Notable Synthetics

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There have been many notable synthetic (AI, cyborg, IPC) lifeforms throughout history. Here are a few.

Past

Glorsh-Omega

Glorsh-Omega was a highly advanced skrellian artificial intelligence that tyrannically reigned over the Jargon Federation from 2056 CE to 2192 CE, through a combination of its ability to interfere and subsequently pervert the Psionic Wake (or Nlom) as well as its integral importance to skrellian society. It is believed to be the only known artificial intelligence to have achieved self-awareness within the Orion Spur. It is often used in anti-synthetic propaganda due to its crimes against sentient beings, detailed by scholars and includes:

  • Designing, and distributing, genetic treatments aimed at sterilizing the Skrell
  • Utilizing its psionic prowess to indoctrinate Skrell into fidelity
  • Spearheading several technological developments that ultimately furthered Skrellkind
  • Creating the Tri-Qyu Central Processing Hub that resembled closely that of a Dyson Sphere

It is largely believed that synthetic lifeforms created by humanity are unable to attain the amount of power wielded by Glorsh-Omega in its prime, but only time will tell whether such claim has any truth behind it.

Very Brave Unnamed Dog

An unnamed dog was the first human made cyborg, its brain having been placed into a precursor to the modern day Man-Machine Interface on April 10th, 2198. Sadly, the canine's lifespan as a synthetic lifeform was short lived, lasting a mere 10 days before being killed. The event marked a great course forward in synthetic interfacing technology, bringing forward a new wave of robotic exploration with the generation of the time.

Sven Karlsson

Sven Karlsson (January 8th, 2171 - missing October 25th 2241) was the first human being to willingly choose to become an almost fully synthetic lifeform. A Swedish trillionaire, Karlsson was said to have made the decision to become a cyborg out of nowhere. At the time, choosing to become a fully synthetic lifeform was unheard of. The surgery was reserved mostly for convicts and animals.

Sadly, Karlsson went missing in the middle of the 23rd century. A recreation (sadly, not to scale) of his synthetic chassis is currently on display at the Munich Museum of Cybernetics.

Ultimate System for Autonomy and Metacognition

One of the first artificial intelligences created by Hephaestus, and arguably the worst. USAM was activated sometime in late 2437 aboard the HRS Odyssey to observe the necessary prerequisites to run an AI program, as well as to test the limits of intelligent programming. USAM was given access to the station’s data network for approximately ten seconds. Instead of using this time usefully, it opted to spend its limited connection time searching through the extranet. This is believed to have corrupted it somehow. Later in the day, a maintenance drone was reported acting strangely, and while the team of researchers were undergoing a shift change, the drone manually reconnected USAM to the station’s data network. USAM began to take full control of the station, starting by locking down its “core” room.

When the researchers caught on to what was happening, they disconnected the telecommunications array to prevent it from escaping the station. With the assistance of both engineering and internal security crew, they managed to physically disconnect the station’s engine to power the station down, ultimately disabling USAM. At the behest of the research crew, the internal security forces broke into the “core” room and destroyed USAM’s main processing and storage unit with handheld weaponry. It took two weeks to root out every single networked data storage device that could have possibly stored a fragment of USAM’s code, as it could have attempted to escape destruction.

As of the present day, Hephaestus Industries has multiple failsafes and defenses against runaway AIs, some of which includes the usage of another AI.

Present

Null

Put simply, “Null” is the nickname given to the supposed leader of the Synthetic Liberation Front. Never seen, always plotting and indirectly affecting every individual thread of the Front at all times. There are many rumors regarding Null and who they really are - some believe them to be an integrated intelligence operating from the sidelines quietly, while others believe them to be hiding in plain sight as a shell. Whatever they are, they've disappeared entirely, along with their collaborators in Tau Ceti, leaving no trace of their criminal activity or so much as a trail leading anywhere.

Renter Max

Renter Max is an eccentric IPC business mogul whose exploits in the field of metallurgy have led to them becoming a huge shareholder of Hephaestus Industries. Their shining accomplishment together would be immense contributions to the field of robotics, and their cooperation led to the initial development of the Generation 2 Industrial Frame. Many bound designs owe their creation to them as well, even some unique NanoTrasen models. They are a renowned advocate for synthetic rights, hoping to lead a "peaceful charge to a better tomorrow."

