TL:16-18 or the “Extra High Technology Epoch,” is past the present interstellar age, and represents the cutting edge of un-mastered technologies that are extremely rare in Charted Space in 1115, which include true artificial intelligence, affordable robotic labor, and increasingly advanced FTL jump drives.
- TL:16-18 tech is commonly known as High Stell-Tech or ExHi-Tech (Extremely High Technology).
- TL:16-18 sophonts are commonly known as meso-sophonts.
Library Data Referral Tree
- Post-Technological Period
Robotics and Artificial Intelligence are two of the promising technologies believed to be reachable within this epoch. Artificial personhood and more advanced jump drives promise to introduce new kinds of societies, while making new frontiers more accessible including the viable colonization of multiple galactic arms.
EDUCATION: No information yet available.
ENTERTAINMENT: No information yet available.
NEWS: A combination of more advanced pseudoreality communicators and artificial personhood promises new kinds of breakthroughs for communications technologies. The Ansible is still not achievable, but ways to skirt those limits seem vastly more achievable.
LARGE SCALE POWER: Very large-scale antimatter research reactors are becoming more viable and less dangerous. Zero Point Energy (ZPE) reactors are in a very early experimental phase. The theory of ZPE is becoming better understood.
SMALL-SCALE POWER: No information yet available.
TRANSMISSION NETWORKS: No information yet available.
LAND, SEA, AIR: Almost all surface craft on major technological worlds throughout Charted Space have been transitioning to grav platforms as the technology becomes affordable and available. Grav Speeders become vastly more common, where they were once considered the luxury playthings of the rich and famous.
SPACE: The line between planetary and interplanetary gravcraft becomes increasingly blurred. G-Carriers are still common, but more advanced gravcraft with longer endurance and greater thrusts are becoming more common.
FTL: The Hop Drive, which can cross tens of parsecs of astronomic distance is an exponential improvement over the early generation jump drive. While more advanced late generation jump drives can now broach nine parsecs, even the most early generation hop drive can cross a full ten parsecs. More advanced hop drives can cross tens of parsecs in distance.
EXOTIC: No information yet available.
MANUFACTURING: Makertech reaches its apex and approaches 50% matter conversion efficiency. Some makertech modules can even exceed 50% conversion efficiency. Old-fashioned robotic manufacturing is still vastly more cost efficient at scale, but nothing can replace makertech in a pinch. Nanotech commercial products are increasingly penetrating the interstellar marketplace and becoming more available. Older taboos about nano-substances are beginning to fade with newer generations.
MATERIALS: No information yet available.
MACHINES: No information yet available.
COMPUTERS: Early artificial intelligence is expensive and still can’t match the heuristic and intuitive capabilities of a fully biological sophont brain. But it is true AI even if machine brains cannot dream or experience emotions yet. They can certainly make qualified independent decisions. This technology greatly frightens many sophont societies, who outright ban it in response. Robots become self-aware and begin a process of replacing makertech laborers with an often unplanned transition to a post-scarcity economy imminent within a few generations as societies learn how to cope with a tremendous economic paradigm change. Many of the more capable minds create portable robotic bodies for themselves to better participate in biological sophont societies. Some fear the technological singularity.
DATA STORAGE: No information yet available.
ROBOTICS: No information yet available.
GOVERNMENT: Improved robotic labor and artificial intelligence threaten the ‘’status quo’’ and many systems of centralized governance. Rule by superminds seems possible for the most advanced societies. Many more traditional societies are fragmenting under the many pressures of TL:16-18 technologies. Many of the more capable minds create portable robotic bodies for themselves to better participate in biological sophont societies. Many sophonts fear the technological singularity, which many see as the “end being near.”
POLITICAL ECONOMY: No information yet available.
CLIODYNAMICS: No information yet available.
TRADE: No information yet available.
FINANCE: No information yet available.
SCIENCE: No information yet available.
STRUCTURES: Larger and larger spacebourne habitats become possible. Larger planets can harbor densely packed populations in the trillions and even quadrillions. Arcologies are becoming even more sophisticated and increasingly diverse sophont populations are learning to cohabitate. Artificial persons soon form a new kind of under society.
ENVIRONMENTS: No information yet available.
MEGASTRUCTURES: No information yet available.
BIOLOGY: No information yet available.
MEDICINE: Brain transplants open up new possibilities and troublesome bioethics questions. Memory erasure becomes more exacting with the possibility of selective memories being erased. Intelligent antibodies almost completely eradicate disease. Advanced biological sciences seems to have no limits. If it can be damaged, it can be healed. Psychology and the sciences of the mind are becoming more advanced than ever before.
AGRICULTURE: No information yet available.
TACTICAL COMBAT: High-energy and gaus weaponry now rule the battlefields and spinal mounts reach their apex. Guided “Bright Munitions” supplement direct-fire energy weapons and increasingly effective defensive power and force fields become practical. White and Black Globes are less enigmatic than they were to earlier generations, which once thought them not reproducible. Individualized infantry vehicles, or infantry pods, supplement battledress (power armor), and armed speeder gravcraft provide supportive fire in greater numbers than ever before.
SMALL ARMS: No information yet available.
PERSONAL ARMOR: No information yet available.
- Prototype Star Trigger technology
HEAVY ARMS: No information yet available.
HEAVY ARMOR: No information yet available.
The widespread availability of artificial persons, practical robots, artificial intelligence in computers, and self-aware mechanisms replace sophonts in many to most non-creative activities. The much vaunted post-scarcity society is increasingly looking viable. This breakthrough holds the potential to radically transform the interstellar economy. Although this technology is still in its early phases.
Post-Jump Drives provide an order of magnitude improvement on the foundational Jump Drive: Hop, Skip, Leap, Bound, Vault, and beyond with the potential of crossing the galaxy in mere hours. Only the hop drive actually becomes available within this epoch, but the promise of vastly more capable FTL engines seems theoretically achievable.
Alternate Nomenclature for this Technological Epoch
Terran historians have many names for this TL bracket including:
Hallmark Technology-1: Advanced Artificial Intelligence
Previous iterations of artificial intelligence had not been very reliable or capable in contrast to what many consider the first true artificial intelligence, an intelligence capable of truly making independent decisions. AI still cannot experience dreaming, emotions, and make leaps of intuition, but it’s a huge step towards building practical robotics.
Hallmark Technology-2: Hopdrive
The Hopdrive makes it abundantly available that jump space contains many different layers and vastly more capable forms of FTL transportation are possible. Scientists will continue to explore gradually more advanced FTL technologies until the end of time as we know it.
Hallmark Technology-3: Post-Scarcity Economies
With advanced robotics, makertech, and a plethora of other advances, even greater levels of material wealth can be achieved. Robotic labor threatens to replace sophontic labor causing great societal upheavals. Massive sophont unemployment forces governments to reexamine how value is evaluated within societies. Many societies rebel, outright banning or destroying machine minds. A few choose biological alternatives, which can reach the same stage of development.
Representative Sophont Species
TL:16-18 sophont societies are rare within Charted Space, but not unknown. The Darrians were known to have established technical mastery around TL-16 before the Maghiz catastrophe. The Sabmiqys are also known to possess technology at or in advance of TL-16. There are lesser known examples from other sophonts. A few Imperial worlds are known to be nearing mastery of some TL-16 technologies, even if not across the entire spectrum of TL-16 standards.
The following sophont species are known to possess technical mastery within these technological limits:
|7 Sophonts in the TL:16-18 epoch|
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