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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11
votes
8answers
3k views

Would beings with a base 8 number system be advantaged for electronics?

I am looking forward to create anthropomorphic dragons/lizards with 8 fingers (3 + thumb). As they base their number system on it, the powers of 2 are recurrent. Would this grant any advantage for the ...
4
votes
11answers
3k views

Can FTL travel be achieved with mid-20th century technology? [closed]

Let's say that the FTL system is based upon that of Star Trek, but deviations can be made. FTL technology was discovered through the reverse-engineering of a starship that crashed on the civilization'...
5
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6answers
398 views

Uses of a computer no upper limit on processing power?

Edit: I do not have the best technical understanding of computers so some of my terminology may be misused. I guess a simpler way to imagine this hypothetical computer is one whose overall performance ...
5
votes
3answers
162 views

Adaptating computers to creatures with 4 fingers

What would be the ideal layout for a 4-fingered usage of a keyboard? I thought about making keyboards square and and have less keys. Here is the alphabet : 28 characters total. The alphabet is ...
4
votes
2answers
228 views

Duplication of human advantages by biological machines

People often postulate in works of fiction that humans (and other sentient biological organisms) have powers that machines will never duplicate, but by machines people often think about constructs ...
0
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1answer
126 views

Ideal material for Von Neumann Probes

So, I understand that a common way to explore the universe and colonise worlds is through Von Neumann Probes. Self-replicating and efficient... except for the fact that, as far as I have seen in ...
3
votes
1answer
67 views

How could the display technology of self-rewriting books work?

Oh yes, it's Artifact Time! with Best Dad and Ozen the Immovable! If you watched Hairy Plotter and the Gas Chamber of Secrets, you probably remember the scene where the Horcrux of Adolf Hitler is ...
5
votes
1answer
127 views

How could two AIs “battle” within a closed off computer?

This is not so much for a story as much as something I’ve been thinking about for a while. I’m really drawn to the idea of a sort of world that exists on a server somewhere. The ‘gods’ that ...
0
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3answers
107 views

How much brain power per KG/volume?

When writing a futuristic story I always try to minimise the impact of computerization. Its rather uncomfortable writig a story when technology is advanced enough that humans arent in a position to ...
5
votes
1answer
136 views

Finding ways to robots feel pleasure

Given a world where a human-like brain is synthetizable, I wonder: A human-like artificial brain would most likely crave sensorial overwhelm. Pleasure to humans is something deeply associated with ...
-2
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2answers
122 views

What might a world look like where basic programming skills are as common as literacy today? [closed]

In the other related question, I am exploring how might a world like ours develop to a world where programming skills are considered to be basic literacy. Currently, possibly less than 1% of world ...
1
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4answers
139 views

What could have been the history of a world where programming skills are considered to be basic literacy?

Sometimes I hear from other professionals, "it has become impossible to talk to IT professionals, what they talk it sounds like gibberish". There are lots of efforts for better connecting to ...
-2
votes
1answer
99 views

A new type of paradox? [closed]

Imagine we had this incredibly powerful computer that can simulate our universe, and that we somehow knew the initial conditions of the big bang (or the planet earth) down to the exact detail. Fast ...
25
votes
14answers
9k views

Can programming “mutate”?

Can the programming of simple nanobots randomly change to create a similar effect as mutations in DNA? This question has a very similar idea as I wanted, although in this case the nanobots are capable ...
2
votes
1answer
80 views

what is the maximum theoretical density for qubits?

What is the maximum amount of qubits that could be put in a cubed centimeter and still function? The technology level is near future, within the next 50 years. bonus question: how much computing ...
8
votes
10answers
2k views

How would a Grey Goo robot compute given that it has no fixed form?

