Image from Steve Bowers and Juan Ochoa

A presapient entity is one which is considered sentient but not fullysophont. That is, they have a complex awareness of their environment but only limited self-awareness, plus some advanced problem-solving abilities and other marks of complex intelligence.

Presapients may have any substrate: biological (sometimes called b-life), m-life, or a-life, or some combination of those. Presapient entities might be naturally evolved or they might be the result of a design process. They may be Terragen or xenobiological in origin. Presapient life has evolved independently on several life-bearing worlds, and may take numerous different forms; in a number of cases, these presapient entities have been provolved, or are currently undergoing provolution.

Examples can be found that are organic, cyborg, aioid, virtual, or robotic. In many cases a presapient entity may have quite sophisticated language understanding, and often will have the capacity for speech; many presapient vots, aioids and robotic devices have user-friendly language-based interfaces, so may appear to be fully sophont even when they are not.
  • African Grey Parrot  - Text by Kirran Lochhead Strang
    An intelligent, talkative bird originally from rainforests in Western and Central Africa. Successfully provolved during the early Interplanetary Age, it became the first non-mammalian provolve
  • Agrimonkey  - Text by Stephen Inniss
    An ancient superclade of presophont splices, derived from a variety of Terragen baseline monkey species and originally designed as specialized labourers and servants.
  • Ape  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev and Stephen Inniss
    Terragen primates that anatomically resemble, and are closely related to, humans.
  • Australopithecine  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Any of a number of extinct hominid species that lived in Africa between about 4 and 1 million years ago, and combined a fully erect posture and bipedal gait with a small and apelike brain case.
  • Barkbat  - Text by Todd Drashner
    A large predator, the barkbat clings to the trunks of the skywracks and uses its wings in a gliding flight to hunt other creatures that live in the canopy.
  • Calebs (Talking Dogs)  - Text by Mike Parisi
    It was perhaps inevitable that the first species domesticated by humans would also be the subject of some of the earliest attempts to increase intelligence in a non-human species.
  • Cetacea  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Clade of highly intelligent marine Terragen mammals from Old Earth that includes dolphins, and porpoises and baleen whales.
  • Chimpanzee  - Text by Stephen Inniss
    Chimpanzees are a species of ape originally indigenous to Africa, Old Earth, where they lived in equatorial rainforests. Closely related to humans, and to bonobos.
  • Cookie Fiend  - Text by John B
    A subsophont predatory lifeform native to the planet Elmo resembling a giant chocolate chip cookie with legs.
  • Dolphins   - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Aquatic mammals from Old Earth; like other cetaceans they are ancestors through provolution of a number of Terragen clades.
  • Dragon (morphotype)  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Dragons of many different types have been created using lazurogenic and neogenic techniques, often from crocodile or avian genes.
  • Dyglufsare  - Text by Anders Sandberg
    Marsh-dwelling xenosophonts.
  • Elephant  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Large Terragen mammals, now extensively provolved.
  • Familiar Perentie  - Text by Luke Campbell
    A popular reptilian pet dating back to pre-Technocalypse Earth, descended from monitor lizards. It has expanded with humanity to the stars, typically fulfilling a role as a pest-control predator or a companion animal. The clade has diversified to many different breeds, including a number of provolve lines.
  • Glidemonkeys  - Text by Steve Bowers and Todd Drashner
    Popular Neogen pet based on a fictional prototype
  • Gorilla  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev and Stephen Inniss
    Originally the largest (135-240 kg in males; half that in females) species of ape; indigenous to Africa, Old Earth, where they lived on the forest floor of the tropical rainforest.
  • Helpers, Icons, and Fetishes  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Semi-sentient software assistants.
  • Hobo Sapiens  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Tweaked and provolved space spiders Hobo sapiens that can produce buckytube from their spinnerettes.
  • Hominid - Text by M. Alan Kazlev; additions by Stephen Inniss
    An informal term for the most human-like primates, the bipedal apes, as opposed to apes in general. They are similar to other advanced primates in terms of their genetic makeup and are distinguished culturally (most markedly in Homo sapiens) by their more extensive creation of technology, including art and language. They also have certain common physiological traits such as hairlessness, erect posture, and fine manipulation (precision grip). Human baselines were the only surviving members of this group on Old Earth prior to various lazurogenic efforts.
  • Hylobatidae - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    The family of apes that includes gibbons and siamangs.
  • Infrabaseline - Text by M. Alan Kazlev based on Creating Friendly AI
    A sentient being (whether an ai or a pre-provolved organism) of below-baseline human ability and intelligence. "Prehuman" is usually referred to use to an infantlike or tool-level AI, so that "infrahuman" usually refers to a fairly mature ai, capable of general cognition, which is still not in the vicinity of human intelligence.
