Sword Art Online Alicization Episode 6
Alicization doesn’t pull any stops for its explanation of the Soul Translator Machine and their end goal of developing a bottom up artificial intelligence. In a flurry of answers and light reflecting off his glasses, Mr. Kikuoka reveals the project’s workings.
Firstly, Kirito is indeed there, linked into a full spec STL machine. Unfortunately, his brain activity is pretty much a lost cause. However, RATH is a state of the art facility in the middle of the ocean, equipped with the only machine that could rebuild his brain activity from nothing. I’m sure the science behind this is probably bonkers, but Kikuoka claims that stimulating Kirito’s fluctlight through the STL will spark a generation of a new neural network. Now this is a really elaborate way to make Kirito be the hero of another fantasy world, but I’m actually very interested. Initially, I was only excited for the episodes featuring Kirito and Eugeo’s exploits, but getting an actually decent explanation for the real life stakes has sparked my interest in reality.
The second big point Mr. Kikuoka brings up is his goal to develop a bottom up artificial intelligence. He goes on for a while, describing the difference between a top to bottom and bottom to up intelligence. The Lightcube is also brought into notice, being the only thing capable of storing as much data as the human brain. Now this is a Chekov’s Gun if I’ve ever seen one, and I’m curious as to how it’ll apply in the future. That’s probably a long time from now though.
The big bombshell however, is the problem that Mr. Kikuoka called Rinko for. I knew things were going to be a bit grey from the very moment artificial intelligence was brought up, but the display that Kikuoka shows was something else. A perfect copy of Hida’s fluctlight, trapped in the computer, refusing to accept that it’s a copy. In quite the sobering display, the fluctlight implodes on itself, unable to accept its terrible existence.
The solution that Kikuoka presents is to raise the fluctlights of infants from scratch, thus removing the possibility of them imploding under the pressure of being a copy. Things get extremely out of scale as Kikuoka explains that he’s already created a massive civilization simulation using artificial fluctlights. Personally, having control over a simulation like that seems like the absolute dream. The Sims 50. Kikuoka has succeeded in his goal of developing bottom up artificial intelligence, but has a problem with all the fluctlights not committing murder. Lo and behold, he wants to develop artificial intelligence with the ability to kill.
That’s where Kirito comes in, a human with his real life memories blocked, will he be able to change something? He does. Asuna takes this top secret information and immediately logs into Alfheim to tell the rest of Kirito’s harem. I would think Mr. Kikuoka would be a bit wary of information leaks, but I guess not.
The final part of the episode revolves around Rinko, revealing her history with Kayaba. In a relatively short sequence, we’re told of Rinko’s interest in the disheveled Kayaba from the start, and how she loved him. With just a few flashes of their time dating, we’re given a solid understanding of their chemistry. With a bit timid, work focused Kayaba, and the assertive Rinko. Which is why it does hurt to hear how it went down when Kayabe started the Aincrad incident. “What am I going to do with you,” is the signature quote we learn of Kayaba, and I have a slight feeling it’ll be relevant in the future. Rinko apologizes to Asuna for everything that went down in Aincrad, but Asuna says it’s okay, she met Kirito there after all.
This episode is pretty much entirely data spilling and exposition, but I am remarkably fascinated. If I wasn’t so into the show already, this episode might’ve bored me, but luckily I’m a big fan! Very much looking forward to next week.