This is something that confuses me with amorphous characters, monsters, robots etc... How do they compute when their particles don't have a fixed form? They are in a sense modular robots only taken to ...
27
votes
28answers
13k views

Way to prove you are human when the Turing test is not sufficient

In a story I am working on there are 5 AI on a space station of varying levels of social, image recognition and general intelligence. At least one is good enough to pass a Turing test and do image ...
1
vote
4answers
168 views

The biggest e-ink display in the world [closed]

tl;dr: What could be an approximate size of the biggest e-ink display with current Kindle-like pixel density if we would use nowadays the biggest available computing power to make it usable? Imagine ...
7
votes
4answers
259 views

Would Mind Uploaded People on Fast Computers have any Unique Skills or Knowledge?

In my setting, there are basically no biological life forms left, as everyone has either been mind-uploaded or is an artificial intelligence. It is supposed to take place at a very distant point in ...
9
votes
9answers
1k views

Would a biological interface be of any use in a computer?

Would a computer using biological components as an interface be any good? Would that protect it against hacking? Or provide more complex processing? The way I'm going with this is that computers are ...
2
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0answers
67 views

How to to experience fully immmersive VR? [closed]

I'm talking about full BCI, altered electrical feedback from brain to computer you'd need,technical issues.
30
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17answers
14k views

How much tech advancement could be made out of modern processor appearing in 1980s?

I rewatched terminator 2 and got intrigued by a particular quote: [microchip] scary stuff, radically advanced. I mean it was smashed, it didn't work, but it gave us ideas, took us in new directions. ...
5
votes
3answers
225 views

The cure for all bacteria-caused diseases

Which minimal order of magnitude is required to simulate single cells and microorganisms in cyberspace? In an utopian future, people will be possibly able to rapidly design new cures, be their ...
-6
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3answers
133 views

What could an algorithm for fast prime factorization look like? [closed]

For hundreds of years mathematicians have been looking for a method to quickly factorize a natural number. For example: 3894757 = 877*4441 Today there's no way ...
-4
votes
4answers
138 views

what are some ways to store information mechanically?

what are some ways to store largish amounts of information mechanically? What would a mechanical computer use for memory storage if it was entirely mechanical? edit: guys why is this downvoted? I don'...
45
votes
26answers
13k views

What is a recently obsolete computer storage device that would be significantly difficult to extract data from?

For my story I need a data storage device that will be reasonably familiar to adult readers. My character will have obtained this device and know that vital information is stored on it, but not ...
5
votes
4answers
148 views

What's the deciding factor in what my Foresight can predict?

When you have foresight, it's guaranteed that confusion will be your epitaph (thumbs up to the one person who gets the joke). Basically, it only grants you advantage on actions, so you still can't ...
0
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2answers
138 views

How could this three-second foresight work?

"However, King Crimson has already seen through it. Your movements in the future. The trajectory of your movements in the future." "No matter who you may be, everyone goes through their ...
2
votes
2answers
174 views

A mathmatician just discovered a way to solve any NP-Complete problen in N*log(n) time. How does the world change? [closed]

The title sort of says it all. We discovered through some ingenious use of obscure mathematics a way to solve any NP-Complete problem with an algorithm that completes in a Big-O of n*log(n) time. ...
11
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6answers
453 views

How would a civilization without reading and writing develop general-purpose computers?

Related: Technological development without writing (related to general technological development without writing) How would a society without linear alphabetic writing have devised human-readable ...
4
votes
3answers
314 views

Your computer made you rich by perfectly predicting 50/50 and 1:3 decisions, but only 50µs in the future. What did you control? [closed]

You have a Time Displacement Teleportation Device (or two). Your computer is making split-second decisions, & it knows an outcome or event 50µs from now and can correct decisions. You now control ...
7
votes
5answers
773 views

What Technology is Needed to Virtually Simulate…Everything?

This is not my question. In my story, I have a machine that you can connect to using electrodes. It allows one to enter a small virtual reality room where everything from gravity and electromagnetism, ...
35
votes
12answers
8k views

Is It Possible to Make a Computer Virus That Acts as an Anti-virus?

After receiving answers to this question, I now know that viruses cannot be written in machine code in such a way that they can universally infect all kinds of systems. Every machine has a unique set ...
4
votes
8answers
2k views

Is It Possible for a Universally-Executable Virus to be Written in Binary?

