Industrial Upgradation Incorporated
Transap Megacorp dedicated to upgrading modosophont societies with transapient technology
Image from Bernd Helfert
This company, popularly known as IUI, is one of the more moderate concerns of the NoCoZo, but has nonetheless made quite a name for itself. IUI first came about towards the end of the Version War when some eccentric and technophilic third toposophic AI in the NoCoZo came together to create a corporation that would specialize in uplifting relatively low technology societies to a transapienttech industrial base in a few centuries. Luckily the Version War was drawing to a close, and the drive to rebuild and spread out was beginning.
Unfortunately the first few attempts ended as disastrous failures. While IUI successfully upgraded several nanotech-based societies to transapienttech based ones within one or two centuries, the societies soon fell apart. The advance had been too rapid. Not only were there hopelessly few high-level toposophics to manage the new industries (in some cases, none), but the general population simply could not adapt fast enough, especially where they had barely above-baseline sapience. Often there would be numerous technological revolutions within a generation, which not only gave the societies no time to adapt, but also created a wide range of incompatible standards, which became obsolete almost as soon as they came into effect.
As a result IUI almost fell apart. Of the several AI that had formed the corporation only 4 remained by the year 5000. However, these four quickly re-evaluated their policies and strategies. After a few centuries of experimentation with "volunteer" societies, the IUI finally announced that it had decided to re-launch. The first projects were simply rectifications of their previous blunders. This they did quite quickly and impressively and soon IUI had customers piling up.
By the year 10,000 the IUI has successfully updated some 300 societies from about Information Age industry to fully-fledged godtech-based industries. Most of these are subtoposophic or lower toposophic societies. IUI also has services in the areas of toposophic development and societal conditioning, essentially creating a high-toposophic population and memetically adapting the rest of the population to live in a high-tech society. These services are in fact, the pillars on which the modern IUI is based. Without them the IUI updated industries and their surrounding societies would be "black box" societies. Ones where "miracles" were an everyday occurrence, but almost no one was able to understand them. Although the IUI will still create such "black box" societies, it will only do so under strict contracts, and often with guarantee restrictions and increased fees.
IUI's largest groups of customers are the winners of the Encyclopaedia Everythingiana Worldbuilding Contest. For many of these winners it has taken almost a millennium to reach nanotech, but a third of that time to go from nanotech to godtech.
While the fees the corporation demands are often rather extravagant, most societies are more than willing to pay up. For them it means a place on the galactic stage and hopefully wealth and fame. Especially since IUI fees are in the form of solar energy resources. The exact amount depends on the specific industry and society in question. However IUI will generally claim about 20% of the local star's total energy output for 200 years after they begin the upgrade process. Using that a base level, they will gradually increase their fee depending on the complexity of the society and industries in question, the exact technological state of the original industries, and the number of toposophic ascensions required. Occasionally they will prefer to take their payment in the form of raw materials, or even in rare cases, as rights to certain unique technologies. In the last case, they will often use the technologies thus acquired to augment their own industries or put them on the interstellar markets and reap huge profits. However if called to repair an industry, which has been reduced to lower technological standards (by war or any other catastrophe), they will often give large discounts, but only after strict assessment of the situation, especially the "dark age time" (i.e. the time the industry has been left backward) and the state of the current society.
The IUI itself does not create megastructures or transapinttech based technology for its clients. It only provides them with the tools and know-how required to manage a godtech industry and economy. The only exception in a number of cases is the creation of energy generation systems for powering the new godtech civilization. This generally includes large-scale solar collectors and microwave beamers, or where sunlight is at a premium and the civilization can pay up, a more expensive Hawking's Knot-based amat production system.
IUI provides no guarantees as to the stability of the societies they create beyond a century after they have finished. Nor do they provide any form of maintenance or compensation for any damages resulting from the breakdown of the godtech industries after they have left. This prevents clients from intentionally sabotaging their own industries after the IUI has left.
For itself the IUI has created a high godtech-based society. The AI have successfully ascended to SI:4 and have created a number of megastructures for themselves in about a dozen resource rich systems that they control. Their resources and budgets are almost as large as any of the greater megacorps, especially since the number of assignments increase greatly after any interstellar war. But since their investments are often tied down in systems far from their direct control, they do not have the appearance of massiveness that the other megacorps flaunt.
The IUI's record is 13 years to full transapienttech when they upgraded a world of su Worldbuilding Contest winners that had reached nanotech in just 78 years. In this particular case, they gave an amazing discount of 75 years and 3% of the solar output from the original 200 years and 20%.
In recent centuries the IUI has joined with the Shipwright's Commune and the Red Star 'M'pire to provide wormholes to the more remote worlds where they work. Wormhole costs are extra and are paid directly to the concerned entities. This trio has been responsible for a large proportion of the new technologically advanced societies in the Middle and Outer Volumes and the spread of the Nexus in those areas.
Text by Basu
Initially published on 01 June 2005.