• Creighton Olsen

The Kibohn - Chapter 2

Chapter 2

After the game, Minjun checked his account. TitanEX1 had already transferred him a 5 million credit bid for the game, and had added on the additional 3 million for the win as well. Well, at least he could pay his rent this month. He looked at his friends list in-game and saw that Jaesun Lee, a teammate of his in ages past who played for TitanEX1, had just lost 3 million credits, presumably a contractual penalty for his loss. Strange, Minjun thought. It didn’t feel like the older games he remembered playing against his old teammate. Jaesun was one of the first players to become a true gaeseon, and his play after the procedures had remained more … human than the gaeseons who benefitted from augmentation that happened several years later; after their conjoin had undergone more improvement cycles. Perhaps Jaesun had been asked to go under the knife again to improve his speed in his old age. Most players went in for tuneups every few years, but most of those were just mechanical: improvements to their joints, cams, and splines to keep their APM high. Jaesun’s play had felt markedly different though, as if he had a stronger connection with his conjoin than ever before. Minjun made a note to try to pry some info out of Jaesun next time he saw him, and then logged out of the game server, exhausted.

If Minjun was lucky, this effort against a particularly formidable opponent had impressed his managers, and they would allow him to stay on for another contract cycle, which was usually just 10 games. The next bounty he accepted would mark his last game on this contract. He hated living in fear of constant release, but it was a living, and one of the best that a kibohn could hope for. “Testing contracts” were all that was available from the bounty board these days. Regular humans like Minjun were offered up as meat to help the conjoins become more creative in their play.

Being allowed to test your game skills against the greatest machines that humanity had ever produced, as he had been told, was an honor in and of itself. “Imagine if you had this type of training partners when you competed at the beginning of it all.” his manager had told him when he agreed to play on the circuit. He’d spent his whole life as a gamer - before and after the onset of the conjoins - so Minjun wasn’t particularly interested in what his data was doing. He still remembered the day he signed his first circuit contract. The surprisingly charismatic lawyer had given him a very thorough explanation of his rights, but at the time, it had all been Greek to him.

“To summarise,” the lawyer had said, “all in-game actions taken by the undersigned while this contract remains in force will be permanently recorded and analysed by all contracted self-improving artificial intelligence programs, commonly known as ‘conjoins’. Unexpected actions taken by the undersigned, that is to say, actions which a particular conjoin predicts at a 10% probability or lower, will become the sole property of the related conjoin’s data team, who will process the information and support the conjoin in recalculating to account for the aforementioned actions. This data will then, of course, factor into the conjoin’s decision-making, weighed on approximately 320 different axes, which the conjoin will use to factor in its play in the upcoming games, as well as in … ahem … assorted third-party applications, which are listed, non-exhaustively, at the bottom of section 17c.14b. This binding, non-assignation contract, erm, commonly known as a kibohn contract, does not include the transfer of or retention of biometric data, nor does it grant any bodily sovereignty of the undersigned to any conjoins, subsidiaries, partners, etc. By signing this document, you agree to these terms as written.”

The lawyer had let out a brief breath, turned his tablet around, and made eye contact with the bespectacled, portly teenager. “Basically kid, you sign here, then you play video games for money. We watch you do it to help our AI predict humans a little better. That’s it.” Young Minjun couldn’t press his thumbprint to the reader fast enough.

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