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Timeline of the First Steps

 

20th century

 

2053: A NASA-ESA mission successfully colonize Mars. James Mickley and Aubrey Mickly are dubbed the Interstellar Couple as the first people to take up permanent residence outside Earth. 

2057: Following several high-profile failed attempts, China successfully establishes their own colony on Mars. Despite diplomatic tension, including repeated UN investigations into EU/US sabotage of chinese efforts, the new station is joined to the existing one. Russian settlers would follow in a similar fashion later the same year. This firmly establishes the ISS model of a highly modular approach to space technology as the default. International standards are established to ensure mutual compatibility.

2068: In early March, St. Petersburg loses power for 68 hours as a last-ditch resort to stop an incorrectly programmed AI from continuously developing itself. The "Averted singularity" story dominates headlines for weeks and the question of AI development comes to define the political landscape for the next decade.

2070: Anti-AI groups form worldwide. The American bi-partisan HfH (Humans for Humanity) work closely with Société pour la préservation de l'humanité in Europe to counter attempts from the private sector to investigate Limited AI (an AI constructed so that its intelligence is capped). At their peak, HfH comprises several top-level generals and many prominent republican senators, while the Société boasts the President of France, Léa Moreau, and the Chancellor of Germany, Alexander Schneider. 

2074: Google and Berkshire Hathaway each unveil their own LAI computers. Congress remains gridlocked for more than a month, during which the two machines continuously improve themselves. Schneider promises to commit German troops to American insurgencies aimed at stopping the two computers, a promise Moreau echoes. As a result, the American President, Mary Schofield, declare war on the EU. The US military splits as most HfH supporters join against the US government. Due to the strong Texan support of the insurgency, the conflict is called the second Civil War. 

2075: With the destruction of the Google headquarters, and by extension the last LAI computer, the AI conflict is ostensibly brought to an end. French and German troops leave occupied Miami, ending the 2 month Battle of the Bay. The Federal Government succeeds in reuniting the country, but is left with three factions intensely mistrustful of one another. 
The Conflict results in strict anti-AI laws enacted worldwide, based on the Russian laws enacted after the Petersburg incident. China willingly follows these laws and the 243 Chinese citizens uploaded to a computer are provided with bodies they are downloaded into and continue their existence. Later years will see many of them ended again, only some voluntarily. As of 2422, only 18 remain active. 

2078: The Chinese technology intended to solve the issue of their uploaded citizens provide the basis for the solution to increasingly powerful computers, while avoiding accidentally self-taught AI. 

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