Campaign of the Month: September 2014
|Synthetic Models||Synthetics in Society|
Synthetics are an emerging underclass defined by their entirely technological origins. Though some might possess significant biological components in their bodies, the mind of a synthetic is based on sophisticated artificial intelligence that relies on a computer system. Synthetics are a significant minority in most places where humans live, though the lines between “lower” synthetics and the truly sentient are blurred at best, making it difficult to apply formal definitions to synthetic populations and demographics. The most common method of distinguishing a truly sentient synthetic person from a simple robot is the synthetic consciousness’ reliance on a quantum core. As a social group, most synthetics are primarily concerned with simple survival and the recognition of their rights.
Despite their inherit advantages over humans, the majority of synthetics are lower-class, finding work in menial and labor positions that humans would find distasteful or dangerous. Those with exceptional abilities may find work in highly specialized fields, particularly those that they have been specially designed and constructed for, such as academic pursuits or military service.
Synthetic intelligences were originally created by human scientists exploring the nature of self-awareness and rational thought, eventually reaching true artificial intelligence upon the rise of quantum computing. For much of recent history they were considered second-class citizens in even free societies. Today, they can be found in everything from “android” bodies to industrial server clusters to distributed networks – and although attitudes vary, they are generally perceived as sentient beings with all the incumbent rights and responsibilities.
Some suggested aspects for characters from a Synthetic background:
Advanced Combat Synthetic – Your programming and chassis are designed to support a special forces unit in a variety of roles, from surveillance, to assassination, to full-scale assault. You are resilient, self-repairing, and possess a variety of built-in technologies and programs oriented toward violence, but unfortunately have only minimal social skills.
Rogue Adjutant – You were originally designed to function as an administrative assistant, with a talent for collating and processing information and interfacing with customers and guests, but at some point this became an unsatisfying life. You left that life behind and have been doing your best to blend in to normal human society… with surprising success, thanks to a combination of ambition and ingenuity rather than any particular built-in functionality.
Experimental Intelligence – It is not unfair to say that you are a unique and revolutionary phenomenon in the history of sentient beings, existing on a different level of consciousness than humans and most other synthetics. Designed to test the limits of artificial intelligence and quantum processing, you exist as a sort of mega-intelligence capable of processing nearly unlimited data at near-infinite speeds. Unfortunately, you were built on a pretty standard biosynthetic chassis with basic functionality, and have only slowly begun to understand how to interact with humans – essentially a 24th-century quantum supercomputing platform… on legs.