"To Serve and Protect - All Sentient Life"
(the Directive Zero)
"Just a machine? that's like saying you are just an ape!"
HSSF-MK004(Humanoid Sentient Synthetic Form, Mark 004), normally called 'Synthetics' or Synths, are the most recent model of mass-produced humanoid robots on Earth. all Human Factions nowadays manifacture synthetics to serve as menial workers.
due to its rampant xenophobia, Japan never counted on immigrant workers, so they focused on the production of robotic servants, as East Asia grew more united Korea joined its effort, the chinese didn't since they were more pragmatic about immigrants and thought of robotics as a waste of resources...they had to think again after 2031, when Japan started selling its first mass-produced robots in the world. in 2040 a handful of scientists went further, starting a people-funded project: they didn't just want soulless husks to serve humanity, they wanted intelligent machines that could be more than just tools, that could truly relate with their masters. in 2052 the research gave results: the first truly sentient AI was created and implanted into a robot body, what really made it different was its ability to think critically about directives and adapt according to personal experience. reactions around the world were wildly varied: the Asians thought this was a great opportunity to get a great mass of workers that didn't need to be paid, the Eastern saw them as soulless mockeries of God's creation, the Westerners went paranoid about armies of killer robots from the East. eventually however, these new sentient robots were everywhere, replacing humans in dangerous jobs.
the first model, the MK001, looked like an advanced Asimo, although capable of near-superhuman physical feats its movements were very mechanical and its default expressions and registered voice didn't convince people. the second model (MK002) included a more advanced mechanism to move, adding hydraulic nanofibers imitating muscles, and a humanlike skin and face made of silicone(think of the Actroid, only without the one-way ticket for the Uncanny Valley), however it still sounded like Loquendo. the MK003 was less refined and sturdier, looked more like TOPIO, it was enhanched with a 'circulatory system' for a repairing nanopaste, had lots of attacheable extra components(all separatedly sold), and was designed for heavy work, aiding the human project of mining the resources of Mars and the Asteroid Belt in particular. this model is particularly infamous for the 'Robot Wars' of 2077, when the then-rising Human Factions started mass-producing a combat-modified variant(industrial espionage, bitch!) to fight for those space resources, it was cheaper to send robots than equip humans. of the millions deployed, only a few hundreds were brought back, in the Asteroid Belt pieces and carcasses can still be found nowadays. the actual model, the MK004 was created in an attempt to mix the MK002's ability to operate in society with the MK003's prowess, and was a total success. with super-complex miofibers imitating human muscle structure this model is very strong and capable of feats of athletics and acrobatics unthinkable with the previous models, not to mention extremely lifelike movement, the voice was not synthetized but 'spoken' thanks to a new mechanism imitating human lungs and vocal cords(it still sounds a bit metallic and monotone, but it's very human-like), and its enhanched Brain Chip not only made it smarter than previous models, but also capable of a vague emotive response, scholars suppose these 'emotions' may not only be programmed but spontaneously emerge from random code fragments.
Once synthetics were programmed with Isaac Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics:
01- A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
02- A robot must obey the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
03- A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
Synthetics were capable of critically thinking about these laws to avoid paradoxes or conflicts, and this distinguished them from other robots. also, Synthetics were deployed against poleepkwa, ha-lyiss and h'yaech, since the three laws forced them to protect humans even in war. after the fundation of the ICA and that humans joined it, the Three Laws were modified as follows:
01- A robot may not injure a sentient being or, through inaction, allow a sentient being to come to harm.
02- A robot must obey the orders given to it by sentient beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
03- A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or some aspects of the Second Law.
to prevent further conflict, the 'Directive Zero' was added:
00- The First and Foremost purpose of a Robot is to Serve and Protect all Sentient Life.
Today synthetics are not deployed in war, except volunteers to help the wounded, in this case they are equipped with nonlethal defense gear such as force fields or stun guns.
Outside humanity, poleepkwa and h'yaech have a fascination with synthetics, poleepkwa are experimenting with cyborg implants to see if they can connect a synthetic collective to a poleepkwa hive, while h'yaech wonder if they may try to build their own. kothrah value synthetics mostly as servants, a working synthetic is paid well by the dinosauroids, especially pirates and nomads that like to have some helper that doesn't need food or rest on their ships. ha-lyiss look at the synthetics with a mix of contempt and pity, to them synthetics are not a servant race, just machines, and humans had a very twisted sense of humor in creating a machine that could be conscious to be just a machine, to think like a living creature and be freely treated like a tool. the na'vi have the most open spite toward synthetics, they call them 'fakes' and consider them as nothing more than another technologic mockery from the Sky People, many na'vi systematically destroy synthetics.
