Afterlife Intelligences are souls of the dead who have agreed to remain on the mortal plane, soulbound within an object that they then control. AI are best known for their use within military spacecraft, but can be found almost anywhere including construction equipment, computer systems, and smart buildings.
Civilization and Culture
Common Etiquette Rules
It is generally considered rude to ask an AI how they died. Some have had traumatic prior experiences which have led them to their present state, while others chose their path willingly before death, but in all cases it's nosy and rude to ask unless the AI in question has offered first.
Lance Class DreadnoughtThe concept of Afterlife Intelligence was first pioneered by the Sparnell Confederation, intended as the crowing jewel of their newest ship class, the Lance Class dreadnoughts. While the technology itself worked better than expected, including the ships' self-healing features tapping into the life force of the assigned AI's body, the experiment was declared a failure due to the unexpected behaviors of the AI themselves. The original AI were selected from among the Confederation's prisoner population, with the expectation their new bond with the ship would encourage compliance and a vested interest in the vessel's continued survival. Instead, many of the prisoners were able to override the safeties to engage in firefights with other Confederation vessels rather than their opponents. Others directed their ships to ram other vessels and celestial bodies in an attempt to destroy their new form and slip to the Afterlife. The Lance program never recovered.
AI EvolutionThese setbacks also led to a many decade pause in AI research until a young researcher proposed seeking willing volunteers from among the population: individuals nearing the end of their life, or even already past it, seeking a new opportunity to remain relevant and active on the mortal plane. The results were immediate and explosive, particularly among the Sparnell Armed Forces. Grizzled military veterans were offered the chance to remain in their posts, this time as part of the ship. Entire teams of AI were granted ultimate control of their departments, integrated into the equipment itself to allow for split second reactions without the need to eat or sleep. Expensive reconstruction clones were no longer the only way to retain invaluable knowledge. The AI evolution had begun.
Interspecies Relations and Assumptions
As an AI could have been any species prior to death, their opinions on the living are varied and diverse. To an AI the other sophonts are mortals, whereas the AI themselves are no longer limited by the needs of the living. Similarly, thoughts on AI among the other sophonts are split more by faction than by species.