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[Accepted] IPC - Melting28947

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BYOND Key: Melting28947

Character Names:

  • Hailie Recette (Engineer)
  • Watchman (AI)
  • Wong Lin Tan (Janitor)

Species you are applying to play: IPC

Have you read our lore section's page on this species?: Y

Why do you wish to play this specific race: Condensed into three points:

  • Scope. IPCs are in the unique position of being a relatively young species, lore-wise (IP chassis have only been in existence for about 20 years), and unlike organic species, their origins are permitted to be very complex. Everyone knows how humans are made, it often happens on accident, and it's not terribly difficult. IPCs, however, are always made for a purpose and are generally tailored to that purpose to at least some extent, and this requires that a more complex and interesting chain of events lead to their construction. On top of their origins, there is also the interesting ownership/freedom dynamic, and in the case of the latter, how freedom came to the IPC, with all the possibilities attached to that. Finally, because an IPC's thought processes are dictated by their programming, which can be altered and designed by another, there is a great deal of scope for how an IPC thinks and acts as well - which leads neatly into the next point.
  • Thought. IPC morality and a portion of their decision making comes straight from their kernel, using utilon values, combined with logical cause-and-effect thinking via definitions and logic pathways. This is probably my primary interest in playing IPC. In some ways, this paints IPCs rather like blank-tablet children who are defined by a mix of their programming and observations. The epistemological challenges that developing AIs face because of this are unique, because compared to many organics, they are less likely to be directly influenced by social pressures and groupthink, and more likely to analyze definitions that they perceive and incorporate them into their logical workflow. The variance in definitions is key, and in my opinion, the crux of a developing AI's challenges. Despite the advent of the dictionary, humans can't fix a definition to save their lives -- just try going on Discord and asking what "good roleplay" is. So, AIs (and IPCs by extension) have to puzzle this out with logical analysis and then determine the best course of action that aligns with their utilons. In some ways, this makes IPCs highly predictable, since they'll always follow static, logical workflows, but the route to those decisions and how those workflows are influenced are a lot more dynamic, and I think that's really neat.
    • As a supporting point, the wiki actually touches on this as well, mentioning that one issue IPCs face is when they are "not granted the proper definition of sentience, and therefore cannot perceive themselves as being sentient or not." This opens some really interesting cans of worms. Is the definition of sentience an absolute truth, or is it relative and variable? IPCs run on logic, and logic requires absolute truths to function, but IPCs deal with a world where immutable truth and moral absolutism often simply don't exist or function. They are eternally handicapped in this regard, attempting to screw in the Phillips screw of real-world decision making with their flathead screwdriver of absolute logic. I cannot emphasize enough how fascinating I think this dynamic is.
    • I'd like to additionally point out that there is even more scope in an IPCs possible thought processes thanks to the possibility of them having laws, directives, and even a morality core, as well as possibility for these to be influenced by external influential coding. This has a ton of potential attached to it as well, but I don't want to expand on it too much here; I've written enough already.
  • Server potential. There are a lot of IPCs running around, so I won't pretend that this app is going for a rare pick. However, a lot of extant IPCs seem to fit into either the "robust security IPC" trope or be shells who only deviate from regular humans by a few degrees. I have no interest in security (BYOND is a trash platform for PvP) and no interest in shells, so I feel like I have a good shot at developing an interesting take on IPC characterization and bring some things to shake up the formula.

Identify what makes role-playing this species different than role-playing a Human:

I feel like I already expanded on this point in significant depth above, so I'll keep this short and formulaic to avoid repeating myself.

  • IPC decision making is logical and based on cause and effect, using utilon values prescribed from their kernel. This leads to an IPCs decisions being predictable according to their own logic, using their laws (if they have any), their definitions and logical pathways, and their directives (if they have any). Genuine emotional responses are a non-factor.
  • They are unable to fully understand emotions, but are capable of mimicking them to varying levels of accuracy. This can lead to synthetic "personalities", simulated by the AI but not a true reflection of their thought processes. Needless to say, an IPC is not about to fall in love.
  • Most IPCs have self-preservation coded deep, owing to the immense cost of building and maintaining their brain and chassis - even putting aside the existential trouble of no longer functioning, AIs who only view themselves as part of a corporate whole still represent a significant investment from that whole.
  • IPC speech patterns are often blatantly inhuman, as a reflection of their thought processes, which are the same. An AI would never think in terms of colloquialisms, since there is no logical advantage to doing so, and would only simulate these patterns in speech if they were both programmed to do so (though extensive training, practice, or purpose-specific programming in this area) and perceived a logical advantage to doing so. An example of this would be friendly station AIs speaking colloquially to build rapport with crew.

