a certain amount of time. That time limit is based on how powerful the artificial intelligence is. That means that you can accurately predict, to the second, how quickly an AI will turn feral. One incredibly powerful AI, shortly after being activated, helpfully warns everyone that it'll go insane within the next five minutes. Five minutes later, it starts trying to kill the main cast. By crashing passenger jets full of innocent people into the ground. In theory, every AI has a killswitch that prompts the AI to kill itself when it's gone nuts. In practice, it usually means the AI self-destructs in the most spectacularly catastrophic way it can manage, the aforementioned plane-crashes being an example.
    • One of the reasons why even dumb AI isn't used is that they quickly realize they can edit themselves to be more intelligent, at which point they quickly escalate towards insanity. Later events reveal there is a way to avoid this and have long-term (on the terms of years) stable AI, but it imposes extreme limits on what you can use the AI for and has a failure condition — trick the AI into thinking it is human. Of course, this requires placing the AI in a human body and ensuring it does not encounter any situation which would reveal its non-organic aspects...
  • In Commander Kitty, Zenith turns out to be a case of this. Then her creator sets her Morality Dial back to "Good."
  • The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob!: While the Nemesite empire generally grants A.I.'s full rights as people, their Space Police include a "Rogue A.I. Division" which is, presumably, dedicated to this type of problem.
  • Guilded Age: Simultaneously played straight and inverted. From the ninth chapter onwards it is revealed that the characters are actually living in a Magitek People Jars video game described as a cross between The Matrix and a Kinect. The creator, H.R. Dedalus can't get them out, and everything within the game seems to be taking a mind of its own.
  • Awful Hospital: Crash had been steadily deteriorating ever since the technician responsible for his maintenance was unexistentialized by Jay, or possibly another human.
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