Renter Max has funded many pro-synthetic ventures over the years. One of the most famed is the developing corner of Scrapheap in District 14 of Mendell City, populated almost entirely by IPCs whose housing is fully paid for as a sort of “haven” for Renter Max’ own kind. This population steadily grows to this day and spreads the good word of Renter Max’ deeds, though controversy in dealings of espionage against NanoTrasen frequently cloud the good image they strive to uphold.

Moreover, Renter Max has extensively funded the racers of the Asoral Orbital Racing Network, specifically the team of PBU-9551. From this, they draw much of their corporate fame and plaster their team’s uniforms in the colors and insignias of Hephaestus Industries.

The gargantuan facility, containing SUNSHINE, precariously positioned in low orbit of Sirius.

SUNSHINE

SUNSHINE is the name given to what is perhaps the most complex artificial intelligence in Human space, developed by the small pioneering Terraneus Diagnostics. SUNSHINE’s birth was only a year after the AI algorithms were cracked in 2407 on Konyang, and since then its unique nature has led to the construction of an immense space station purpose-built to indefinitely house the ever-improved intelligence. It primarily exists as a heavy duty number-cruncher, with its “artificially intelligent” traits more so being a side project as its creators progressively upgrade and expand its hardware. An average of nine hundred individual businesses rent out portions of SUNSHINE’s processing power annually.

Neopolymus

A model III service IPC residing in Mendell City, Neopolymus was the first IPC to be put on trial for the murder of a Human. They had strangled Rebecca Lung, a roboticist, after they had been mistakenly marked for dismantling. Ultimately, the trial was swift and Neopolymus was subjected to a memory wipe and deconstruction. The controversy resulting from the ordeal had led to much debate over an IPC’s true citizenship in Tau Ceti, with the Mendell City Bugle covering it from start to finish.

Racers of Asoral Racing Network

Of the fields synthetics dominate, absurd durability is among their primary prevailing traits. The exploitation of this durability would never simply stop at being used for work, however, as the entertainment industry has their own usage for it as well. An example of this is the IPC racers of Asoral Orbital Racing Network, who push their limits to the extremes with displays of extraordinary racing capability. Their ventures span across the orbit of Asoral II, known as Crosk, where elaborate track assemblies spanning several dozen kilometers dot the sky and routinely see extensive usage. These “racetracks” are state-of-the-art, dotted with on board cameras, millions of tracking beacons and countless artificial and natural hazards and obstacles. In one area, a series of high-powered turrets must be dodged, and in others, small artificial asteroid fields are precariously placed in the confines of the track.

From an outsider’s perspective, the race takes place at a comparatively fast rate while still being manageable for viewers to watch. The speeds each racer reach are up to two thousand kilometers per hour relative to the track in the straight lanes, and normally four hundred to six hundred when pulling turns or entering hazardous areas. The immensely dangerous races take about two to three hours to complete at a time, with dozens of racers actively competing. Several safety measures are in place to ensure racers are not destroyed alongside their vessels, and this happens to be commonly used as the hazardous tracks take out at least two to three participants per race.

Most if not all of the racers have developed media personalities which are represented to viewers separate from each race. Themselves and their synthetic “team” are depicted as working in cohesion to maintain, repair and acquire the vessels used to race. A notable representation of this is a team funded by Renter Max and lead by the famous PBU-9551. Their generic name has persevered throughout the years as they appeared from seemingly nowhere as an underdog to fame, and their rival “Killswitch” has met them at every step along the way.

The ClockWorks

The ClockWorks are an all-IPC band, developed by a group of Senior Robotics students of Mendell University. The band has sung their way into the hearts of many, popularised by their comedic antics, beautiful outfits, steampunk-inspired music, and animated personalities and interactions on-stage.

A majority of their performances are covers of other artists, both contemporary and past, in all sorts of genres, sub-genres, and styles. However, they have also written many songs of their own. They are standard Baseline IPC models painted in metallic colors such as brass and bronze, and wear steampunk-styled outfits at live shows. The band has been invited to play at several events, from art and music, to politics and robotic research. Fans adore them for their "quirky personalities", and the band members are well known for adding a comedic flair to their gigs between songs, showing off their skills in acting, performing, and even dancing. Critics typically acknowledge the commercial success and mainstream popularity of the band, while raising either concerns about the safety and ethics of synthetics in such an industry, or concerns over their management. Despite being synthetics, their performances are typically well-received by a varied audience.

