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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4
votes
2answers
253 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 ...
11
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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
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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'...
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 ...
29
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12answers
3k views

Computer that lasts for centuries?

So, somewhere around one hundred years from now, a terrible - and unexpected - disaster strikes Earth, most of humanity dies off, yadda yadda yadda. Luckily, secret-lab-dwelling scientists had ...
5
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6answers
405 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
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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
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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 ...
8
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11answers
903 views

Can people upload their consciousnesses to computers?

The idea of uploading one's personality and consciousness to a computer is a semi-common science fiction trope. It has been suggested as a way to essential immortality. In a story I'm working on, an ...
3
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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 ...
27
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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 ...
5
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1answer
128 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
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1answer
137 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 ...
21
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9answers
3k views

Turing incomplete magic, avoiding computers in world where magic is programmable

Inspired by Cort Ammon wonderfully detailed answer here: How to prevent tiny mistake in 'programmable language' magic spell causing horrible disasters, and my desire to go out of my way to ...
25
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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 ...
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
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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 ...
-2
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1answer
103 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 ...
37
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7answers
9k views

How many years could notebook computers and phones be stored in a closed bunker/vault and still operational when found?

The idea is for some people in a post-apocalyptic future to find these bunkers/vaults and be able to turn on the computers and charge the cellphones. How many years could the equipment last if they ...
7
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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 ...
14
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7answers
3k views

Is Ternary an option for a tech future?

I have an idea for a story set in the near future, with a character who breaks onto the global scene with a breakthrough advance in technology that makes him billions. My question is whether or not ...
2
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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
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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 ...
1
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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 ...
9
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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 ...
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. ...
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.
5
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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 ...
45
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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 ...
9
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4answers
6k views

For how long would electricity and internet be avaliable if all but one human on Earth were gone?

In my story all humans except one vanished suddenly. This one received the gift of immortality and is now alone in this world. Considering that the world is identical to ours. How much time does this ...
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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
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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'...
5
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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 ...
6
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3answers
718 views

A supercomputer around the sun

I wish to build a sort of Dyson swarm around the sun. Not to transmit energy, but to put supercomputers in each satellite so they can calculate spatial trajectories. The main idea of the project is ...
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 ...
4
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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? ...
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 ...
7
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5answers
774 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, ...
10
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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
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2answers
177 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. ...
21
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11answers
5k views

Will computers be named differently in the future?

In a few science fiction settings, we can see computers being called differently. A terminal, a holosphere, a pad, anything techno-sounding. But from when computers were invented up until now, they'...
4
votes
3answers
315 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 ...
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 ...
1
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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,...
37
votes
7answers
8k views

Just How Powerful Could a Mechanical Computer Be?

We've all heard about the 1822 Babbage Difference Engine and other mechanical computer ideas of the 19th century. Sadly, Babbage's computer and printer ideas were never implemented in our world†, and ...
19
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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 ...
-1
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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 ...
5
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3answers
524 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 ...
362
votes
25answers
41k views

How would Facebook Sysadmins prevent the summoning of Cthulhu?

So, I've got this idea for a short story. Some researchers find a forgotten manuscript hidden locked away in an ancient tomb. While they are working on it one of them pastes part of the text into a ...

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