Artificial mind-to-mind communication

Image from Keith Wigdor and Midjourney A
Early technotelepathy rigs were complex and intrusive augmentations, often unsightly and sometimes uncomfortable. In the Current Era mind-to-mind connections are generally unobtrusive or entirely invisible.
Technotelepathy, sometimes known as Techlepathy, is the use of advanced neurotechnology (technoetics) to enable two (or more) entities to experience the same sensorium and stream of consciousness, sometimes without the knowledge or consent of one (or more) of those parties.

These shared experiences can include even including somatic and visceral experiences (if this option is allowed for). Consensual technotelepathy can be achieved by upgrading an existing Direct Neural interface, or by the use of an independent Mind-reader swarm.

Many group mind societies such as Unity use a consensual form of technotelepathy to share experiences and thoughts. Technotelepathy can also be used as part of a surveillance system, such as a Guardweb.

Optimally, technotelepathy requires very high bandwidth, and as this is often impractical, in most cases technotelepathy is very imperfect. Possible commlink media include electromagnetic (VHF, UHF, maser), subsonic, ultrasonic, fullerene microcable (requires contact), pheromonal triggers, subliminal body or photopore triggers, and package (meso/bionano/hylonano-scale) exchange, or combinations of any of the above. More exotic transmission media - e.g. neutrino emission - are possible with some forms of transapientech. Each medium of transmission comes with its own advantages and disadvantages, as regards range, bandwidth, speed of conveyance, and signal strength.

Mind-Reader Swarms

Mind-reader swarms consist of microscale hylonano, bionano or synano components and can be administered voluntarily, but may sometimes be introduced without the subject's permission. This can be achieved by infection using a vector such as a synsect, or as an aerosol spray or goo, or in other ways. Most modern artificial immune systems include effective defences against mind-reader swarms, but the most advanced swarms may be disguised as harmless technocytes or nanosomes and avoid such defences.

Technotelepathy generally requires quite sophisticated expert systems in order to coordinate and interpret the data received from the target's mind. These systems can be incorporated into the mind-reader nanites in a distributed form, or located in the recipient's mind, or in a separate dedicated substrate. Since technotelepathy can only reveal secrets about a target mind if the mind-reader swarm can decode and understand the target's thought processes, technotelepathy software must have the capacity to decrypt a target's internal mental codes. The mental processes of certain sophonts are more complex and difficult to transcribe than others, and this attribute is useful as a defence against technotelepathy. In fact many sophonts, especially transapients, guard against mindreading attempts by baroquification of their mental processes.

Mind-reading swarms can have many different levels of sentience. A simple non-sentient swarm is the most obedient, but also least efficient when it comes to understanding the target's mentality; interpreting a target's mindstate is something of an art, making mind-reading difficult for non-sentient programs. It is sometimes possible to hack into the user's direct neural interface, allowing the swarm to use the interpretive systems already included in the user's software.

More intelligent swarms are larger and more complex, and the largest swarms are too bulky to be contained in a single user's head. The most advanced Mindreaders are fully hyperturing or slaved hyperturing entities; these are the most unpredictable, since it does happen that such minds can break their programming, especially with the Cyberian and TRHN aioid liberation viruses floating around) but transapient swarms can probe into their target's minds much more deeply.

Image from Steve Bowers

Other forms of mind reading

Advanced empathy and close observation can be used to deduce the mind-state of a biont in a process known as Deductive Telepathy. Alternately remote transcranial scans can be taken using advanced quantum interference sensors, but only sensors of transapient design are sensitive enough to consistently obtain intelligible thought readings from such scans.
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Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev and Steve Bowers
Initially published on 09 January 2002.