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March 29, 2003

Cortana and the digital epiphany

Travis S writes:

I, like other submitters of information to the site, would like to believe that Cortana is a benevolent, caring, digital version of Dr. Hasley. It would be comforting to know that she is infallible in her attempts to do what is best for humanity. We all loved Leela, and we all hated Durandal. [Note: We do? We did? ;) ]

There seems to be a sudden and drastic point-of-no-return for Bungie's AIs. Let's call it a digital epiphany. It's probably rather like the human experience of a religious revelation, or the sudden understanding of a calculus problem: it hits us. We get it. Well, Cortana got it.

Cortana is just as perplexed as we are through the first stages of the game; she wants to know what the Halo is all about. Maybe she has suspicions that she needs to confirm for her own purposes. If we look at it that way, Cortana seems to be rather manipulative. She uses the MC, so to speak, to get her to the control room. Maybe she means well by it, maybe not. Hard to say. But at any rate, she finds what she's looking for on Halo's network. And it's probably a safe bet to say that she finds a lot more, as well.

Cortana's experience inside the control room was her digital epiphany. Exactly what information she stumbled upon is impossible to say. I mean really... who knows. Use your imagination. But whatever she discovered was probably beyond the means of immediate human comprehension or explanation. And it undoubtedly made her reconsider and re-evaluate the important issues on her agenda. Either she felt it was beyond our understanding, or she simply failed to care anymore. And who can blame her? Who cares about saving humanity when she has perhaps the most capable human of all time at her disposal as a transportation device (and as a trigger-man)?

Epiphany? Rampancy? What's a little manipulation when you've got a 7 year effective life span to extend and the closure of the universe to evade?

Hmmm, won't we be the fools if, when all is said and done, her intentions end up having been the purest of us all.

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