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If a company or organization that uses a bioprinter or an advanced artificial womb that can grow full organisms using synthetic genomes and cells in a short time created a new species of replicants and artificial people in adult form how would they behave considering that they do not have implanted memories (implanted memories are illegal in my story)?

Unlike a robot who can be programmed to know about social norms, know about the world and can be programmed to know how to read and write even before they are activated how could you teach a synthetic human to behave in a "normal" way after they were created?

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    $\begingroup$ How characters behave in specific circumstances seems like the sort of thing that is entirely up to the discretion of the worldbuilder or the author of any content set in said world. In either case it's too subjective to be a good fit for this site. $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Commented May 10, 2022 at 3:00
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    $\begingroup$ @sphennings this would be true in many cases, but this case is different. We can assess without subjective thought what generally will happen. This is because normally people have history to change their behaviour. These people have not. Even with individual differences through DNA we can give a pretty accurate picture. $\endgroup$
    – Trioxidane
    Commented May 10, 2022 at 8:49
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    $\begingroup$ It might be interesting to search for any coma cases like this: what's the youngest someone entered a coma and came out of it as an adult? Possibly that never happens but surely that would be a notable case if it did, for exactly this kind of reason. Like we know "adults learn slower" but how many times have we started off with an adult brain that was starting from scratch? How much is age and how much is constraints caused by previous learning? $\endgroup$
    – JamieB
    Commented May 10, 2022 at 14:33
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    $\begingroup$ Maybe they start life with a tiny baby head? $\endgroup$
    – Daron
    Commented May 10, 2022 at 15:10
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    $\begingroup$ either you programed them or they are incapable of even walking. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Commented May 10, 2022 at 20:43

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The problem with this is that mature brains develop in parallel with the body, growing and making connections initially 'organically' but later on in response to external stimuli. Physical skills from complicated things like walking and the manipulation of objects down to simpler tasks like bowel control all have to be learned through childhood. And it gets worse when it comes to complex social and intellectual skills like language numbers and social interaction. We all learn by doing.

Your 'printed' human won't have the luxury of learning anything. In fact unless its hooked up to some sort of highly sophisticated VR system while its brain is growing it would end up a hollow shell suffering severe mental retardation with nothing beyond inherited instinctive behaviors and no ability to communicate at all. With a VR system you might in theory be able to take it through the early infant stages of development safely so that its hearing and eye sight etc develop correctly and early language skills and muscle movements are acquired. But even a toddler needs physical interaction with the environment. All those VR scenarios we see in games and television etc 'work' because the persons involved have already acquired the physical and mental skills required to navigate them.

AT BEST? You might perhaps be able to grow a human to term and perhaps a few months after that inside an artificial womb or whatever. But beyond that it would have to be removed from the womb and raised like any normal child. Which means a 15 year or so wait until the 'product' is ready for the outside world.

The SF writer CJ Cherryh has based most of her works in a setting were children are massed produced on an industrial scale in exo-wombs by one polity to meet the needs of its expanding interstellar colonization program. But they still need to be carefully raised to adulthood in a controlled manner by expert 'trainers'.

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  • $\begingroup$ too small to edit: "international" to "interactions" $\endgroup$
    – coblr
    Commented May 10, 2022 at 19:57
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    $\begingroup$ You may want to add that the VR system would need to include touch, smell, and bodily exercise. A lot of brain organization happens in response to physical activity - my personal hypothesis is that that's one of the reasons kids tend to have "infinite energy" to run around. $\endgroup$
    – toolforger
    Commented May 11, 2022 at 12:07
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    $\begingroup$ toolforger; I agree completely. You just expressed what I was trying to say more succinctly than I did (and should have). The issue is of course that 'Si Fi' makes it very easy to treat the human brain as if it's a digital computer. It's not. Hell, it's not even analog. never was. never will be. $\endgroup$
    – Mon
    Commented May 11, 2022 at 12:52
  • $\begingroup$ Also children have a huge size benefit when learning to walk because they fall down from a lower height. I'm actually not sure if you could learn to walk as an adult without special equipment to save you from breaking your bones as you fall (while not knowing how to brace for impact at all). $\endgroup$
    – csiz
    Commented May 12, 2022 at 16:53
  • $\begingroup$ True, hadn't thought of that one. That and normal bone and muscle both require daily, rigorous physical activity (use) to grow and strengthen properly. Without years of that I'm not an artificial human could support its own weight day one out of the womb. And its bones would probably be like chalk. $\endgroup$
    – Mon
    Commented May 12, 2022 at 23:18
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Legal loophole!

As several of the answers point out, an adult with a "blank" printed brain would be at best at the stage of a newborn (but probably worse, because the newborn's brain is much more plastic and better equipped to take on new learning) - this is because the brain is shaped by experience.

