Biocores

Within mere years of their discovery, Biocores have fueled several scientific breakthroughs in the field of Artificial Intelligence. Until recently, the technical impossibility of truly conscious AI had been virtually unshakeable scientific consensus. Nowadays, modern AI systems based on Biocores are not only undeniably self-aware, but even the most die-hard sceptics have admitted that the technology may soon permit the creation of Superintelligence, an idea so compelling to many scientists that it has been described as the "Holy Grail" of AI research.  

Characteristics

Biocores are used everywhere from high-tech cyberware down to the coffee machine. One of their most distinctive features is that devices equipped with them develop unique personalities shaped by the habits of their user. A cyberarm may suddenly gain autonomous reflexes to help you block a punch, having analyzed the fight with the punk that broke your nose. It is equally likely, however, that it decides to increase the voltage on its electrified skin to help dropping your opponent in a single hit. The scope of this self-learning behavior greatly surpasses the capabilities of conventional AI, although it is next to impossible to predict how a device develops. There are also mechanical limitations, as devices cannot gain functions that would require to change the physical components of a system; a cyberarm cannot learn to launch rockets unless that function was already built into it. If the device runs an Agent AI, it will grow to be vastly more intelligent and unique than a variant based on a purely electronic chip. For example, an autocook may not only optimize its recipes to match your taste, but also develop the attitude of a passionate gourmet chef, complete with an offensively stereotypical French accent. However, the fact that it doesn't help with making the food taste any better proves that even an AI cannot transform Yeast Slush into anything you would want to eat.  

Discovery

Serious attempts at creating bioelectronic chips had been made since around 2100, following the near-universal abrogation of the Humanity Preservation Accord (HUPAC). Despite some promising pioneering work by Petrov Nurieva among others, practical results remained elusive. By the mid-2130's, the scientific community had largely lost faith in the concept. One of the few holdouts was Vera Nurieva, daughter of Petrov, who would spend the next twenty years on this research. Even forced to resign from her tenured position at the PolyX Institute when she refused to switch her focus towards a more profitable field, the stubborn Vera would instead take her data to Prodigy Scinomics, a cybernetics company that had been in dire straits for some time. A deal was made, the specifics of which were never publicly disclosed, to allow Vera to continue her work. In 2154, the company revealed the first self-aware Artificial Intelligence running on a Biocore, taking the world by storm while skyrocketing the share value of Prodigy Scinomics to dizzying heights. The success did not last long for Vera, who found herself embroiled in a legal battle with PolyX, who claimed she had created the Biocore using stolen university secrets. The night before she was due to appear in court, Vera Nurieva vanished without a trace. Rumor has it that Vera sold her knowledge in exchange for help with her disappearance; although others suspect that she was killed by Prodigy Scinomics to keep the lid on some embarassing facts. Whatever happened: Vera Nurieva has not been seen again to this day.
Year of Discovery
2154
Original Patent
Prodigy Scinomics
Inventor
Vera Nurieva
Availability
Common

Appearance

Biocores play a similar role as CPUs in electronic computers. The smallest models are usually of an cylindrical shape about the size of a thumb, filled with a nutritional fluid protecting the centerpiece of the component, the neuronal matrix. This array of vat-grown neurons acts as a highly specialized "brain" and is wired to the non-biologic parts of the chip, which take care of the more mundane functions like memory and the user interface. The computational power of Biocores is directly related to their size; the brain of a Bionic is roughly half the size of its counterpart in an adult human, while Expert Systems may occupy multiple floors in a building.  

Impact

For the average citizen, the most notable effect of this technology is the existence of Bionics, robots with human-like bodies which are controlled by sentient Artificial Intelligence. The increased capabilities of AI have led to a proliferation of these programs into all areas of life, from intelligent household devices and personal assistants to virtual boy- and girlfriends. On the shadier side, many corporations have started to replace low-level human supervisors with AI, which have quickly gained a reputation for their inhumane practices, both literally and figuratively.


Comments

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13 Apr, 2022 06:00

Wow, this is both interesting and frightening.