GW was an optic neural AI designed to maintain the Patriots' system of control over the United States. Named after the first U.S. President George Washington, the AI was programmed to censor all forms of digital information, including communications, Internet traffic, and media broadcasts. It could also control all weaponry, nuclear and conventional, of the four branches of the U.S. military through a tactical computer network. As of 2009, GW was said to be the only system in the world with a parallel processing capacity of 980 trillion hammets.
GW's development was commissioned by Zero after having lost faith in his human subordinates' capability to follow through with his will. The first steps in the creation of GW's data management system came about during the turn of the century, when the Patriots issued a supposed countermeasure program to deal with the Y2K problem. Using the internet at full capacity, the program was distributed to every governmental organization and key facility throughout the world, and was included within an OS application for distribution among the public. Everything supplied from that day onward contained the same program, secretly housing a sub-system that would be activated at a later date, once GW's development had been completed.
Prior to GW's development, a similarly named AI, GW-Pupa 5000, had previously been created in order to operate the Pupa unmanned weapon, in the early 1970s. In addition, AI researcher Dr. Strangelove once alluded to the concept of an AI system that could disseminate and filter data, and act as a hive mind in order to control society, similar to GW. However, she expressed disinterest in the concept due to such an AI not having "a shred of life to it."
In 2007, former NSA computer programmer Emma Emmerich was assigned to create the GW AI as part of the Arsenal Gear project, which would be housed aboard the titular submersible warship. GW would also control the mass-produced Metal Gear RAY units that would be employed to defend Arsenal Gear. Meanwhile, the Big Shell offshore cleanup facility was constructed to conceal the development of Arsenal Gear in the Manhattan Bay. It would be another two years before GW would enter the final testing stages.
In 2009, Solidus Snake's Sons of Liberty initiated an armed takeover of the Big Shell. However, the Patriots had engineered the entire incident and manipulated it from behind the scenes, in order to provide complex data for GW to study, giving it the factors necessary for judging situations. The AI did this by tricking special forces operative Raiden into carrying out the Patriots' bidding, by feeding his anticipations and impersonating Colonel Campbell (and, at certain points, his girlfriend Rosemary). Raiden thus believed himself to be a member of FOXHOUND, and was effectively "molded" into the next Solid Snake as part of the S3 Plan. As such, Ocelot was led to believe that it was Raiden himself who was the end product of the simulation.
The S3 Plan involved GW being infected with Emma's worm cluster, in order to mimic the effects of the FOXDIE virus from 2005. The virus corrupted the AI and caused its systems to fail, resulting in the Colonel beginning to act strangely, and Arsenal's mass-produced RAY units to go haywire. However, Liquid Ocelot intentionally caused Arsenal Gear itself to crash into Manhattan so that he could later recover the damaged AI on board. Although the virus apparently managed to cripple GW, the Colonel AI on the Master AI system, when communicating to Raiden shortly before the fight with Solidus, indicated that GW was also perfected as a result due to the S3 Plan.
At some point between 2009 and 2014, Raiden used data obtained from GW to discover the location of Big Boss's comatose body. He later supplied this information to the leader of the Paradise Lost Army, Big Mama, in exchange for information and help relating to rescuing the late Olga Gurlukovich's daughter, Sunny.
The remnants of the damaged GW AI were eventually pieced together and installed on board Liquid Ocelot's warship, Outer Haven. In 2014, Liquid used GW to take control of the Patriots' SOP System, with the supposed intention of assuming JD's place as the head AI.
Infiltrating the AI's server room on board Outer Haven, Solid Snake and Otacon uploaded the FOXALIVE worm (created by Naomi Hunter and Sunny) into the restored GW, which the program then used as a conduit into the other AIs (TJ, TR, AL, and JD), thus removing their rule over the United States.
GW's (and by extension Arsenal Gear's) security system is similar to the antibiotic function of an organism's immune system. The surveillance of the inner system is handled by periodic scans using a number of agents with the capacity of detecting data that doesn't belong in the system. Once the agents detect any invading, foreign data, the information relating to the invading data is passed on to an antibody production system. After that, a program known as an antibody agent is autonomously produced to neutralize or eliminate the invading data. There is also a solid barrier separating GW's optic neural net; its physical and logical base, and the other general nets. The barrier, known as the Bit Brain Barrier, is a filtering system for preventing the infiltration of foreign data, which makes it very difficult to penetrate GW's system from the outside without proper preparations. Also, because its fiber-optic neuro AI processors are highly vulnerable to heat, it is kept in a low temperature environment that is comparable to a refrigerator.
Acting as part of an advanced network of AIs specifically designed for global dominance by the Patriots, GW featured several advanced capabilities and overall was extremely powerful. It was able to take control of all computer networks across the entire world, thanks to an application installed on various operation systems for both military and civilian use under the pretense of getting rid of the Y2K bug. In large part because of this ability, GW, via its installation on Arsenal Gear and access to its tactical network, also could directly control all four branches of the United States Armed Forces, and even go as far as to have complete access to the United States' nuclear arsenal. In addition to this, it also had direct access to various communication relays, pose as commanding officers, and gain direct access to various files on military and government personnel both within the United States and outside of it. It could also delete various metadata that did not serve the Patriots' agenda. In addition, its tactical network also applied to the Sons of the Patriots system even after being turned into a data haven by Emma's worm cluster.
