Citadel Economics Board: Case Report A-5

Unknown [Mass Effect]

Mass Effect



...on the subject of the 2182 flash crash, nicknamed the Illium Sinkhole. Thousands of stock prices collapsed overnight, destroying the value of approximately 1.2 million personal accounts.

Responsibility was later traced to a rogue virtual intelligence developed for the Illium stock market, whose sentience had been illegally modified. Rella T'Pajis, a senior "white hat" hacker at the Bank of Nos Astra, gave forceful testimony on the rising use of such VI, which make decisions in milliseconds that affect financial markets across Citadel space, often based on news stories that a non-synthetic stockbroker would know to ignore.

"As far as the VI knows, it's just moving numbers around," T'Pajis testified. "It might even find that personally fulfilling in ways organic life can't understand. But for us, a decimal point can be the difference between riches and ruin."