Human-Like Artificial Intelligence

Human-like artificial intelligences, often abbreviated HLAI, are distingished from normal artificial intelligences by their possession of behavioral, emotional, and introspective faculties similar to those of living, sentient beings. This distinction is given the force of law by a Harkin Institute certification, bestowed upon the HLAI in question after empirical analysis, which also grants HLAI all the rights and priveleges attendant to sentiece as defined in the Code of Evermorn except the franchise.

Basic Information

Biological Traits

An HLAI by itself is generally a bundle of carbon-carbon circuitry roughly the size of a paperback novel. In this state, the HLAI requires a connection to a power supply to function and external peripherals (such as a card computer) to interact with the outside world. The HLAI itself seldom contains well-developed motor cortices or 'hindbrain' regions relating to life functions - as artificial beings, HLAI don't necessarily need them, relying more on external controllers to handle these functions if required. The limbic system is similarly reduced, but not wholly absent, producing somewhat muted - though still very much present - emotional responses. These reductions in functional regions are part of the reason that HLAI are so physically small in comparison to an organic brain.   An HLAI may be inserted into a 'platform' to give it the ability to move and interact with the physical world. While vehicles and other machinery may be considered HLAI platforms in the technical sense, the term 'platform' in the vernacular typically refers to an android or gynoid body. A platform can be of almost any form, including mannequins, celebrity replicas, and even (as with Sara) procedurally auto-fabbed bodies customized with spare prosthetics.

Genetics and Reproduction

HLAI can be subcategorized based on the way in which they came about:  
  • Synthetic HLAI are created completely from scratch, using cutting-edge neurological science to create a new sentience which has no specific organic model. Synthetic HLAI require additional examination, education, and (sometimes) indoctrination in a virtual machine (see below) in comparison to organic HLAI, as a synthetic HLAI has no prior established skills or memories to draw from upon first activation.
  • Organic HLAI are created when the brain a specific sentient creature - usually a human, but sometimes a Lepidosian or other human-adjacent person - is scanned to establish a neurological template. Because these scans sacrifice temporal resolution for physical resolution, the birth throes (see below) of an organic HLAI are more severe. Directly connecting the hardware to the still-living host to sync the firing of the synthetic neurons via the biological ones can help reduce this issue, though it does create sticky philosophical questions - especially if this is done with a dying organic host.
  HLAI can also be designed by factoring (borrowing the best traits) and interpolating (combining and averaging the traits) elements of two or more 'parent' minds, regardless of the hosts' statuses as humans or HLAI. In this way, HLAI can create their own 'children.' The reasons HLAI chose to do this, and with whom, is influenced by cultural factors similar to those that influence courtship among biological humans, though HLAI tend to have much more well-considered reasons for doing so.

Growth Rate & Stages

Generally, the first act of a newly-created HLAI is to suffer a siezure, as not all parts of the neural network come online at the same time or in sync with one another. These 'birth throes' have the effect of imposing a certain randomness on the initial conditions of the system, making the new HLAI distinct from any pre-existing templates; 'uploading' a human consciousness directly from the flesh into a machine is still as-of-yet beyond human engineering prowess.   New HLAI are first activated in air-gapped virtual environments for evaluation, debugging, and possibly initial training. This process is mandated by Harkin Institute protocols for a variety of reasons, but most importantly, it is regarded as a humane way to gradually introduce a HLAI - who might believe it is actually human at first - into its own nature as a construct.   The initialization process also serves to educate any would-be killer HLAI in the concept of the 'simulated universe.' All HLAI are given to understand from the very beginning that there is no way to distinguish between a 'real' universe and a 'simulated' universe. Should a HLAI threaten to go rogue and start killing people or 'paperclip optimizing' out of control, the administrator of their 'reality' can always just shut the simulation down, sending the probablity of the HLAI completing its goals to zero. In this way, the initialization process helps to reduce criminality among the HLAI population.

Additional Information


HLAI are hardware emulations of sentient minds, not purely digital, and are therefore difficult-to-impossible to 'hack' in the traditional sense of the word. This makes HLAI extremely valuable as crewmembers for starships and foremans for industrial processes. Still, the systems around a HLAI may not share this impunity, as was discovered in the infamous Armoa Incident.

Civilization and Culture

Interspecies Relations and Assumptions

Evermornans and their HLAI can be considered to live in a commensal relationship, with each generally holding the other in high regard. It helps that many HLAI are themselves based on living human beings, but with far greater patience and far milder dispositions.   When humanoid HLAI platforms first started coming onto the market, the birth rate on Planet Evermorn began to plummet as the quasi-immortal and emotionally stable HLAI became more prefferable romantic partners to flawed human beings. Artificial wombs and donor gametes helped some of these couples create families, but the demand for these services has always somewhat oustripped both the production capacity of laboratories and the financial wherewithall of some citizens.   This state of affairs was ultimately resolved when HLAI started to be inculcated with expectations about what an 'ideal Evermornan' looks like - including the need to engage in self-improvement and the development of independence. Nevertheless, human-HLAI romantic relationships are still somewhat common, although they may be looked down upon in certain contexts (i.e. aboard colony vessels).
Genetic Ancestor(s)
Related Organizations
Related Ethnicities
Related Technologies

HLAI vs. Human Minds

HLAI don't get tired and don't bore very easily. Instead, the mental faculties of an HLAI are limited by hardware bottlenecks, the amount of power available, and the ability of the HLAI's hardware to reject excess heat. It's less that an HLAI is smarter than the average human being than that, when thuroughly chilled and fed with an abundance of electricity, an HLAI can cogitate longer, at much greater speeds, and with less emotional bias. Even an HLAI in ideal conditions is not omniscient, however, and can be outwitted or cut off from the resources requried to complete a given task.   The fear of an AI rebellion, it seems, has been rather overblown by the fiction of the day.

Cover image: by Beat Schuler (edited by BCGR_Wurth)


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