M is for: Muses

Muses. Ghosts. Cybersouls.

Muses are extremely advanced AI programs, bonded to an individual. In theory, they become an unconscious extension of the individual, a filter for the overwhelming amount of digital information accessed by an individual.


With enough use, the intelligent algorithms can extend beyond consciousness, allowing a person to never fully sleep, as their muse maintains their digital presence whilst they rest.

With an always-on muse able to continue the interests of the individual whilst they would be otherwise engaged, billionaire stockbrokers continue to get rich, engineers can maintain a watch on their nanofactories, and soldiers can maintain a greater awareness of their surroundings.


Generally, muses adopt a similar personality to their user, acting only as an extension, however in some cases they form antithetical behaviours.

Several punishments for criminals involve the deletion of their private muse, and the installation of either a fresh software iteration or one preconfigured to act as a counsellor and later as a parole officer.


More future software

Going back to my future software ideas, here are a few more.

Streamers – entertainment software
These are the programs that compile the various entertainment suites of today. Watching documentaries, listening to talk radio, Uservid feeds (think Youtube), the latest fashion idol show. They all feed into the Streamer.
Using the scrobbler function of the Blackbook, and a basic Fetch, you could pull the content you want to hear to you. With a veto function, you could override what the program recommends if you think it’s wrong. Pull in the soaps you want to watch, the boytoy band you love, veto the cooking show because you usually get takeout, veto the Uservid that your friend recommended but you hate. Subscribe and your scrobbler can drop related news into your feeds.

Manager – control software
This is the basic software that tells you what your bots are doing at any given time, especially useful if you have a more limited system. Would likely also include your system firewall, the permissions list for sharing across your various devices, and some form of antivirus.
If you have multiple in depth fetches running, this program would let you check in with them and their progress.

Irregular/semi-legal software
Chaff – the re-routers and additional firewalls often employed by hackers, but also by those who need extra security such as government employees and celebrities.
Hunter/killers – the angry antivirus bot in charge of following an intrusion on a firewall back to source, and in some cases neutralising with various viruses and trojans under its command. It’s defensive counterpart would be a Cleaner, removing offensive or malicious software from the system it is in.

I was thinking about the depth of information accessible via the World Wide Mesh, and how IP addresses might change. I considered the idea of adding letters, both lower and upper case, but that seems unfair to people using Cyrillic or Chinese keyboards (although maybe we all would by then?).
Either way, extending an IP from a four part to a six or seven part makes sense. Home would now be or something.
Thoughts and comments, feel free to add anything too.

EDIT: IPv6, which I’d come across before and was nicely reminded of, covers this well.

Computer-assisted living

I’ve been thinking about a futuristic setting recently, and specifically about the computer programs available within it. The setting comes from a series of novels, and they’re told from the point of view of a deck jockey, a computer programmer, but he makes a point that most of his job is management of various programs that act on their own algorithmic agenda.
So I’ve been coming up with programs that would follow these different fits, based on what I think a character would want.

Aggies – aggregator bots.
A cross between a search engine and a RSS feed, you could keep them running at all times or send them out on a specific task. Examples would include:
Fetch, the basic searchbot. Would go out on request, crawl through the World Wide Mesh and collate what it found into a hyperlinked digest, similar to what we see on Wikipedia. Depending on the nature of the search query, and the nature of user/fetch, the data mined might appear immediately, or added to over time once various darknets are trawled, or even securities bypassed.
News, the basic feedbot. Would collate headlines from topics that the user has already inputted. Could collate data in a similar format to a news website or in a similar hyperlinked digest to Wikipedia. Would be programmed to pull from different sources, so an engineer or biologist could pull from journal publications, a glamour-bopping tween could pull from various celebrity magazines and so on.
Shopper, a feedbot that brings you the best deals on the products you want, groceries or tech. Would also have a fetch function.

Blackbooks – organiser bots.
The trend in online software suites makes me think this would be the natural extension of certain parts of Google’s products, as well as Apple’s Siri.
Would naturally include a calendar/organiser function, a contactbook for keeping phone/mail addresses (I don’t think we’re far from them being the same things, looking at Skype or Google Talk or Viber). Would collate emails for the user.
Would also likely have access to basic business or work software, so could produce documents or spreadsheets and so on.
Might include a scrobbler function, collating various pieces of data across different programs, so allows a news feed to update based on user location with local events, or a shopper bot to pick up on recent developments in tech that the user has been looking into via a fetch, or concert tickets for the latest boyband craze based on music preferences.

I’m currently working on others. Any ideas people think everyone would use in the future?