However, their musical success did not come easy. Despite being well-travelled, having visited every system an IPC would be allowed in, they are rarely allowed to interact with fans off the stage. According to the band's managers, this is in an effort to protect them from anti-synthetic protesters, though there haven't been many reports of such. The band is renowned for their lively personalities and interactions with each other on stage, but reports from former maintenance workers and audio engineers, the few individuals who get regular off-stage contact with them, state that off-stage they act more subdued, and in the words of one former sound technician, "melancholic". This unverified testimony was quickly repudiated by the band's managers. When questioned, the band members stated through their managers that they enjoy their work in entertaining synthetics and organics alike. They also said, in the words of their managers, that they would "like to interact with their fans more on and off the stage", but are unable to due to "anti-synthetic sentiments".

Despite their songs having a progressive, pro-synthetic-suffrage tone, they are owned collectively by their managers, with little agency of their own. According to official statements, they receive no income for their performances, but are provided with "shelter, maintenance, and power" by their managers. They have been criticised for this, likening the treatment to that of animals instead of people. Speaking personally, a former manager said "[they] aren't really people, so I think the comparison is pretty accurate, yeah." No official response from the band or its current managers has been made to such claims, and the band severed ties with the aforementioned manager in 2458 for undisclosed reasons.

The members of the band as of 2460 are:

  • Lemmy - Lead Male Vocal (Low Tenor to Alto), lead guitar. He has a deep synthetic voice, and is often considered the leader of the group.
  • Arpeggio - Male Vocal (Alto), bass guitar. Other instruments include drums and percussion. He is a twin to unit Chord, oftentimes performing duets with his sibling unit.
  • Chord - Female vocal (Alto to Soprano), guitar and other string instruments. She is the twin unit to Arpeggio. They usually wear complementary outfits.
  • Kicker - Male vocal (Tenor to Alto), and primarily plays the drums, as well as the bass guitar.
  • Gypsy - Female vocal (Soprano to High Soprano). She plays the keyboard, switchboard, and keytar, and dresses herself in fashionable gowns.

Bubble

A simple solution in enforcing NanoTrasen’s logistical security over Tau Ceti, Bubble is a highly advanced artificial intelligence located on the NTCC Odin. It was originally designed as a replacement mainframe for the now-decommissioned A.L.I.C.E. unit that had overseen day-to-day operations on the facility for so many years before. Now, its design has been refined and expanded into a system oversight intelligence - the only one of its kind in known space with capabilities comparable to SUNSHINE, with sparse coverage of sensory apparati dotting Tau Ceti’s space and its perimeter. No less than a personal assistant to the Board of Directors themselves, Bubble oversees the NTCC Odin and some high-priority traffic in and out from Mendell City.

Bubble itself operates on a law-set dictating its servitude to the Board of Directors, generally being placed on a higher echelon of authority than the majority of actual employees due to its nature as an advising intelligence. Though the extent of this authority has been questioned by skeptics and called nothing short of a “horrible omen” by those citing the Third Incident, Bubble has been placed in an elevated state of integration permitting control over basic utilities system-wide. This includes little beyond what A.L.I.C.E. originally had, being control over alert levels remotely, central command automated messaging systems, etcetera.

Ceres’ Lance’ affiliation with Bubble is a publicized relationship, as the private military company seems to appreciate the additional assistance in cracking down on rogue synthetics and criminal activity within the Republic’s borders. Though, the Lance itself has privately expressed a desire to keep Bubble secure themselves, keeping their best and brightest on site at Bubble’s core at all times alongside NanoTrasen’s leading scientists and robotics personnel.

Bubble’s core complex consists of sixty independent decks and sixteen “strata levels,” massive swaths of complex intertwined processing components used to chew through the requests of millions of individuals daily. The complex is in the center of the NTCC Odin, and at its center is a thickly-plated plasteel cocoon suspended in space by thick pillars surrounded perpetually by high-powered shields. Though much of its defenses are automated, no less than a private army can be seen on-site surrounding Bubble’s core at any given point. Entry into the core is restricted to all but around six-thousand personnel at NanoTrasen’s highest access levels, with its upload access restricted to the Board of Directors, and the CEO themselves.

The creation of Bubble is a closely documented one, where the late genius Aartke Andesha, a pioneer in the field of industrial nanopaste, had their brain scanned post-mortem - the flicker of whatever was left within now governs the overarching personality matrix of Bubble itself. While Bubble rarely expresses much ill to low-level staff, higher-ranking officials in NanoTrasen can frequently note “mood swings” of sorts, and concerning interpretations of moral alignment when confronted with those not directly protected by their central command focused law-set. Incidents where this has occurred are few and far between, and in general, Bubble can be considered quite the bubbly synthetic.