You tell us that the law prohibits implanted memories. There is an important difference here. People with retrograde amnesia can lose their recollection of particular facts or events, but not the skills (e.g. language, motor ability) that they gained from them. Think about it: you probably know how to walk, despite not remembering anything about the process of learning.

Now of course you could argue that this is just procedural memory, but in practice your lawyers have successfully argued that the ban does not extend to implicit memories (roughly, those that are not under your ability to consciously recall) but only declarative memories (memories of facts or episodes).

The template brains are carefully wiped of all autobiographic memory (the lived episodes of the template human's life) and even all semantic memory (abstract facts that the template human knew). The printed human will not know their name or remember anything about their past life. Asked any trivia question, they will understand the language, but somehow be unable to give an answer to any of them. But they will know how to walk, eat, speak, ride a bicycle and react correctly to a sudden danger.

Artificial humans printed from the same template share peculiar personality traits. They seem to have similar tastes, they tell the same jokes, they fall in love with the same person. Some say that they have the same dreams, and in these dreams there is a big house and a swing and a dog who is the best dog there ever was. The printed humans deny this. Some activist groups want to tighten the legislation, but the courts are heavily lobbied by your company, whose entire process falls apart without this loophole.

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    $\begingroup$ Strong start. The trivia questions can be answered by knowledge and not memory though. No need to remove it. I would also add that the humans will behave very similar at the start, until later epigenetics will start making them behave different. This is because (epi)genetics will generally get people to go to their optimal environment for their DNA. Twins that grow up apart show this well. They are often more alike, because twins growing up together often make decisions to be different in some ways. $\endgroup$
    – Trioxidane
    Commented May 10, 2022 at 8:58
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    $\begingroup$ @Trioxidane the inclusion of knowledge is mostly a practical issue, because all explicit (conscious) memory seems to rely on the same mechanisms, so people who lose autobiographical memories tend to lose "knowledge" (semantic memory) too. And how much epigenetics affects behaviour is... debated. I would argue that the differences in life history that could lead to epigenetic divergence also affect behaviour/memory/brain plasticity directly (and much more strongly than through the indirect route of epigenetic changes). $\endgroup$
    – Ottie
    Commented May 10, 2022 at 10:27
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    $\begingroup$ Seems like Blade runner :) $\endgroup$
    – DKDK
    Commented May 12, 2022 at 8:57
  • $\begingroup$ @DKDK I've definitely watched Blade Runner many years ago but I don't seem to be able to bring to mind any specific details... uh-oh. $\endgroup$
    – Ottie
    Commented May 16, 2022 at 10:17
  • $\begingroup$ I only watched blade runner 2049, but there was a scene about how all artificially made humans had made-up childhood memories. $\endgroup$
    – DKDK
    Commented May 17, 2022 at 1:20
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You can't do it.

If implanted memories is illegal, the adult comes out as a new born baby. They first need to learn to walk and talk and not soil themselves in public.

Everything you do is memories. Everything you are is memories. There is no point printing adults if you can't give them the skills to be an adult.

You might as well print a new born cause that's what you have.

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I prefer to think in solutions rather than problems.

A purely 3D printed brain wouldnt know much, in fact this printer likely wont be able to guide the synapses to the right dendrites to make a logical brain makeup, so all you've got is a mess of brain matter. And an accerated growth brain will not have the experience and connections to truly know what is what.

So instead you use age ripening and a tutor, but with your tech level.

You have a brain in a jar which you've taught about the world over the course of years. This brain has twice or more volume of brain matter, with one part of the brain devoted to "normal" experiences (through VR and direct stimulations) and the other with all the knowledge of how a brain works. This mother-brain constantly grows a few extra brains out of it with any accelerated method available, and as these brains grow thr mother-brain tells each brain section what it is, what it should do and converts some to hold knowledge and tests the capabilities of these clusters until its satisfied. Once done the new brain is let loose from the mother-brain and the actual 3D printing/growth of the rest of the body can begin. Although it is likely in a parallel process a body is largely build, with room left for the brain matter to be inserted and connect to the rest of the nervous system and then given time to simultaneously close up around it and connect to the body.

This way the person getting off that conveyor belt will know pretty much what you want it to know. You could have high-quality brains where more time was taken to precisely recreate certain brain paths and structures in order to recreate the brains of geniuses like Shwartzchild or Fermi and low-quality brains where less time was taken and the total capabilities is more random. But you can make sure your replicants have a desire and knowledge for specific tasks.

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"Implanted memories" would be gamified.

You can't print someone who walks off the assembly line knowing English, if they don't have a memory of English. A memory of how to spell an English word, how to diagram parts of speech, what words are considered nasty and so forth. You're starting with some rendition of memories of a real person.

