I had a strange thought this morning for a feature of a high tech world. What if materials in a high tech setting had a way of remembering things? What kind of things? That’s where this gets interesting.
The initial thought was a material that knows who owns it and who owned it in the past. Basically a blockchain stamp that records a trail of ownership. The idea being that there are molecular arrangements that act as a watermark. Some device would be used to brand the memory into the material. The information is read externally, possibly via x-ray. This is what I’m going to call Memory 1 material.
Memory 2 material can form it’s own memories but it’s not intelligent. This means that the material only “remembers” what it’s told to remember. Some kind of nanotech material that can be written to is dispersed in the material and can re-write itself. There’s a pathway to communicating with the material so that information can be encoded. That pathway could be any number of things like a laser or radio waves or something more exotic if you don’t want people to alter it’s memory.
Memory 3 material has external senses and can remember events that happen to it. These senses may be very limited to strain, temperature and possibly chemical detection. Each time there’s a change, the material remembers it.
Memory 4 is when a material can communicate with other local objects to gather data about what’s going on with it. The paint talks to the metal it’s on and they share events.
Memory 5 materials are intelligent and can make choices about what is important or unusual. Instead of simply collecting events, these materials look for outliers and significant patterns to record from the materials and devices around them.
Memory 6 starts to display sentience. It is aware of itself, the things around it and the people (possibly chemical signatures) around it. It gathers data from materials and can actively communicate with devices designed to talk to it.
Memory 7 displays a distinct personality. It has preferences of it’s own and has a concept of how it wants to be used and manipulated.