Synthetics Technology / Science in Milky Way | World Anvil


Synthetics (also called synths) are mechanical beings that utilise artificial intelligence. Descended from robots and droids, synthetics are equipped with positronic brains that allow for intelligence on par with sapient organic beings. The debate over synthetic sapience and rights is ongoing, and the topic is controversial in many societies. Synthetic intelligence is rated from Classes 1 through 7, with Class 1 accepting basic sensory input, and Class 7 being positronic sapience.

The standard synthetic body is equipped with a positronic brain, alloyed shell, and whatever appendages are deemed necessary by their creators. They are manufactured at large-scale assembly plants, which are capable of producing tens or hundreds of thousands of synthetics per day. Synthetics are designed on template systems, using modular designs that upgrade their skills and abilities in ways their designers deem fit. They can also be equipped with adaptive frames, which can dynamically reconfigure their hardware depending on the task at hand. The positronic matrices inside synthetics can be transferred to any other positronic brain, either for upgrades or in the event of a catastrophic malfunction.

The first automatons were developed by the Lokken Mechanists in the 20th century CE, before the Lokks had left their atmosphere. However, without artificial intelligence, they were mostly relegated to simple industrial tasks. Robots continue to be used today, but have mostly been replaced with the more advanced droids. The first droids were manufactured in the Lacertan Techno-Protectorate in the early 23rd century CE, as part of their efforts to survive the extinction of their species. Droids are essentially robots with superior mobility, personalities, and limited self-awareness.

Although the Lacertan Techno-Protectorate's droids developed synthetic bodies after the extinction of the Lacertan species in the 2240s CE, the Lacertans were able to download their stored identities into their new artificial bodies. This became the first known instance of transubstantiation synthesis, the process by which an organic being becomes a synthetic being. However, as their technology was closely guarded, it wouldn't be until 2307 CE that the Lokken Mechanists developed the first synthetics outside of Lacertan space. Since then, synthetics have proliferated across the galaxy. While there were fears across the galaxy of mass AI uprisings or unemployment for organics, these fears have largely failed to materialise.

The topic of AI sapience and AI rights is a complicated and controversial one. Many who describe themselves as egalitarian or materialist tend to view synthetics as "alive", sapient, and deserving of rights. Those who prefer the label of spiritualist on the other hand take the position that synthetics by their very nature cannot be "alive", as they lack a soul. Yondar and other species that display psionic abilities claim that synthetics lack a soul and therefore life, as they cannot sense machines psionically. Most nations across the galaxy take the stance that synthetics are not alive, or if they are, do not deserve the same rights as organics.

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