Talking and having opinions, and responding to queries with anything other than stock responses, is heresy.
Machine spirits are self-aware but aren't sentient. A War Titan's machine spirit (which is about as sophisticated as they get) is closer to a feral animal than a human mind. Machine spirits doing things instinctively is fine. Adaptive, creative intelligence isn't.
Machine spirits aren't star-trek style computers that you can all but have a conversation with, and any genuinely sentient intelligence that's not based on organic life (hence the tendancy for servitors and brain-in-jar based systems) violates the Sixteen Universal Laws.
I'd like to point out that "Machine Spirits" aren't as clear-cut as you make it out to be here - the idea of 'machine spirits' range from simple automated systems and emergency programs in all kinds of things such as lasguns or tanks, to advanced cogitator systems aboard ships capable of independent action, advanced calculations or flat-out battlefield command advice.
Some are capable of "learning", leading to long-term changes in gear or equipment behaviour, and even "simple" devices such as weaponry can have extremely advanced programming by our standards, and the exact nature of "machine spirits" have always been kept very... ambiguous.
can definitely be interacted with, Star Trek-style, although for obvious reasons, such systems likely has the resident Tech-Priest set off warning bells everywhere, suspecting it's an Abominable Intelligence; and some are
even Abominable Intelligences, but they never figured it out because at some point, their vox-casting capabilities were disabled, so while they are entirely self-aware, they might just not be able to interact or connect on that level, or may even realize that it's probably not in their best interest to do so. How would the AdMech interpret such a system? Boom! It must be a very strong Machine Spirit, of course!
What Yorke describes in his second post is, though, as Magellan says, just straight-up heresy, though. I can't see this thing happening without virtually all the non-heretical tech-priests throwing a complete bitchfit.
How is this heretical? it's a Machine Spirit it does every thing short of taking on a daily bases.
It violates the Sixteen Universal Laws. The Mysteries:
- 01. Life is directed motion.
- 02. The spirit is the spark of life.
- 03. Sentience is the ability to learn the value of knowledge.
- 04. Intellect is the understanding of knowledge.
- 05. Sentience is the basest form of Intellect.
- 06. Understanding is the True Path to Comprehension.
- 07. Comprehension is the key to all things.
- 08. The Omnissiah knows all, comprehends all.
- 09. The alien mechanism is a perversion of the True Path.
- 10. The soul is the conscience of sentience.
- 11. A soul can be bestowed only by the Omnissiah.
- 12. The Soulless sentience is the enemy of all life.
- 13. The knowledge of the ancients stands beyond question.
- 14. The Machine Spirit guards the knowledge of the Ancients.
- 15. Flesh is fallible, but ritual honours the Machine Spirit.
- 16. To break with ritual is to break with faith.
It doesn't mean that it's automatically heresy to break against one or more of these, because the Galaxy is a Big Place, and there's Magi that can sanction this and that, there's the Inquisition that can basically do as they want as long as no other Inquisitor objects, there's different kinds of interpretations, etc, etc, etc - for example, there's one organization that exclusively studies xenos artifacts and xenos "machine spirits", even in spite of the first warning, and even if alien mechanics are considered to have tortured machine spirits forced into service by godless xenos.
There's also organizations within the AdMech that studies Abominable Intelligences, and some - hereteks, argued by many, most likely - even try to create new Abominable Intelligences; under the rationale of learning more about them so they can be defeated, no doubt, but it's a very touchy subject.
The ban on Abominable Intelligences (AI) goes all the way back to pre-Imperium times, because of the "Men of Iron"-uprising(s) during the Dark Age of Technology, which resulted in a Galaxy-wide conflict between humans and their robotic, AI servants. The Iron Men have been encountered several times since, and are along with the Necrons (depending on which timeframe we're talking about) chief AI threats.
They're strong, relentless, self-replicating, and incredibly intelligent. Artificial sentience is one of those really, really, really big no-no's of the Cult Mechanicus.
Just stick a lobotomised brain or two in the machine instead and it's fine.
Edited by Fgdsfg, 13 December 2013 - 02:25 AM.