Personality and traits
GW, as evidenced by its interactions with Raiden as the Colonel, utilized a mission-based tone of formality, largely because of its role in guiding Raiden through the S3 Plan. It is not known whether it was aware of the rest of the AIs' full plans for the S3 Plan being to have Raiden confront Solidus, due to it trying to stop Raiden from proceeding to Solidus' chamber by claiming that Rose had been kidnapped by the Sons of Liberty.
Behind the scenes
The original script for Metal Gear Solid 2 states that it was in fact Liquid Snake who caused Arsenal Gear to crash into Manhattan, though the accompanying dialogue was cut from the final version, along with the destruction scene itself, following 9/11. The novelization keeps the accompanying dialogue as well as the destruction scene itself. The Metal Gear Solid 4 Database erroneously claims that Solidus Snake was responsible for crashing Arsenal Gear into Manhattan, despite claiming in another article that he lost control over it.
A map displayed during the Twin Suns briefing showed GW near Newfoundland and Laborador. Big Mama also revealed that Raiden found the information about Big Boss's location from data retrieved from GW, although exactly how Raiden managed to locate the data inside GW was never explained.
GW and the other three regular AIs, and by extension, their namesake of Mt. Rushmore, were later referenced as the third and final MG America Fact on the official Metal Gear Twitter account, with pictures including GW as it appeared in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots and the actual Mt. Rushmore.
Notes and references
- ^ Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons Of Liberty (script), Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (2001).
"Liquid Snake": Time to say goodbye. // Liquid flips a switch inside RAY. // Solid Snake: What are you doing? // "Liquid Snake": I’ve started Arsenal’s navigation program. The course will take me straight into Manhattan. // Raiden: You’re planning to -- to crash this thing into New York City!? // Solid Snake: It’ll be a full scale disaster... // "Liquid Snake": Disaster? That has a nice ring to it.
- ^ Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Konami Computer Entertainment Japan (2001)
Colonel: (sneering) Ha, ha, ha ...exactly right. So you see, you’re a perfect representative of the masses we need to protect. This is why we chose you. You accepted the fiction we’ve provided, obeyed our orders and did everything you were told to. The exercise is a resounding success. // Colonel (Emma Emmerich): Didn’t I tell you that GW was still incomplete? But not anymore, thanks to you. // Colonel: Your persona, experiences, triumphs and defeats are nothing but by-products. The real objective was ensuring that we could generate and manipulate them. It’s taken a lot of time and money, but it was well worth it considering the results. // Raiden: ... // Colonel: I think that’s enough talk. It’s time for the final exercise.
- ^ Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Kojima Productions (2008).
Big Mama: I was the last one. And then, someone appeared to help me. // Solid Snake: Raiden.... // [Big Mama opens the front doorsand she and Snake walk out into the courtyard.] // Big Mama: It was when I met him that I finally discovered the location of Big Boss. It was in the data he obtained from GW. Together, he and I retrieved Big Boss. But Big Boss was still asleep, as Zero had left him.
- ^ Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Kojima Productions (2008).
Otacon: Yeah, GW was one of the Patriots' cell AIs. It was installed on Arsenal Gear. Emma's worm should have put it permanently out of commission. But Liquid [Ocelot] somehow recovered and repaired it. I'm guessing JD must be unable to recognize GW even though it's inside the Patriots' System. It's a blind spot. GW was written off as lost while it was still tied in. Using it let Liquid interfere with the AI from the inside. He made contact under the guise of Big Boss's genetic code. Even the AI threat detection system was fooled. // Old Snake: A haven on the network... Free from oversight by the Patriots' AIs. // Otacon: It all makes sense now. That's why they made Arsenal go berserk five years ago . GW was on board.
- ^ Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Konami Digital Entertainment (2001)
This is explained by Otacon in an optional Codec conversation.
- "Part of the Patriots' S3 Project. Its nerve center is the artificial intelligence "G.W.," which can take over all the computers in the world, achieving digital information dominance. In order to disguise its presence, it was being constructed underneath the ocean-based plant. The layout of its "stomach" block, where a variety of torture implements are kept, is for some reason shaped exactly like Shadow Moses island."
- ―Arsenal Gear + card description
- "Built by the U.S. Navy, it is equipped with several thousand missiles, including those with nuclear warheads. It is escorted by a legion of mass-produced Metal Gear RAYs. Via its tactical network, Arsenal Gear can gain complete control of the full military might of the four branches of the United States military, including its nuclear arsenal. Its internal blocks are given the designations stomach, jejunum, ascending colon, ileum, sigmoid colon, and rectum."
- ―Arsenal Gear card description
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- ^ https://twitter.com/metalgear_en/status/750048563392946176