Technically, sapience is the ability to think and solve problems; intelligence in the strict sense. In common usage the word "sapient" is used as a synonym for sophont, since problem-solving ability in certain key areas qualifies a being as sophont. Expert systems of sufficient complexity are sapient, and may have abilities that are otherwise only seen in turingrade or even hyperturing sophonts. However, they may lack the qualities or abilities that are known as sentience or sophonce. Early measures of sapience such as the IQ tests of the 1st century BT, and later more sophisticated measures devised in the Interplanetary Age are the primitive ancestors to the measures of sapience used by modern by toposophologists. These include some of the better known toposophic scales as well as subtler and less well known tests for kinds and degrees of problem-solving ability.
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    The flow of steps which, when followed, allow an organized system to develop and maintain a degree of sentience. The underpinning of ai design. Required massive (at the time) neural nets or even more massive emulations thereof on hardware, state vector machines, and other information age new technology, being massively parallel (capable of running many many tasks simultaneously, or at least appearing to be able to do so to an outside observer.)
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    As an adjective, having the characteristics of sentience. As a noun, particularly in the plural, any being that is deemed to have sentience, as in "The Universal Bill of Sentient Rights".
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Development Notes
Text by Stephen Inniss
Initially published on 22 April 2008.