  • Inhabitants of the Sephirotic Empires  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev, amended by Steve Bowers
    The major classes of thinking being that inhabit the typical Sephirotic Empire.
  • Khowagong  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Large aquatic animals not unlike a Terragen sea slug crossed with a dugong, native to the Pelagic planet Tamarinde (Phoebus Prefecture, Solar Dominion).
  • Macroameoboid  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Rhizopodus enigmaticus, a highly intelligent but uncommunicative amoeboid aquatic lifeform native to New Poseidon.
  • Mamster - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Small, short-haired rodent, originally a modified mouse-hamster zoosplice that was a popular pet during the middle Federation period, and since established wild colonies on a number of planets and habitats. Averaging 10 cm in length, these tailless animals are prolific breeders, producing litters of ten to twenty young in as little as 4 weeks under ideal situations. Notorious for their voracious appetites, mamsters can do appreciable damage to warehoused foodstuffs and agriculture on ludd and medium tech worlds and habitats. They are much less of a nuisance in high tech environments. When bioborged or augmented they are also usefully employed on ships as maintenance crew.
  • Micromastodon   - Text by John B
    Micromastodons, aka M&M's were a pet/food creature generated for use in cold oxygen-atmosphere environments. They had a distinct similarity to their legendary predecessors from ancient Terra's ice ages. They were heavily furred, with prehensile trunks and columnar legs. Unlike their forebears, they were typically between a half-meter and meter high at the withers and lacked tusks. They had been designed as a high-efficiency ice-plankton feeder, and their wastes had been engineered to be highly beneficial to ice plankton.
  • Monkey  - Text by Stephen Inniss
    A primate, a member of one of two major primate groups that are neither apes nor prosimians.
  • Muts  - Text by John M. Dollan
    Genetically engineered dwarf mammoths.
  • Muuh Bot  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Biological robots used by the alien Muuh.
  • Orangutan  - Text by Stephen Inniss
    Orangutans were originally an arboreal species of apes indigenous to Asia, Old Earth, where they lived in the trees of rainforests.
  • Pet Humans  - Text by Anders Sandberg, Ryan_B
    Pet humans, Homo parvus, are a human subspecies created as pets or toys; most are highly neotenous and remain cute and childlike for their entire lives.
  • Pets  - Text by Michael Walton
    Keeping a creature of lower toposophic level than the owner, for purposes that are not strictly practical.
  • Physeteridae (Sperm Whales)  - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Terragen family of large-headed toothed whales (Suborder Odontoceti), including both baseline and modified species.
  • Presophont - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Another term for presapient. At the threshold of rational intelligence. Non-provolved apes are presophont.
  • Pspyder  - Text by Todd Drashner
    Colony life form native to the planet Trees.
  • Rat - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    Any of several species of adaptable, intelligent terragen rodent. All through history rats have proved adaptable and were one of the few types of animals to thrive with the ascendence of baseline hu. Easily kept and bred, they are popular with geneers and spacers, and it is estimated that several million species have been created, hybridized, or have evolved naturally, in the period since mindkind first ventured into space. Rat splices, rat tweaks, and ratborgs have proved their worth on ships, especially relativistic and pioneer vessels, many time, and often develop into unique and indigenous ecosystems. Rat provolves are also common, although not as common as cat or dog provolves.
  • Semi-Conscious Intelligence (SI)  - Text by John B
    An early attempt at artificial intelligence, SI's were emulations of consciousness before the derivation of a sentience algorithms, based on statistical models and broad sampling databases.
  • Sentient Ships  - Text by Stephen Inniss
    Interplanetary or interstellar vessels that are aware and may be quite intelligent but, like robots or animals, do not have the full suite of faculties that characterize sophonts.
  • Snarks  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Post-intelligent human-derived clade.
  • Sub-turing ai  - Text by Steve Bowers
    Any artificially intelligent entity, agent, or routine less intelligent than a baseline human.
  • Sublect - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    [1] a term for an inferior minds (generally, anything less than SI:1).
    [2] a subroutine, a dedicated processing node, a mind that is part of a greater mind.
  • Subsapient - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A being that may be sentient but has not developed rational faculties; e.g. an animal or bot.
  • Subsentient - Text by M. Alan Kazlev
    A simple organism, alife, or bot that is not fully sentient.
  • Virtual Robot (Vot)  - Text by Ryan B (Rynn)
    Common name for Non-Sophont Artificial General Intelligences. Also known as expert systems.
Related Topics
Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev
some additions by Stephen Inniss
Initially published on 10 May 2003.

Additional Information