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Civilization V

Post-apocalyptic AI mod will wipe out humans in Civilization V

Don't get lost in computer science.

You don't usually expect universities to be producing game mods, but that's exactly what the University of Cambridge has done with their somewhat dystopian Civilization V mod, implementing a super intelligent AI that helps player managing the complex tactical elements of the turn-based strategy game.

Installing the mod adds new AI technologies to the game's own tech tree that strengthen the efficacy of the different economic systems, however, activating the AI will unleash a very real danger onto the world, because it'll get out of control and take over the world eventually if you don't handle it accordingly (and spend further science points in it). Leaving the activated AI behind will wipe out human life in the process, leading to fatal loss within a few weeks.

The Israeli game developer Shai Shapira published the mod with guidance of University of Cambridge's Centre for the Study of Existential Risk's (CSER) Dr. Shahar Avin on Steam.

"We want to let players experience the complex tensions and difficult decisions that the path to super intelligent AI would generate," explained Dr. Shahar Avin, manager of the project, who said to Rock, Paper, Shotgun that Civilization V was chosen because he wants to address gamers for their complex message. "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."

Has this mod caught your interest?

Civilization V