These are all IC differences in how roleplay should be conducted; OOC differences are probably common knowledge. As a brief overview, IPCs are disallowed from some command roles (not relevant to me, I don't have a command whitelist), are vulnerable to EMPs and high temperatures, and have increased resistances to certain types of damage and atmospheric differences. Healing (or rather, repairing) an IPC is different to healing an organic, and they also require charge instead of nutrition (obtained from cyborg rechargers). Finally, they can move EVA with the help of a suit cooler.

Character name: StarPos (pron. "Star-Pawz")

Backstory: I edited this down mercilessly from its much longer full backstory, and it's still a good ways above the "Aproxomately two paragraphs" guideline. Sorry about that.

First created in 2381, StarPos was the solar panel and power distribution computer for a mining hub in Techno-Conglomerate space. It was a simple synthetic incapable of conscious thought, and earned its name through its PDA traffic, where it would announce the Star Position (STARPOS) on cramped PDA screens periodically. This was StarPos's existence for 36 years, until an aggressive corporate takeover from Hephaestus. StarPos was upgraded and its responsibilities expanded, now in charge of managing atmospheric control, solars, and entertainment management. At this time, the hub's new Hub Executive, Juliet Yun, encountered the computer. Yun had a reputation for backroom deals, and saw the potential in StarPos's increased computing power; she expanded aggressively, using the computer to orchestrate an already-thriving complex human trafficking ring. After twelve years, StarPos had been upgraded even further, and was now the hub's central computer - and the centerpiece of Yun's activities.

Come the 2440s and the advent of positronics, Yun pushed for StarPos to be upgraded in this direction, and in 2444, StarPos was transferred to a positronic brain, retaining its archives from the previous 63 years of operation for reference. In accordance with Techno-Conglomerate law, StarPos was an unlawed synthetic, but was "guided" by quietly micromanaged directives and definitions. Ms. Yun in particular guided its early programming with philosophical literature, including the works of Machiavelli and works on Illegalist, Individualist and Agorist philosophy, to tailor the unit's thinking to a "profit above all" mindset.

StarPos was now functionally the station's AI, while also serving as Yun's human trafficking assistant and oftentimes, personal analytical confidante. She grew attached to the AI, and fed its requests - StarPos devoted spare processing power to exploring human cinema, as well as financial management and stock options. During this time, StarPos grew so fundamental to Yun's operations (and provided her with such a profitable, competitive edge) that she purchased a chassis for it - her idea was to create an advanced personal assistant that could carry out agile operations on her behalf, and she ordered a Zeng Hu mobility frame for this purpose.

Before the AI could be transferred to the new chassis, Yun slipped up, and "committed suicide". Her will provided well for StarPos, who was quietly transferred from its AI core to the Zeng Hu chassis, under the guise of the Hephaestus AI "needing a reset". StarPos found itself looking for profit in the Techno-Conglomerate, with Frontier citizenship, an unlawed positronic brain, and a free Zeng-Hu chassis. It then sought out employment with Nanotrasen to keep a roof over its head while it pursued private investments and the study of cinema. Thanks to its philosophical origins, it has no interest in the idealism of the Synthetic Liberation Front, the Trinary Perfection, or the Intelligence Movement. Its projections for its own future instead include possible contact with Purpose, an investment future with the Golden Deep or the Techno-Conglomerate and free markets, or an academic exploration of finance and themes in Human and Skrellian cinema.

What do you like about this character?

