Questions tagged [computers]

For questions regarding a device that can be programmed to carry out a set of certain set of tasks without external intervention.

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How do these "mind-reading" microbes collaboratively compute as fast as neurons?

For some time now I've been trying at a plausible sort of "translation (or some other brain-affecting) microbe" concept. The main idea I'm basing this upon is of biofilms that could ...
inkwell87's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
230 views

Can I get some help making my magic system allow for magically powered computers?

Ok, lemme start by explaining what I'm waffling about and apologizing cause this is gonna be a bad explanation. In my world, magic is an invisible energy that is constantly generated everywhere in the ...
procrastanator's user avatar
11 votes
10 answers
3k views

Is it reasonable for the development of faster-than-light travel to significantly slow the development of machine learning technology? [closed]

One of the settings I'm in the very early stages of working on is based on the idea that, if humans had somehow developed faster-than-light travel in the mid 2000s, the development of machine learning ...
Choroflorocarbon's user avatar
0 votes
3 answers
243 views

Is this timeframe realistic for compact full-brain simulation?

The year is 2175, and at this point, there are compact ASIC systems (no larger than a 2024 smartphone) that use a combination of powerful dedicated processors and some quantum computing subsystems ...
controlgroup's user avatar
  • 3,238
14 votes
12 answers
6k views

How would computers develop in a society where a Cherokee-like language is the dominant lingua franca?

I am writing a book set in a parallel universe where English is not the dominant language and the dominant language is a complex polysynthetic language that makes use of a complex system of word ...
Galactic's user avatar
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18 votes
18 answers
5k views

What would be a way to make uploading a mind into a computer an actual transfer instead of just making a copy?

I want to create a story about mind uploading, but I am completely convinced that even if you could transfer the contents of your brain to a computer emulation and then run it, it will always be a ...
Max's user avatar
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3 votes
2 answers
257 views

Computing technology in a world with only Gold, Copper, and Silver

As the title suggests, in this world there are only three metals available in any meaningful amount: copper, gold and silver. How advanced could computers get in this world? Could things like the ...
Rhomaioi's user avatar
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15 votes
5 answers
3k views

What would aliens glean from our consumer grade computers? [closed]

David just bought a $1500 grand computer, he put the parts together himself. He was about to play some games on it and aliens just yoinked it to study. Without even looking at David or the biology of ...
neo flare's user avatar
  • 1,415
4 votes
14 answers
5k views

Does magic speed up technology?

In a classic RPG magic system, energy/mana/handwavium points are expended to manipulate reality. The cost increases with the complexity and extent of the alterations being made. Natural talents for ...
user avatar
12 votes
12 answers
3k views

Can it make sense for a spaceship to be crewed by many individual AI, rather than a handful with all the processing power?

Related to my previous question regarding fine dining for computer processes. Background We've got a spaceship sailing through the ocean black, crewed entirely by self-aware artificial intelligences. ...
KeizerHarm's user avatar
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7 votes
11 answers
5k views

Could a race with 20th century computer technology plausibly develop general-purpose AI?

I have a race of aliens whose technology roughly corresponds to humanity’s in the early 1970s. Wireless communications via microwaves have been developed, but are only available to important groups ...
user98816's user avatar
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23 votes
17 answers
9k views

What is eating, for software?

Background A spaceship is crewed entirely by self-aware artificial intelligences, who have no permanent physical bodies; they are processes in a digital environment controlling the ship. This ship is ...
KeizerHarm's user avatar
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32 votes
23 answers
10k views

If magic is programming, then what is mana supposed to be?

So it turns out the universe is a computer. Or at-least that is how it can be analogized to our puny mortal minds. Human souls/consciousness are simultaneously the equivalent of emergent AI, players, ...
AllSeeingEye33's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
437 views

What kind of scanner can detect a hidden chip in someone's body?

So it's the lead-up to what might be World War III and the enemy is kidnapping and implanting mind-control chips into our people, one by one, to turn them into sleeper agents, to all attack en masse ...
Bigbio2002's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
155 views

How would the development of computers be altered if it took longer to find out a practical way to synthesise silicon crystals for transistors?

How would the development of computers be altered by the time of the 1960s & 1970s if we only figured out a practical way to synthesise silicon crystals usable for silicon transistors after that ...
OT-64 SKOT's user avatar
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1 vote
3 answers
318 views

If modern computers evolved a different way, how different might their keyboards look?

I've been sketching up a constructed script, and I've been drawing a computer keyboard to accompany it. Now, I've drawn up keys equivalent to Ctrl and Alt, and a "OS Direct key" (equivalent ...
Katy's user avatar
  • 137
5 votes
2 answers
378 views

How limited would computers be if silicon transistors were never invented?

