The known portions of the galaxy are rich in numbers and kinds of sentient being. Billions of different clades, phyles, species, tribes, and lineages; a mind-boggling diversity of forms, fashions, ideologies, toposophics, and phenotypes; biological beings, mechanical beings, virtuals, cyborgs, ai, and many more. Sophontology — the study and understanding of sentient and self-aware beings — gives us insights into the nature, culture, physiology, psychology, evolution, and interactions of the diverse inhabitants of the galaxy.
- Biont - Text by Stephen Inniss, based on the original by M. Alan Kazlev
Any organic life form, Terragen or otherwise, whether natural or engineered. Often this term is used exclusively for organic beings of sophont grade intelligence.
- Class (sophontology) - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
A major category of sapient beings, as defined by one or a few basic but distinctive and generic qualities, not necessarily connected by ancestry (i.e. biont, ai, vec, bioborg).
- EI - Text by Anders Sandberg in his Transhumanist Terminology
Emergent Intelligence. An intelligent system that gradually emerges from simpler systems, instead of being designed top down.
- Glossary - Text by M. Alan Kazlev and Steve Bowers
Words used in the Orion's Arm scenario
- Mindkind - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
Generic clade-neutral Anglic term for all intelligent (sophont) beings, regardless of nature or origin.
- Person - Text by Anders Sandberg
A person is an entity given rights. A legal person is an entity recognized by the law, usually identical with the person. See also Copy Rights.
- Population, some notes on - Text by Anders Sandberg
Notes on the numbers and kinds of sapient beings are there in the Terragen Sphere up to the 8th millennium AT.
- Pronouns, Anglish - Text by M. Alan Kazlev, Daniel Eliot Boese, Mark Ryherd, Stephen Inniss and Steve Bowers
A number of new pronouns became current in Early and Middle Anglic and descended languages as new kinds of sentient being became common.
- Sentience - Text by Stephen Inniss
Sentience is awareness, including the ability to experience pleasure or pain (or analogous drives and experiences) and make predictions about the future. A sentient being is sapient to at least some degree, and sentience is in turn a prerequisite for sophonce. Terragen animals are sentient, as are analogous non-terragen bionts, neogens, and various m-life and a-life entities. On the other hand plants and single-celled organisms (and their nonbiological or xenobiont equivalents) are considered non-sentient or minimally sentient. Modern toposophology has long had a variety of technical definitions for the kinds and degrees of sentience, together with associated tests. Some of these date as far back as the primitive investigations of the 1st century BT or before; these in turn owe something to philosophical speculations from the dawn of the Agricultural Age.
- Sentience Algorithms - Text by John B and Pran Mukherjee
The flow of steps which, when followed, allow an organized system to develop and maintain a degree of sentience. The underpinning of ai design. Required massive (at the time) neural nets or even more massive emulations thereof on hardware, state vector machines, and other information age new technology, being massively parallel (capable of running many many tasks simultaneously, or at least appearing to be able to do so to an outside observer.)
- Sentience, Sapience, Sophonce - Text by Stephen Inniss
A clarification of some terms used in the Orion's Arm Civilisation.
- Sentient - Text by Stephen Inniss
As an adjective, having the characteristics of sentience. As a noun, particularly as a collective noun, any being that is deemed to have sentience, as in "The Universal Bill of Sentient Rights".
- Sentient Rights Protocols - Text by Stephen Inniss
Protocols which allow the creation, interpretation and modification of sentient rights in diverse circumstances.
- Sentients Overview - Text by M. Alan Kazlev, some additional notes by John B
A list of life-forms across Known Space.
- Sophont - Text by Stephen Inniss
A person. A being that has the quality of sophonce. Such beings are sometimes called 'sapients'. For historical reasons, sophont-grade ais, may be called 'turingrade ais', even though because of philosophical and practical difficulties with the Turing Test the term 'sophont ai' would be clearer.
- Terragen - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
Any biont, ai, or any other entity, clade, species, or group that either originated on Earth or, more generally, can trace eir ultimate origin and ancestry back to Earth; or any civilization, empire, polity or organization created or maintained by terragen sentients.
- Universal Bill of Sentient Rights - Text by M. Alan Kazlev, with comments by John B
The Universal Bill of Sentient Rights is a carefully worded and fully interactive document that has remained the foundation stone for civilized galactic society ever since.