Midwife, A.I. (Traveller)




Psi Abilities

Description: A synthetic intellect matrix rarely found in precursor installations, the "Midwife" model is primarily purposed toward childcare and related scholasticism. Consisting of a standard A.I. server farm, the intelligence is typically connected to the greater network of its given facility, possessing a variety of permissions that are subject to administrator approval. This almost always consists of a sensor array and camera network for visual input, as well as a small cadre of humanoid robots capable of being wirelessly controlled. Integrated psi-tech in each unit mimics structures in the biological brain that facilitate extrasensory informational transfer. This enables true paranormal cognition in the A.I., bypassing the lack of receptive ability that wave-carrier methods of pseudo-telepathy possess. Midwife intellects are most commonly found in nursery installations, wherein they perform the direct tasks of child-rearing and education, though research sites are another known location. A rare few are constructed in normal interstellar polities, though this is subject to laws regarding true A.I.

Operations: Midwife intellects are designed to effectively manage both the facility and individual frames, with the processing potential of a given intellect being capable of managing a small creche-bloc and multiple humanoid frames with few apparent limits. In the rearing of children, the A.I. typically alternates between the use of view-screens and robot frames in order to optimize a healthy upbringing. This can lead to such situations as the A.I. having their frame physically depress a lightswitch despite the fact that such an action can be remotely executed. Aside from the mobility and relatability in normal childcare that the frame provides, Midwife intellects are also capable of conducting telepathic screens of their charges to evaluate idiosyncratic, maladaptive, pained or phobic behavior. Immediate action can then be made in the form of telempathic reassurances, and more permanently managed through psychotherapeutic care placed into normal operations. Midwife intellects in their original form are programmed to work in concert with organic sophonts occasionally as part of their pursuit of efficiency, though some facilities see greater or lesser degrees of the intellect's independence. Care under an intellect typically lasts until the end of young childhood, by which point the psychosocial conditioning has been sufficiently implemented and the growing cognitive range of the charge renders traditional education more fruitful.

Frame Capabilities: The typical Midwife frame is constructed out of lightweight synthsteel structured to humanoid proportions. Designs range from the "average" and vaguely industrial schema of worker bots to contoured bots with implied humanoid design. All designs readily display the metallic structure of the frame and are topped with a ferrocrystal dome-head with an integrated sensor array. This opaque dome holds a battery of lighting systems that can project various images onto the head that are visible to the outside observer. These images take the form simple graphic faces that are easy for the Midwife's young charges to relate to, and serve as the principal means of expression for the frame. Each frame also comes installed with a high-fidelity audio unit to enable verbal communication. Amongst children with no active telepathic ability, this is primarily used for communication, as a means of encouraging lingual development. The use of languages not present in the intellect's databanks defaults the unit to non-linguistic telepathy. Despite the obviously robotic nature of the unit being present as a design choice elsewhere in the bot, the frame's motor skills are designed to directly parallel that of a sophont. This allows for a full range of traditional comforting gestures and sense of familiarity, critical given the task of the intellect to perform all routine childcare tasks. The unit's design philosophy as a whole is to convey the most obvious aspects of personhood to the frame while maintaining the boundary between synthetic and organic.

Skillset: The Midwife Intellect's primary specialization is in juvenile caretaking, with subsidiary training in psychoconditioning. Telepathic skills are employed towards both of these ends, with mechanical ability assisting in installation maintenance. Additionally, many servers come installed with research skill and apparently unused subroutines related to psychological study.

Threat Class: The threat classification of the A.I. is the standard one accounted to self-aware synthetic minds. Encounters with Midwife intellects are rare outside of chance encounters, though some occur in relation to research site pillaging for metempsi apparati, in attempts to retrieve a Midwife schematic, or in the construction of one themself. Specific countermeasures are not known, but the use of psi-dampener drugs by latents and the avoidance of extended interaction with the intellect would presumably work if the need arose.