Muschine

Muschine
Image from Anders Sandberg

Subsentient biomachines. Widely used in the Zoeific Biopolity and elsewhere.

Muschines lack both sentience and autonomy, characteristics which define them from biobots. A biobot can be programmed to perform a task and then left alone while it does it. A muschine, on the other hand, only possesses the responses needed to maintain its own life-functions. A muschine in use requires direct control from an external mind or expert system.

A muschine is a simple device, a muscle-tool really: Something that, when in use, extends the user's reach and power, but which needs guidance to work. A muschine may enhance the user's abilities by a great deal — such as a biological waldo or exoskeleton. Or it may be little more than a living tube of glue or a muscle powered hammer (cf. the Europan Glue Grub and the Arcadian Quillgun) that the user merely picks up, applies the business end to what is being worked on, and squeezes.
 
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Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev and AI Vin

Initially published on 08 December 2001.

Substantially revised and expanded 07 March 2010