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A magical intelligence, MI, called intspelligence by a small and silly section of research magicians, is a spell (usually, though it's possible to produce a working of magic along the same lines) that is designed to modify its own runtime behaviour.

The phrase magical intelligence can also refer to the logic involved, or to its study and research.

Not all magical intelligences are 'intelligent' in the normal sense of the word. An early MI might have incorporated a basic form of fuzzy logic, the better to adapt itself to circumstances - the principle might be something like 'if the temperature's lower than this, raise it', or it might have been designed to accept voice commands. Much later MIs have approached 'true' intelligence.


The philosophical issues behind creating entities with budding self-awareness are a deep source of interest and have been explored in some detail. Arguments often parallel the debates about genetic engineering for increased intelligence in domestic animals.

The arguments of the 'pro' faction can often tend to boil down to "but it's so cool and shiny!". Others claim that no harm has been proved, that aesthetics and discovery are sufficiently compelling reasons in themselves (which is the "cool and shiny" argument by another name), or occasionally that sophisticated constructs somehow have a right to be self-aware.

'Con' arguments sometimes focus on the idea that it's wrong to create life without a 100% guarantee that the resulting entity will be healthy and viable, to which the response is usually "what about your mother, then?".

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Last edited July 22, 2006 8:22 pm by Mutt