Toak (トァク Twaku?) is an anti-AI terrorist group active throughout the series.
In the original timeline, Toak threaten politican Youichi Aikawa to dissuade him from supporting the AI Naming Law. Aikawa doesn't take their threats seriously and gets badly injured during his visit to NiaLand due to an IED planted in a trash bin by Toak members. Later, a Toak task force assassinates Aikawa and demolishes a data center of an AI company he worked for in the past. The plan backfires on Toak, as Aikawa's death greatly increases support for the AI Naming Law and it gets passed, granting AIs social names in addition to their technical designations.
Fifteen years later Toak members use forged manifests to board the Sunrise space hotel and smuggle Elizabeth, an AI the group has recruited some time prior to the operation, on board. Since Elizabeth is identical in many ways to the hotel's current administrator, an AI called Estella, Toak use her to destabilize the orbit of the hotel, making it fall into the ocean, and frame Estella for the disaster. The operation is a success, sparking protests against AI in leadership roles and AI in general, as well as inspiring violence against AI units. Their success was short lived, though, as five years later human Tatsuya Saeki and AI Grace marry each other, restoring some sympathy towards AIs.
Toak is never heard about again in the original timeline, presumably having disbanded or failed to significantly influence human-AI relations following the Sunrise disaster. While their involvement with the disaster remained secret, Dr. Matsumoto identified the uptick in animosity between humans and AI as a singularity point that laid the foundation for the future conflict.
In the altered timeline, Toak threaten politican Youichi Aikawa to dissuade him from supporting the AI Naming Law, as in the original timeline. However, Diva saves Aikawa from the explosion during his visit to NiaLand and later helps him survive Toak's assassination attempt in the building of an AI company. The building gets demolished after Toak's explosives go off, but Aikawa survives, guided by Diva and Matsumoto. Without his death to magnify support for the AI Naming Law, the bill does not get passed into law. Eventually, another bill is drafted, the AI Human Rights Law, deemed more beneficial than the failed AI Naming Law. The new law is soon adopted and Aikawa, having survived the assassination and sincerely supporting AI rights since then, probably voted to support the law.
Fifteen years later, Toak members use forged manifests to board the Sunrise space hotel and smuggle Elizabeth, an AI the group has recruited some time prior to the operation, on board. Unbeknownst to them, Diva has also boarded the hotel under the guise of a social AI. Toak plan to use Elizabeth, a twin to the hotel's current AI administrator, to access navigation systems of Sunrise and destabilize its orbit, making it fall into the ocean and framing Estella for the disaster. It's also revealed that Toak members posing as hotel's human staff intended to be the only human victims of the disaster. However, Elizabeth sedates Yugo Kakitani, her master and the leader of the Toak boarding party, to fulfill her own interpretation of the plan. She orders the rest of Toak in the hotel to board a spare chuttle and alters the course of Sunrise so that it falls on the shore near an urban center. Diva manages to beat Elizabeth and reprogram her. With no chances of altering the course, Estella waits until all chuttles depart from Sunrise to detach modules of the hotel from each other. With hotel in parts, most of its mass burns in the atmosphere, and the disaster ends with no human casualties. Hostilities from the original timline never happen, and Estella's performance during the emergency cements her as the ideal further AI managers should be modeled after.
The group also attacks the Metal Float in hopes of destroying it and thus eliminating an important production site for new AI's.
- According to an interview of series writers Tappei Nagutsuki and Eiji Umehara, the name TOAK is based on the Tree of All Knowledge from the Garden of Eden story in the Old Testament. Umehara states that he took the first letters of the "Tree of All Knowledge" to create the name TOAK, in reference to being the first to receieve "wisdom" according to the story of the Garden of Eve. Within the series itself, the founders of TOAK come to the same conclusion.
- Umehara states that TOAK is not based on any real-world groups or people.