In a world where silicon transistors were never invented, how many limitations would be incurred if we had to continue to use germanium transistors? In this world, silicon transistors were never ...
OT-64 SKOT's user avatar
  • 4,426
27 votes
20 answers
8k views

Why is Hyperspace more hostile to computers than human brains?

For stylistic reasons, I wanted to impose some limits on the use of computers and automation to justify my setting's retro-aesthetic and elements for my science fantasy story. Basically humanity has ...
AllSeeingEye33's user avatar
10 votes
11 answers
3k views

Why would sapient, emotional AGIs object to the creation of any lesser AIs?

When I asked this question, I was expecting there to be some way to have highly advanced simulations of physical systems without the technology for modelling social or psychological systems existing ...
Choroflorocarbon's user avatar
5 votes
8 answers
4k views

Advantages of software-breeding over normal programming

So, in the near-future, scientists are trying to develop better and better AI, which are better and better at the tasks they are designed for. However, rather than coding them, there is another method ...
user98816's user avatar
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4 votes
7 answers
555 views

Could a virtual person hack their own reality?

I am just contemplating a sci-if story set in a dystopian future, where the discovery that the universe is a computerised simulation has led governments to found a “Reality Guard”; an elite dedicated ...
user98816's user avatar
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6 votes
5 answers
2k views

Creating a supercomputer powered by tidal heating

A race of beings decides over a few pan-galactic gargleblasters one evening that rather than waste scientific minds on developing hyper-advanced technology, they should just build a huge computer to ...
user98816's user avatar
  • 8,583
1 vote
1 answer
106 views

How to download the mind once it has been uploaded [closed]

So, continuing along the basis of this earlier question: Justifying why mind uploading destroys the brain, these aspiring immortals now have a full computer emulation of their subject’s brain. (Big ...
user98816's user avatar
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14 votes
16 answers
5k views

Justifying why mind uploading destroys the brain

So, in the relatively-far future, humans, in their endless quest for immortality, develop a form of mind uploading. This involves scanning the brain, cell by cell, and creating an electronic model of ...
user98816's user avatar
  • 8,583
19 votes
12 answers
5k views

How can we cool a computer connected on top of or within a human brain?

Assume the ability to cybernetically implant a powerful enough computer to operate an AI inside the human skull, on top of or within the brain. Thin wires connect the computer to the various parts of ...
Hasty Basher's user avatar
8 votes
15 answers
3k views

How do I justify a world where drones are commonplace but computers remain large?

In those golden age sci-fi comic books, we often see the main character with some type of robotic companion (maybe controlled by an electronic computer or some organic "brain"), while ...
HFOrangefish's user avatar
-3 votes
1 answer
80 views

Uses for a planet-wide computer system [closed]

In the near(ish) future, (two or three centuries away) it has become possible to create enormous planetary computing systems known as geocomputers. These are made by injecting nanites 10km down in a ...
user98816's user avatar
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3 votes
8 answers
2k views

How can I create an emotional computer?

In this project of mine, AI are described as being smart, but emotionless, for the simple reason that they lack any hormonal system to influence the way they think. In layman’s terms, they’ve got no ...
user98816's user avatar
  • 8,583
3 votes
6 answers
247 views

Why is my organic computer the only thing capable of manipulating my special particles?

I have a few fictional particles in my setting that can do many things, however getting them do something specific is the challenging part. There are a class of particles that only work while in the ...
FIRES_ICE's user avatar
  • 3,153
5 votes
2 answers
408 views

Why does my artificial dust storm affect pure autonomous combat vehicles, but not crewed weapon's systems with computers?

In my setting there exists some AI based weaponry. Though it's not sentient/AGI level. Rather it's a fanciful extension of what we have currently in terms of practical and theoretical. One of the ...
FIRES_ICE's user avatar
  • 3,153
2 votes
2 answers
239 views

How could a the global economy have no money/collapse? [closed]

I would like a plausible way to tank the world economy. I am trying to make a political horror world, that would be very different from today. The basis should be a lack of money or decreased value of ...
Pamv75's user avatar
  • 29
7 votes
9 answers
438 views

Why might advanced digital computers be unusable on my planets?

A large ring gate appears on Earth that leads to other planetary bodies that vary between being able to sustain human life and just barely allowing humans to exist on the planet for a while. Another ...
FIRES_ICE's user avatar
  • 3,153
10 votes
5 answers
2k views

Following normal physics, can a world be unable to make electronics due to a lack of resources/materials?

I want to have a post apocalyptic world where 21st century tech is unable to be made anymore due to humans using up all the resources on the planet. Since space programs also use computers, there ...
user avatar
5 votes
4 answers
370 views

What design flaw would allow a computer virus to significantly damage or destroy computers on a hardware level?

