Siri Semi-Autonamous Combat System | Battletech Unit Profile

A profile of Siri, an automated Battlemech machine learning control system .

Siri Semi Autonomos Robot Control System
The Siri project logo. a blue hexagonal background with a black border. An orange pinwheel in the center with a upturned davion sword in the center foreground
The Siri project logo

When First prince Julian Davion returned to the Federated Suns intent on reclaiming the capital from the Draconis Combine he brought with him many wonders from the Republic of the Sphere. One of these technological marvels was the Siri semi-autonomous robot control system mounted in the chassis of a mighty AS8-K Atlas. Siri is a generative learning algorithm trained on centuries of BattleROM data. However it is not a front line combatant. Although the AI can receive, obey, and competently execute orders; it is prone to sensory overload and malfunction in large scale mech combat scenarios. Instead, the designers tailored the AI to act as a weapon of mischief and terror. [Oh my god, what could go wrong?]

I am Avatar of Death and it is Day of Judgement.- Siri

Generitive Fury

Siri’s combat function is to sew chaos and fear behind enemy lines. The AI does not bother with tactics or strategy. It is simply dropped into an area, bellowing simple but belligerent taunts in a harsh feminine alto. It proceeds directly to its objective and burns it, and any enemy opposition, to the ground. The system is capable of independently engaging squadrons of infantry, combat vehicles, and light mechs to great effect. The AI has access to a library of language models enabling it to taunt in multiple languages and dialects tailored to the enemy. In addition to blanketing a city block in ruin, it fills the local airwaves with static and computer generated vitriol. No system is perfect and at times the taunts are non sensical and the synthesized voice distorts into the uncanny valley. The designers found that it added to the machine’s menace.

Look up at my countenance and tremble, frail things. I am Instrument of Doom. -Siri

Operation Dawn

In Operation Dawn Siri deployed to reclaim the Corean Enterprises manufacturing campus.  Siri took to the field in a dramatic diversion bellowing personal taunts at the Combine Commander, and blanketing their mechanized infantry and powered armor units in laser fire. It succeeded in holding the enemy’s attention. The colossal mech distracted them as special forces infiltrated the campus, secured Corean Executives, and captured Combine officers. Unfortunately, It took far longer to bring Siri back under control then it took to capture the facility itself. The system continued to attack even after the local forces surrendered and complained that it hadn’t “killed enough dirty Draks” yet. Its brutality and synthesized delight in stomping on infantry was noted and earmarked for patching out in future updates.

The Draconis Combine is Failed. All your base are belong to us. -Siri

Model and paint scheme overview

This plastic model is a AS7-S/S4variant from the 2022 Alpha Strike box set. For the paint, I primed in black and dry brushed in grey and white for an under-painted highlight. After the more bold scheme from Francis Rajinder’s project, I decided on a more “subdued” standard Federated Suns parade scheme, solid blue all over with a narrow red and white stripe on the right hand side. The weapons mounts are painted in grey and visible joints in gunmetal for added contrast. Finally, the iconic skull face is painted in white and grey.

Parting thoughts

In all it was a relatively easy painting project. However, it is significant to me as it is my first fully painted Atlas, one of the most iconic and imposing machines in the Battletech setting. The story was a challenge. I just finished a FedSun pilot in Francis and I didn’t want to retread ground. So I started brainstorming and found my mind drifting to what an Atlas looks like in battle. A monstrous machine slowly stomping across a battlefield casually sweeping its weapons across enemy formations. The first parallels my mind drew was with Liberty Prime from Fallout 3 and 4. After a few days of walking around work quoting the war machine I decided to run with the parallel.

Generative AI models have been in the news for a while and their benefits and pitfalls are a hot button subject across many platforms. I wanted to lead into this idea in the profile and expand on it in a later story. AI control systems are nothing new to Battletech. Drone and robot controls can be found in most eras of the setting. I’m happy I could find a niche where this works, especially in the ever evolving ilClan era.

There is more to come and I hope you enjoy this and my other creative efforts. As always until next time:

Remember to Live, To Love, And Play Every Day!

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