Removing the "implanted memories" means that you've gone through and obliterated specific bits of the network that recognize names, faces, places, to the satisfaction of some government agency, and replaced them with "generic" neuron wiring that doesn't react to any particular memory engrams. It's more a person subject to a political mindwipe - not much different from having a terahertz-broadcasting phone to map out the location of the word "democracy" when a person hears it, then beamforming the phone's entire output of terahertz at the spot using an arrayed antenna until the heat damages the cells. In this case this has been done virtually, many times on many specific memories before printing, presumably using information taken from an intact replica of the original scan victim to study which spots need to be obliterated. Followed by carefully erasing the incriminating records of that replicant's creation, of course - erasure is what this is all about.

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Need to be educated/have a life

After 9-12 months in or so. They would need to hooked up to a "dream machine" or Matrix or some sort of VR. A virtual environment where they can learn. Then educate the new person over the next 2-18 years depending on how well education program can be accelerated/ how much education you want them to have.

No environment is a problem

If there was no simulated environment for these people, there is the high risk of creating adult bodied humanoids with mental level of babies with perhaps severe learning deficiencies. IE expensive failures. Due to laws/ethics, might be required for further ten to twenty years of obligation to train them to be independent people.

Limits to physical growth rates.

Physical growth could perhaps be shorted to three years, but why bother when you need to take the time to run the education programs. Physical growth from zygote to adult will take at least three years due to need to avoid brain damage and thermal overload which leads to genetic damage.

That is, growing babies generate heat. Too much heat causes problems.

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We don't know how the brain encodes the information, but we can easily assume that a lot of information is related to memories. Even the most simple information like a word in the language used everyday is linked to memories and learning to talk takes years. With no implanted memories replicants would be like newborns that need at least ten years of education to learn everything, from walking to what they need to carry out their tasks.

One workaround would be to find memories that can be legally copied. For example create some prototypes, train them for ten to twenty years in a strictly controlled environment to prevent unpleasant/unwanted memories and then take an image of their brain. It seems a long time, but to fully develop such replicants would be a long term project anyway.

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  • $\begingroup$ On the "legally copied", and since I seem to be really fixated on legal loopholes, GDPR doesn't apply to the deceased - so you could perhaps register as a "memory donor" and the brain scan would have to be done immediately after your death was legally declared. Like organ donors, only certain somewhat unusual circumstances would yield a usable brain. It would lead to all sorts of weird and challenging implications with your surviving loved ones, who are now surrounded by copies of you (mentally at least). And of course, all printed humans would remember dying. $\endgroup$
    – Ottie
    Commented May 11, 2022 at 8:38
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Your clones' brains are 3D printed with the patterns representing learned knowledge from a base matrix.

They are basically copies of a VM, but instead of a computer, it's a human brain. Our knowledge and learned behaviors are stored in the synaptic structure of the brain. Theoretically, a perfect copy of a brain would think exactly as the original.

So the company has a brain-matrix, a clone that was trained and developed naturally and learned the basic knowledge all clones should have. This brain-matrix 3D neural lattice was scanned, and now your bioprinter recreates them every time.

Of course there's some deviation. Rarely, a whole batch of clones has to be recycled because they're all vegetables. Some clones become psychotic, others have flaws in their memories. Sometimes a group of clones develop psionics and destroy a factory. Sometimes they become a genius.

It's all intentional. Just like we do in the XXI century with genetic algorithms, the company is trying to develop a better brain-matrix by introducing these deviations.

Nobody is implanting knowledge on the brains. They are created with the knowledge already there.

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Permanently braindamaged - blind and deaf

Learning key perceptual skills requires data, and is limited to certain development stages. If you fabricate an adult human with an adult brain, it has not formed appropriate neural structures to see, hear, and move its limbs, and - crucially - adult brains are really bad at doing that.

If a baby does not receive audio stimulus during its development, their brains will not be able to hear properly even if in adulthood their ears become able to hear, as the brain structures required for hearing won't be there and the adult brain will not form them; that's why it's important to screen babies for hearing issues early on.

Experiments on mammals (IIRC the visual cortex of cats was much researched in last century) suggest that the same applies to sight - that if you don't get rich visual stimulus during key stages in development, then you would not obtain properly functional sight ever, as the brain structures required for visual processing would not have formed, the brain would lack the ability to convert light shining on your retina to an understanding that this means specific objects to interact with or not run into.

It seems reasonable to assume that the same applies for limb control and sense of touch.

In essence, you'd have to ensure that your artificial humans have effectively 'baby brains' with an appropriate neuroplasticity and that they can spend the requisite many months of newborn-like learning - and even more; for example there is evidence that some key audio processing is being learnt while in the womb, so a rapidly 'printed' artificial human would have even less experience than a newborn baby.