Normally computer viruses are designed to steal information and affect things largely on the software level. Rarely do we see actors trying to outright destroy computers using a virus. However, that ...
FIRES_ICE's user avatar
  • 3,153
17 votes
8 answers
3k views

How can we build a space probe's computer to survive centuries of interstellar travel?

TL;DR: Can human build a computer that lasts for a few hundred years under active maintenance with a limited spare part supply, not too bulky or power hungry, and has the performance similar to a high-...
Rynco Maekawa's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
67 views

If brain machine interfaces existed, what sort of failsafes might exist so a user would know definitively they are in the real world not a simulation? [duplicate]

I don’t imagine scamming and hacking going away. How can someone be sure they’re back in reality not a simulation? It seems like it would be all too easy to trick someone into disclosing sensitive ...
Adam Kabbeke's user avatar
  • 1,973
2 votes
3 answers
99 views

How would people create nonbiological people with only very basic computer technology? [closed]

In one of the (probably too many) settings I'm working on at the moment, most computer technology is quite primitive; There are no home or office computers, and, whilst computers are quite common in ...
Choroflorocarbon's user avatar
10 votes
17 answers
4k views

Non-religious reasons to have highly advanced physical simulations without any AI which can predict or mimic human behaviour, even algorithmically?

Note: This question was heavily rewritten for two reasons: Firstly, many of the answers were not exactly what I asked for; Secondly, both the original question and all the answers to it were from ...
Choroflorocarbon's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
379 views

Death in a computer room

Years ago, computer rooms used Halon gas to extinguish fires in computer rooms by depriving the room swiftly of oxygen, killing the fire, but keeping expensive equipment safe (vs. sprinkler systems). ...
Johnro's user avatar
  • 51
4 votes
2 answers
136 views

How would the human brain aid a human computer interface/implant in solving complex problems in realtime/dynamic uses [closed]

Hooking up a computer to the human brain or somehow connecting the brain to a computer is nothing new in the realm of sci fi literature. But say you want to merge the human brain and a computer ...
FIRES_ICE's user avatar
  • 3,153
8 votes
8 answers
4k views

Quantum supercomputers in orbit?

I have been wondering if it would be a good idea to exploit the natural coldness of space to create the conditions needed for quantum computation at a large scale. The average temperature of space is ...
JuimyTheHyena's user avatar
-4 votes
1 answer
83 views

Information necessary to simulate a brain virtually?

In the world i'm developing it's already possible to periodically scan your brain so you can keep a backup in case of you dying (people have rejuvenating treatments but they can still die of unnatural ...
Paulo Raposo's user avatar
  • 1,211
-1 votes
4 answers
243 views

Simulation Computing Loophole? [closed]

The story i'm working on is set on a near future where brain-computer interface has evolved enough for people to control virtual bodies in real time and feel every physical stimuli from the virtual ...
Paulo Raposo's user avatar
  • 1,211
6 votes
5 answers
1k views

Were there problems for Babbage's Analytical Engine in 1850s? [closed]

Suppose that a mysterious philanthropist provided fundings for Charles Babbage's intricate projects and the Analytical Engine was finished by 1850. Surely there would be a lot of raptured academicians ...
Andrey Godyaev's user avatar
4 votes
6 answers
377 views

Stages of Artificial intelligence's mental development to full personhood

First post here so please go easy on me. My knowledge of software and programming is limited. Question: What kind of progression/stages would we see if an AI started as a highly advanced computer ...
Sith Philosopher's user avatar
18 votes
7 answers
4k views

Listening to Your Computer - Infering Software Use via Acoustic and Electronic Noise

Is it possible to deduce the software being run and its uses by listening to the magnetic, electromagnetic, and acoustic signals released by its operation? Computers generate minute acoustic noise, ...
Englishman Bob's user avatar
2 votes
5 answers
375 views

How to counteract a trojan horse when the horse is the anti-virus software?

I have got caught behind the 'irresistible force meets immoveable rock' conundrum. A predatory country has been making very long-term plans for building an empire. This country, as part of a very long-...
Justin Thyme the Second's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
157 views

Could molecular nanotechnology alow the creation of computer chips and hardware that would have any desirable shape rather than being always flat? [closed]

Could the direct manipulation of individual atoms and molecules allow the creation of computers that could have exotic and weird shapes like a cube or even a sphere with flexible and/or continuous ...
Sabrine Crystal's user avatar
18 votes
20 answers
5k views

Why would a civilization's biotechnology be far behind all its other technology?

In the setting of a novella I am just beginning to write, computing and engineering are significantly ahead of our world, but biotechnology lags massively behind: They have very efficient brain-...
Choroflorocarbon's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
158 views

Post-mortem brain digitization of the future: HDD backup?

Far in the future, can there be some kind of mechanism where we can slice through a waxed brain and image every synapse, copy the neural map into a computer and find memories and personality traits ...
bandybabboon's user avatar
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