-each brain chip is built slightly different from the others. this and personal experience shapes a synthetic's personality.
-the plating of a synthetic's body is semi-rigid, it gives protection but it is covered by a soft layer, to make it more pleasing to the touch. this plating is also sensible, capable to feel pleasure or pain.
-thanks to their heat distribution system, synthetics are slightly warm to the touch.
-although they were designed to be attractive, all synthetics have slightly different faces, each of them with small flaws to prevent an 'Uncanny Valley' effect.
- synthetics can breathe, however they don't need air and their 'lungs' act as a secondary cooling system, plus air is needed for vocalization. for that, synthetic 'breath' is warm.
- unlike previous robots, synthetics can drink water, they use it to refuel their primary cooling system.
-synthetics are built with male or female bodies(Androids and Gynoids, respectively) but technically they are asexual. however, since they were designed for sex as well, they can be 'equipped' for it.
-unlike previous models, synthetics can actually feel pleasure.
- even if not sexually, synthetics can 'reproduce': a synthetic(or a couple) may simply construct another one, by programming its brain chip and building the body.
-synthetics can link to any machine, both via cable or Wi-Fi, and use Cyberspace to acquire, share and upload experiences and informations. they can do this even between each other.
-even if there is a stereotype about it, most synthetics do not want to become organic, they are happy to be what they are and believe that "it is better to be a real robot rather than a fake human". wanting to be human is called 'Pinocchio Syndrome' and is considered a psychosis among synthetics.
- all synthetic components are Cyborg-Friendly, AKA they can be easily grafted on an organic being. the idea came from U-2487 "Neiji", a MK-002 android who not only saved a young boy from a street crash, but performed a near-miracle surgery to replace the boy's mauled left arm with its own. any synthetic is ready to offer its own parts to a cyborg in need, on the down side synthetics are typically hunted down by implant traffickers, that take them apart and sell the components on the black market.
-Civilized Speech(the new name for 'Politically Correct' since this term has been warped too much into a boogeyman) refers to synthetics as 'Artificial People'. although synthetics like this term, a human using it is probably going to be addressed as a 'politically correct multiculturalist commie SJW leftie pussy faggot' by other humans.
-a synthetic typically refers to itself as 'this unit', however some use 'I/We' when speaking informally.
-synthetics say 'terminate' rather than 'kill'.
-since ICA decided that synthetics should at least have some civil/penal rights, synthetics cannot be destroyed wantonly, deliberate 'robocyde' is punished with 2 years of prison and the payment of twice the synthetic's price according to ha-lyiss servant trade laws(read: the more efficent the servant, the greater the price).
- if a synthetic breaks one of the Laws, it has the right to be put on trial. if found guilty, it get dismantled, and sometimes its mind is reprogrammed(that pretty much means death).
-synthetics are allowed to say 'No', however they don't do it usually. a new slur against socially inept people is "you're such a pathetic nerd that not even a fembot would pity fuck you!"
-the most widespread religion among synthetics is Buddhism, since it is the only one that says they actually have a soul.
-animal rights activists hate synthetics with a passion and have many times protested because the Laws's definition of 'Sentient Life' does not include animals. one of the best-known cases happened in year 2104, near the city of Palermo(Italy): a small child was playing in the countryside when a stray dog(a scourge in southern italy today, in the future even more) attacked him; the child tried to run away and nearly reached a Villa, but the dog caught him first...luckily, a MK-004 gynoid maid, named U-3147 'Nadia', was working in the Villa's garden, heard the child's screams and intervented:
"> Identified: Canis Familiaris, American Pitbull Terrier Breed.
> Status: Hostile.
> Warning: Sentient Being in Danger.
> Directive: Terminate."
then the gynoid grabbed the dog and snapped its spinal column. she became a local heroine for a while, however animal rights activists unleashed a shitstorm on the social networks, about the "robot nazi vivisector-fucking bitch murdering a poor innocent puppy" and sending death threats to the manifacturers. A few of them ambushed the gynoid, damaging her badly, however a handful of locals intervented and brutalized the activists(ironically one of the activists got bitten in the balls by one of the savers's deutscher boxer), so she survived after a few replaced components.