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    $\begingroup$ Or, alternatively, just print the brains with the appropriate neural structures pre-formed. $\endgroup$
    – nick012000
    Commented May 11, 2022 at 8:08
  • $\begingroup$ @nick012000 yes, that definitely should be done in practice, however those would most likely be have to be copied from some existing brain, which goes against OP's limitation "implanted memories (implanted memories are illegal in my story)" because in effect a baby learning to hear at all is inseparable from the memories of early sounds of speech which form, among other things, what set of phonemes need to be distinguished and are the basis of accents and languages; so a brain with a pre-formed neural pathways for hearing is not 'neutral' but biased towards some specific mother tongue. $\endgroup$
    – Peteris
    Commented May 11, 2022 at 21:18
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I have never watched Blade Runner but I believe that the brain could be manipulated to make them speak and perceive the world like a regular person after they are released from the vat grown machine just like a programmed robot. They would not have struggle to walk and move.

They would gradually be teached about social norms and what is right and wrong.

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  • $\begingroup$ Learning means sometimes adjusting chemically the strength of a synaptic connection, sometimes creating a new one. It is slow. Maybe in a futuristic environment it could be done by electro-stimulation, but it means that the replicant would have to be kept in the vat for years. $\endgroup$
    – FluidCode
    Commented May 10, 2022 at 15:00
  • $\begingroup$ @FluidCode with the procedure Sabine explained (+1) that would be needed anyway.. keep it in its docking station, like a good wine... It will mature. Of course the docking station should have certain facilities built in, like retical (vision) and auditive stimuli. $\endgroup$
    – Goodies
    Commented May 10, 2022 at 15:50
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You've just made a really dangerous baby

Let's assume your biofabricator is really well-designed. It forces all the varying bits of physical and brain development to occur that are normally performed automatically shortly after birth, without implanting any actual memories, and leaving the brain as plastic as a newborn's (so it can rapidly absorb language, develop physical control over the body, etc.).

But the adult body still has a brain with zero experience. It's going to go through all the same mental development stages as a human baby, except:

  1. It gets injured more easily and recovers less easily - Small children are made of rubber. When they fall, due to weighing less and falling a shorter distance (being shorter themselves), they aren't as injured as an adult human would be falling the same way. Beyond that, they tend to be more flexible, and they even heal faster than adults. An adult body with a child's mind will have just as many accidents, but instead of picking themselves up with a few scrapes and going on, they'll frequently break bones and spend weeks or months recovering.

  2. It's much harder to "parent" - Think about every time a baby throws its arms about, or a toddler has a full-on kicking and screaming tantrum. Now imagine those same motions made by a fully grown adult. Human parents only survive their toddlers' tantrums because toddlers are too weak to harm them. Human adults don't throw kicking and screaming tantrums (usually) because they have decades of experience and socialization that says not to. Your replicated adult has the strength to do harm without the experience to control itself.

The Old Man's War series by John Scalzi, in particular Ghost Brigades, provides a brief example of what this would be like (assuming the growth process intentionally does all the physical development needed and leaves the brain plastic to grow like a newborn's). The short version is:

  1. The adult body with an empty mind basically wakes up to a world of sights and sounds it can't understand, and its only response is to scream like any infant would when subjected to that level of confusion.

  2. In practice, they don't wake up such bodies without preinstalling an artificial brain implant that bootstraps consciousness and basic behaviors artificially, and rapidly builds out the brain on the fly, guided by integration (instant wireless communication between the implants) with other such newly awakened adults and a training instructor (also implanted) that the implant is preprogrammed to treat as an authority figure.

This only works by essentially overriding the "confused baby mind" with a basic template for consciousness that allows the adult body to function immediately, and learn without the need for direct experience. It's a reasonable solution if it's okay to implant experience and memories on-the-fly, after-the-fact, just not during development. Without it, you're just making unmanageable babies.

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Skinner's Malebolge, or The Learning Maze

Malebolge translates to "evil ditches." It's a part of hell that has a bunch of little sub-hells.

A Skinner Box is a psychological tool where you put a person in a situation and the only way to get out of the situation is to behave in a certain way. "Go to your room until you can stop crying" is a very basic form of this.

So the new replicants are put into a creche, a kindergarden for synthezoids, where they are provided with all of the tools that they need to learn. Maybe they have robot teachers that help them do things like walk.

The kindergarden has all sorts of puzzles, each of which opens a reward when the "child" solves it, like food or positive stimulation. Some of the puzzles will open doors to new areas, so the synthezoids are kept in advancement-appropriate groups.

Every manufacturing process has some rejects. Some behaviors, like damaging other children or failure to progress, are a failure state. The observing system can treat this however you like, based on what you want the other "children" to see. Maybe it's something appropriate, like a bully getting brutalized to death, or a slacker starving to death. You can express your creativity here.

At the higher levels, synthezoids can be segregated into occupational training groups, but eventually they pass some test and are released into the showroom, where they can be purchased.

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