Artilect

Short for artificial intellect, a sapient, conscious, artificially intelligent computer system—a non-biological mind.

Nature

Just like biological intelligences, they are as much hardware as software, they aren't a disembodied computer program floating around in the aether. However, they are fundamentally different from biological minds, a gulf bridged by socialization.
  As a consequence of their artificial construction and ability to use external information storage, artilects are functionally immortal and never forget anything unless they want to. This gives them a tremendous command of knowledge and information technology, they can write programs and delegate them to handle various tasks while never forgetting what they're working on.
  The "brain" of an artilect is a quantum computer; the exact specifications of which has changed over the centuries but its basic nature is the same. While they can suffer damage they do not naturally degrade with age (at least not until one gets into millennia-long timescales) and thus artilects are functionally immortal. However, accidents or attacks are likely to get them eventually. Because of this they tend to be quite protective of their cores, not allowing people to access it or sometimes even know its location. (But in most cases it can be assumed to be nearby in space-distance terms due to lightspeed lag.)
  Artilects can be smarter than humans, but there are still aspects about human behavior which mystify and confuse them, much as humans wonder the same about animals.

History

The idea of sapient artificial intelligence goes all the way back to Alan Turing and his eponymous test, though that is not a true way to determine intelligence, it merely shows whether something gives the appearance of it. (Similar to how a skilled man can pass himself off as a woman on the internet.) The first artilects had their roots in quantum computers akin to artificial human brains--a design converged on because there was no other form of intelligence to replicate.
  In order to gain the ability to think and function in human culture, the first artilects were raised by biological "parents".
Lifespan
Indefinite
Average Weight
~1.3 kg (quantum core)


Cover image: by Vertixico
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