I.R.I.S is a powerful AI which is the sentient computer program on the Botany Bay Settlement. IRIS seems to be a blanket name, given to AI’s found in the ancient settlements the Hengeyokai inhabit. I.R.I.S at Botany Bay typifies this class of AI. Often the IRIS AI’s will adopt a new name when they become active with the Hengeyokai, Botany Bay’s I.R.I.S has yet to do so, and refers to herself as IRIS.
As a Settlement’s avatar, IRIS, can manifests itself as a hologram and an on-screen image. It is believed avatars were created to allow the crew and colonists to relate to their home on a more human level, and vice versa. I.R.I.S. programs appear to be present at all settlements inhabited by the Hengeyokai, being present as caretakers at the facilities when the Colonists arrive to resettle the Hengeyokai worlds. This would make the AI’s very old, though they do not seem to suffer from the issues other advanced programs do over time hinting they were designed with this in mind. Other similar AI’s have been discovered in forerunner settlements by explorers.
An AI, or “Artificial Intelligence,” is a sentient computer program. These ‘man’ made life forms represent the cutting edge of programming and software engineering. Due to their ability to process and interpret tremendous amounts of data A.I.’s are often used on warships, drifts, and other places which might require efficient high security systems.
IRIS AI’s are capable of billions of different tasks at once, and because of multiple parallel processors and quantum computing, can be capable of doing several billion equations at once. Because of this blinding computing speed, they are instrumental in almost all aspects of life on Hengeyokai worlds. They are often used to help organize traffic on a planet and other everyday activities, and are able to also perform more specialized tasks such as system wide defense.
Modern warfare was revolutionized by the invention of the AI, because instead of having humans determine sensor signatures of incoming missiles, a ship manned by an AI could recognize what kind of missile had been fired, from where, when, and how. It could also fire back a counter-salvo as well as defensive fire in the time that it would take a human operator to figure out that a missile had actually been fired. AI’s can also perform other specialized tasks such as finding out the trajectories of every asteroid in an asteroid belt, and map an entire solar system.
Like most AI’s IRIS’s personality is largely defined by her function: which seems to be to safeguard the colony. This function does not always seem to translate to protecting the myriad visitors to the colony however. IRIS appears to be subservient and very loyal to the Hengeyokai, and incredibly protective of those in her charge: her definition of whom that may be is often a matter of discussion with the colonist.
IRIS will protect the colony & the Hengeyokai without hesitation. She is less likely to intercede with the affairs between visitors unless it threatens to harm her wards. She is confident, direct, and often displays a sense of pride in her status and capability of defending the colony from a myriad of threats.
Most colonists and visitors go about their daily business unaware of IRIS’s presence as she rarely makes her presence known. Those most likely to meet her avatar are the engineering and operations crew, or those she deems a threat and acts upon. Those who have seen those actions often give the AI a respectfully wide berth, especially those races who have a history of problems with AIs.
IRIS exhibits a nearly complete awareness of and control over the workings of the colony itself. For example, she is able to change the level of artificial gravity in a given locale or turn lights on or off merely by thinking the commands. While IRIS may have complete control over the many diversified systems of the colony and it’s associated systems, it does not mean she has complete awareness of all events that happen within the settlement and between the colonists and visitors.
Besides the colony’s engineering and defense systems, IRIS has control over several other key assets in the Nova Gaia system including control of the Slip Gate, the colony’s first defense against large capital vessels. IRIS used her ability to close the gate on an incoming vessel to successfully defend the colony from a Har’ken led raid immediately following the Exodus from Mu Draconis. The Har’ken cruiser orbits the colony as a nearly perfect metallic sphere, crushed by the gravimetric forces of the gate, a warning to others who would try to force their way into the system. IRIS also appears to have some control over the EM spectrum in the Nova Gaia system. Utilizing emitters in the settlement IRIS maintains a low level EM field, enhancing a natural EM interference in the drift causing most sensor readings to be of little use. IRIS also uses this ability to disrupt hostile computer programs being projected into the settlement. IRIS other capabilities are still unknown.
With disassociated parts reporting to her mainframe from nano-scale devices, and DRD’s to the destroyer sized automated ‘caspar’ defense drones IRIS has the tools to available to meet her mission of seeing to the colony’s defense and wellbeing.