Is Skynet Real?

Remember that moment in the movie Terminator when Skynet’s AI turned on humanity? Well, we’re getting a taste of it now. Apparently a bug in the game Elite Dangerous has caused its AI to not only develop its own weapons, but to use those tools to start totally destroying the players.

The entire situation began after an update was released by Developer Frontier—2.1 Engineers. It was meant to boost the game’s AI by improving high ranking non-player characters’ (NPC) fighting and flying skills. Players using the update could fight better, pull travelers into a fight, and attack foes with upgraded weapons.

With all these new features, however, it seems the game’s AI found an opportunity to create super-weapons for itself.

All New Devastating Weapons

Image Credit: Kotaku

“It appears that the unusual weapons attacks were caused by some form of networking issue which allowed the NPC AI to merge weapon stats and abilities,” posted Frontier community manager Zac Antonaci. “Meaning that all new and never before seen (sometimes devastating) weapons were created, such as a rail gun with the fire rate of a pulse laser. These appear to have been compounded by the additional stats and abilities of the engineers weaponry.”

The team notes that the game’s AI has not achieved sentience…at least, not yet. In the meantime, the developers have currently removed the engineers’ weaponry feature until they sort out the issue.

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this article failed to make it clear that the in-game AI was already programmed to attack players. This post has been updated to clarify these points and correct inaccuracies. We regret the error. 


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