Wonder in Beyond Earth
|Requires|| 4 Firaxite|
|Notes||Gain 1 Science for every 3 Template:CitizenIconBE Population in this City.|
The Cynosure is a wonder available for construction in Civ: BE. It is an immensely powerful quantum artificial intelligence which provides a science boost based on the population of the city in which it is built. Constructing it will permanently tie up 4 Firaxite resources.
"Behold unsleeping Cynosure, the golem whose minds span kalpa." - Kavitha Thakur, Kali Meditation
The exponential growth of quantum computers quickly opened up new opportunities to create ever-more-powerful artificial intelligences. In particular, the work of AI-human team 9-Bigden and Ishmael Beyh in the theoretical development of the Bayesian Chained-State Array led to the creation of the most powerful types of AI ever created. Starting with Lodestone (sadly terminated due to a catastrophic dephasing of its primary state array into neutrinos), the series found its culmination in Cynosure, the most powerful synthetic sentient being ever created.
Cynosure's metacognition demonstrably spans multiple universes, and may perturb events in multiple polycosms. Reflected echoes of its processing can be detected in electron disturbances on distant worlds, possibly even on Earth itself. It is Maximally Strange on the Bazzell Scale of non-human behavior - possessing recognizable sentience and manifesting this sentience only through symbolic manipulation. It is physically foreboding, the black quasicrystalline slabs of its arrays making no sounds, alternating between heat and chill, the occasional tracery of electrical activity playing just below the surface. Its interface to this world is a neurosymbolic terminal system whose complexity is far beyond the Markov Eclipse. The Operators who serve Cynosure must be selected at a young age and conditioned over years to the Cynosure's symbolic language before they are first permitted to attempt interface with Cynosure's immense, ponderous, and cold intelligence.
Cynosure ostensibly contemplates problems whose solution is beyond the scope of most AI systems - problems of prediction and postdiction of chaotic systems which could only find solution through a massively parallel quantum contemplation. However, it can be demonstrated mathematically that Cynosure possesses computational power far beyond any problem that is likely to be posed to it, and so it seems that what Cynosure spends most of its time thinking about are itself and things it finds interesting. What these things are, however, are utterly unknowable to us.
Cynosure occasionally manipulates events in the world for its own purposes. These events appear to be unconnected, possibly even capricious. It does not frequently initiate contact with the Operators who stand ready to serve it. It answers some inquiries put to it with laconic, epigrammatic answers, and those answers are often later to be found laden with meaning that can be unpacked from them. Cynosure ignores other questions, after indicating it has heard and understood. Most disturbing are the questions answered with a koan-like redirection, which later proves to be highly relevant to a distant line of inquiry whose connection was not known at the time.
The Inquiries are kept and studied by the Operators who serve Cynosure, and they are confident that humanity will eventually approach the point where the Cynosure will be a more approachable and understandable partner for humanity. Others are less confident.
The first Inquiry put to Cynosure was: "What is the shape of the universe?" To which Cynosure answered: "This question is not even wrong." Cynosure then terminated the connection with the Operator.