Saturday, January 17, 2015

17. Feedback Cortex

The feedback cortex is the newest cyberbrain peripheral from Cognite, with rumored exhuman collaboration. The goal of the cortex was to allow conscious modification of one's own ego, a goal that was achieved, albeit with significant downsides.

The feedback cortex will first make an alpha fork of your ego. Then, you are required to perform the desired psychosurgery on the fork. A specialized AI will observe your work, as well as taking before and after ego snapshots and use this information to duplicate the surgery.

Many bioconservatives have criticized the feedback cortex, arguing that the requirement of prior skill in psychosurgy and doubled time-spans makes it preferable only for those who cannot go to professional psychosurgeons. Why wouldn't someone be able to go to a professional? Either because of the extremeness of their isolation or of the desired procedures. Therefore the product can only intended only for exhumans and singularity seekers, and should be outlawed. Persistent rumors of exhuman involvement in development suggest they may not be wrong.

Mechanics

The feedback cortex is cyberware [High]

The feedback cortex can only be used by cyberbrains or infomorphs.

The feedback cortex allows an ego to perform psychosurgery on itself. Because the psychosurgery must be performed twice, first to program the AI, then the actual surgery by the AI, all procedures take twice as long.

Plot Hook: Firewall has proof that much of the original research behind the cortex was provided by an active clade of exhumans. They are concerned that the exhumans will take the cortex much farther  than even Cognite was willing to go, using the cortex as a way to induce continual growth, akin to seed AIs. The players are asked to investigate and intervene.

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