In my world, there was a man that wrote a virus in binary code - which in turn infects every computer-based system in the world, as long as it is connected to the internet. Is this even possible? ...
1
vote
2answers
163 views

How to connect Brain to computer? [closed]

I'm not talking about mind-uploading, but rather about connecting your consciousness to the computer to be able to live inside it.I'm talking rather about advanced bci, so you have all the experiences,...
2
votes
1answer
226 views

How to create Matrix-like simulation?

Movies like The Matrix and video games like The Evil Within have popularized the idea of a simulated reality. I'm talking about a human connected to a computer and able to experience similar things ...
-1
votes
1answer
110 views

Could AI create a more complex language and (if so) how? [closed]

Animals use less intelligent language, so one may assume that human language is unintelligent to extraterrestrial life. We use technology to perceive senses that we do not naturally have (e.g., seeing ...
19
votes
9answers
5k views

Non-visual Computers - thoughts?

TL;DR Let's say that computers were invented at a school for the blind in mid-1800s. How would today's technology, based on these non-screen-based computers, be different? ETA: To clarify and ...
5
votes
3answers
523 views

What is realistic quality of computer blueprints quickly backed up before apocalypse and their impact on future design?

Incoming generic apocalypse, a bunch of people with low budget tries to quickly download publicly accessible blueprints, so in a few decades or centuries someone would be able produce again computer ...
10
votes
9answers
3k views

How to trick a fairly simplistic kill-counter? [closed]

In my setting, soldiers carry with them kill-counters; devices that measure the lifesigns of everything in the vicinity and then count one kill if the lifesigns of a given humanoid suddenly ceases to ...
3
votes
1answer
288 views

What would happen if we sent a modern computer into the past? [closed]

According to Moore's law, the number of transistors in an integrated circuit doubles about every two years. Therefore, a modern household computer has the computational capabilities of a supercomputer ...
3
votes
2answers
153 views

Humans meet a distant alien species. How do they coordinate? - Computers [closed]

Part of a series addressing the challenges of a mutual first contact. Previous question here Humans meet some distant alien species. They are mutual first contacts. After learning the languages of ...
1
vote
0answers
287 views

What is the limit of Graphene CPUs? [closed]

In the world I'm building, set roughly 350 years in the future, the humans have colonized the Solar System and other systems beyond using a hyperlane network discovered at the edges of the Solar ...
2
votes
1answer
128 views

Imaginary computer processor, made of flip-flop atoms

It would be cool if scientists can invent an electrical material which is made of an XY square grid of atoms... straight like salt atoms except made of a weird polymer. the stuff functions as XY ...
6
votes
2answers
319 views

I can break AES. Now what? [closed]

The story The protagonist (whom will be referred with a first person narrative in this question) had a friend, Eve, who was a math genius. Eve was dying of cancer. She kept her mind occupied in her ...
1
vote
2answers
111 views

When were computer components 0,2 micrometer in size? [closed]

When setting a story in the future I always try to limit the technology available. It's less enjoyable and harder to identify yourself with droney the drone than with John and Jane Doe. Currently I ...
9
votes
1answer
176 views

Minimum tech level to invent core memory

Magnetic core memory was a critical innovation in the development of computers. Per https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetic-core_memory it was the most advanced form of memory from about the mid-...
41
votes
12answers
16k views

What steps are necessary to read a Modern SSD in Medieval Europe?

So the main team of characters is traveling back in time from "modern day" to medieval Europe, arriving around the 1300s. Assumptions: They Know they are going, they have space and time to prepare, ...
5
votes
3answers
177 views

How would a resistance group stop or disrupt software development

I have an idea of a story that takes place in a near future dystopia, where the government is planning to deploy a new dangerous surveillance software. This surveillance tech is of course contracted ...
8
votes
2answers
199 views

How small can a perpetual energy source be to run a far-future civilization indefinitely?

You are the leader of a far-future civilization - human or otherwise - that has endured for trillions of years doing whatever far-future civilizations do. You've surrounded stars with Matrioshka ...

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