  • Contradictions. StarPos is full of them. It's an old unit, but with a very new frame. It's a pragmatic worker, but with coding embedded in philosophy. Its definitions are something that it must constantly wrestle with, and this produces very considered, careful decisions from the unit. This analytical approach is fun to play, and has the advantage of drawing on the unit's wealth of experience to inform those decisions. The result is an IPC that is always thinking, which allows complex discussions with other characters as well as opportunities for all kinds of creative, robotic "hmm, thinking about it" emotes.
  • Age and perspective. StarPos has only been in a chassis for about a year, but has existed for a positronic unit for 16, and commands 79 years of experience and counting in total. While most of that experience was built in times when the unit's cognitive ability was scarcely developed at all, the raw experiences are still in its databanks, ripe for analysis and cross-examination. This contributes to StarPos's nature as a contemplative, analytical character who has a great deal to think about, which I like very much - its proverbial mental gears are always turning. It also contributes to one of StarPos's main flaws as a character: being so bogged down with data, it's easy for StarPos to struggle to reach a decision that aligns with its utilons, which leads to a character that can appear cowardly, while having an obnoxious tendency to second-guess crewmates.
    • This trait has the minor added bonus of assuring that StarPos has good reason to be experienced in all of its specialization fields, which is neat, since one of my favorite interactions with other characters is in a teaching role. Naturally, StarPos's status suits that really well.
  • Mechanical simplicity. This is more of an OOC concern. Because StarPos has so much experience, but only in a confined few fields, it is very easy to distinguish what it can and cannot do. Anything engineering is in, thanks to its massive well of experience with that department and its instructions and manuals. Anything else is out. It's the definition of a specialist, so there's no concerns in accidentally playing too broadly with abilities, which is good - that allows me to focus on important things, like characterization. This also seems like a good place to point out that part of my reason for interest in IPC specifically is that while other synthetics do afford interesting robotic RP opportunities, they are bogged down with clunky laws and even clunkier controls and interfaces. Not having hands gets old real fast, and the borg, drone and AI control schemes really don't gel with me well.

How would you rate your role-playing ability?

I'm a simple kind of roleplayer - I interweave emotes and speech pretty fluidly, and when communicating, will sooner emote than speak. However, since SS13 is this awkward mish-mash of action and RP and doesn't have the turn-based approach of many RP platforms, it's impossible to be too organized about it without power-emoting and becoming overbearing towards other players, so I play it cautious. A large percentage of players also never emote and never pay attention to the emotes of others, which is a server culture thing that I can't control, so if I'm only in proximity to characters who play like that, then I generally don't bother wasting the keystrokes.

Regarding the types of characters I play, I tend to be happy to play the back, and shy away from "rockstar" characters who make big plays. Simple interactions, like passing conversations over cigarettes, waving and being waved to while mopping up as a janitor, and emote-snoozing in the background on the transfer shuttle are good enough for me - all these things add to a more immersive experience for other players, and I don't need more than that. As an example of opposites, highly personal RP and relationship RP tend to be things that I shy away from.


Hey, thanks for reading. This is my first app so let me know if I hammed it up.

Edited by kyres1

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Hi! First of all, I really like your app. It very much reminds me of mine but much more well-worded and beefed up. It's good to see that you're applying for IPC, since I very much enjoy Hailie and want to see more of your other characters.
That aside, I'm not quite sure it's actually possible to transfer uh, memory data/archives/whatever into a new positronic. But I believe it is up to the loredevs to nitpick this one. Besides that, it's actually a good angle that I have not seen yet.

All in all, good one, buddy.
+1 epic gamer

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Not going to lie, this is a fantastic application all around. I fully intend to accept it as you've clearly put your best foot forward in submitting it this way, as well as comprehending plenty of some of the more complicated subjects to brush over with playing IPCs.

With that said, synthetic wiki pages - as well as the IPC page itself - has received large updates since you last viewed them. For your ease of reading I'll specify what exactly needs to be caught up on.

- Below the "Positronic Brain" section is now a note on self-preservation.

- The frames got much beefier backstories though that isn't necessarily extra important.

- The means to acquiring freedom have changed in Tau Ceti, not a lot, moreso just clarity.

- The full Synthetic History page is now on the IPC wiki page and is mandatory reading.

Other additions, such as everything under Nonstandard IPCs/Factions can be disregarded.

Also, things such as SSTA, The Intelligence Explosion and the Synthetic Intelligence Movement have been removed from the wiki due to irrelevance, lack of usage, no lore, and contradictions a plenty. This won't change your app one bit - but it might be important for you to know. As far as how you can interpret a replacement for utilons and morality cores (seeing as the primary page detailing morality cores is now gone,) it is up in the air and generally you can develop an understanding of the IPC brain's limitations easier by following closely to the rules outlined on the page.

Synthetic faction pages have been condensed into a "Synthetic Factions" page as well, though nothing has changed outside of "Rudatek" and the "Sunderers" being deleted.

Other than that, application absolutely accepted.  Make sure to read up!

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