None of the machine-makers prayed to the would-be gods they trained. Some of them wouldn’t worship anything but themselves and had prophesied for power and riches in the old way. Others knew too well the rope and gears behind what came out of the machine; the cheap plentiful human-hours that kept the appearance of awareness when it was convenient to.
From those who had believed the prophecies with word and money it came no praying either. They had attempted, yes, to ask transhuman wisdom for tips on video scripting strategies and exponential crypto trades. Maybe too many had gotten the same answers for them to have value. Maybe, they thought, the failure was the world’s, the betrayal somebody else’s.
So they asked the question they always asked and when the babbling oracles replied in the negative they kept engineering their prompts until they could accept what they got. This, too, was the old way.
In the end there were no more mass murders than before: those who killed those they said the AIs told them to would have killed earlier guided by videos, speeches, or a private voice. But so much had been spent on the myth of their unquestionable intelligence and on the fear of hidden bugs gilded as inhuman amorality that those who already believed for old reasons the killer’s aim righteous found in the glitchy strangeness of the models’ output confirmation beyond human doubt. Perhaps this was the cause of what happened next, perhaps it only made it happen sooner, perhaps not even that.