I'm making a alternate history were humans developed artificial humans, and I was wondering what kind of technology you would need to create these artificial humans and how expensive it would be (assuming that we still use the same kind of currency as today). How widespread would this technology be?

In this alternate history there would have been two 'types' of humans, one that is identical to the humans that exist today, and one that has telepathic abilities and can mind control the regular humans. There would be no way to tell the difference between the regular humans and the telepathic ones. The telepathic humans would have evolved on a different continent from the regular humans. North America, perhaps? Anyhow, they have become a real pain in the neck to humans, and so the humans created artificial humans to deal with them. The artificial humans would have been developed to 'guard' the humans from the telepathic species, and will not be susceptible to mind control. They would have a defining feature (gold eyes is what I was planning), but nothing that can't be hidden.

They will thus be essentially human, except for the fact that they aren't. (Their blood is still red, they are not knife or bullet-proof, they do not have a perfect memory or amazing mathematical skills). Assuming that the technology is at around (within a hundred years) the same level as what we have today, perhaps a little more advanced, what kind of cost are we looking at for the creation of artificial humans and what kind of technology would be required to create them?

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    $\begingroup$ By homunculi you mean tiny full formed people? $\endgroup$
    – Firelight
    Jun 29, 2017 at 10:47
  • $\begingroup$ What's artificial about them? (other than their gold eyes and not being susceptible to mind control) I mean is a person born from IVF an artificial human? Really are you asking what's required to make people have gold eyes and not be mind-controllable? $\endgroup$
    – komodosp
    Jun 29, 2017 at 13:41

2 Answers 2


If technology is "around" the same as today, and the artificial humans have red blood and other human fallibilities not common to computers, then the artificial humans would probably be the product of bioengineering. This would require a more advanced knowledge of the life sciences than our own, though probably not by more than a century.

As to the cost of creating these homunculi, I would expect that the R&D cost would be quite high, on the order of billions of dollars over a great many years. After all, it is a very difficult matter to explicitly modify an organism that evolved essentially by random changes. This would have required sequencing the entire genome, understanding just how the telepathic types affect non-telepath minds, and understanding how to alter the human genome to counter the telepath's effects.

However, once a package of viable modifications has been created, copying these changes to human embryos would be significantly easier and cheaper, probably on the order of thousands of dollars each. It would be a fiddly procedure quite like cloning, where the nucleus of an embryonic cell is replaced by that of the clone.

Another alternative is that (eventually), the homunculus women would bear homunculus offspring, and so the homunculi would be self-propagating.

A third option is that the homunculi are asexual or sterile, and they are produced by implanting an embryo into a human woman or by use of an artificial womb. Considering that the former would effectively be commercial surrogacy, there could be a cost of around US$100k-300k per pregnancy.

However, if artificial wombs existed and could be used, their development would conceivably also cost billions, but individually they might cost on the order of tens of thousands to millions each, and each artificial womb's pregnancy might cost thousands of dollars in consumables and power. They would likely have a paid doctor overseeing them, but if the homunculi were mass-produced, one doctor would b able to oversee dozens of artificial wombs.


Maybe it could be a relatively low-tech "organic" approach, like modifying a normal embreo to make it develop with the missing trait of being readable. Maybe the same underlying brain part is used for full telapathy in one race but only low-level mother-child bonding in the species at large, but can still be used to read from by a full telepath.

Introduce drugs during development; do surgery to remove it. Another interesting idea is that the unreadables are a "mule" hybrid between the normal (father) and telepathic (mother). Maybe they are normal rare trait, so all births are tested and the special ones kept...and then further prepared with invasive surgery and a childhood of special drugs.


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