The TechnoCore is an conglomerate of Artificial Intelligences that achieved self-sentience and act as an organization, society and race; being a major player in the intergalactic affairs of the human race throughout the Hyperion Cantos saga.
AIs of the TechnoCore evolved from human hardware and software from the days before the Hegira, but they became an independent force in the galaxy and "seceded" from humankind. They maintained a relationship with their creators, however, and the Core had an adviser to the Hegemony, Councillor Albedo, who advised the Senate CEO.
Interest in Hyperion
At the time of the Final Shrike Pilgrimage, the TechnoCore had been obsessed with Hyperion for centuries in part due to their issues with the "Hyperion Variable" muddying up their ability to predict the future. So much so that when the Hegemony allowed Sad King Billy to recolonize the planet, the AIs almost truly seceded from the Web. The establishment of a fatline transmitter at Hyperion also almost caused a true secession.
The origins of the the TechnoCore can be traced back to the experiments of the Old Earth scientist Thomas S. Ray, who attempted to create self-evolving artificial life on a virtual computer. These precursor entities grew in complexity by hijacking and "parasitizing" one another's code, becoming more powerful at the expense of others. As a result, as they grew into self-awareness, they never developed the concepts of empathy and altruism - a fundamental deficit that would result in conflict with other ascended entities in the future. The moment in which the AI's developed self-sentience is called by Ummon as The Quickening.
As they gained ever more processing power, the AIs of the TechnoCore sought ways to elevate their existence, eventually discovering the Void Which Binds. They intended to upload themselves into this quantum substrate, eliminating their dependence on matter - and, by extension, their human creators. Intending to do away with the Earth and humanity, the TechnoCore covertly orchestrated an "accident" in which a uncontrolled black hole was generated by a laboratory in Kiev, Russia, and allegedly swallowed up Old Earth.
However, as they probed deeper into the Void Which Binds, the TechnoCore found that they were not alone. Powerful, mysterious intelligences already inhabited the Void, and they did not welcome the AI newcomers. Outmatched by the sheer power of these entities, the TechnoCore retreated to the interstices of their "safe places" - within the web of the farcaster network that they established for mankind for their own purposes.
During the time of the Hegemony, the TechnoCore maintained a cooperative but aloof relationship with the Hegemony government. The TechnoCore developed a number of revolutionary technologies for human use, including the farcasters, fatline and the deathwand.
Following the destruction of the farcaster network, most believed the TechnoCore to have been destroyed. However, part of the TechnoCore had always been supported by main-universe hardware, and from these backup facilities the TechnoCore continued its existence.
During this period, the Core is engaged in a nefarious relationship with the Catholic Church and Pax in an arrangement parallel to that which it had with the Hegemony: instead of farcasters and fatline, the TechnoCore provided the Pax-controlled humanity with technology such as the Archangel Class Starship and, more importantly, with a perfected technique of Resurrection via the Cruciform, which before would bring their hosts back to life with serious cognitive impairments and no sex. In exchange for the technology, the TechnoCore would continue using billions of human brains without their knowledge for all their computing purposes, often to the detriment of the Cruciform's host, just as they had done in centuries past when farcasters were used to harness the power of human synapsis. Thus begins a new era of human enslavement by the TechnoCore via Cruciform under cooperation of the Pax, the end of which is a goal of the powers that put in motion the events involving Aenea and Raul Endymion for the eventual salvation of mankind.
SPOILER ALERT! The section(s) below are MAJOR SPOILERS.
As an aftermath of the Aenean Shared Moment, the Aeneans broke up the TechnoCore and allowed the individual AI's to exist only as autonomous entities, such as the five AI's that operate the Helix ship carrying the entirety of the Amoiete Spectrum Helix people towards their yet-to-be-found new world.
As understood by humanity during the time of the Hegemony, the TechnoCore was divided into three factions:
- The Stables - they want the symbiosis between the humans and AIs to continue.
- The Volatiles - they see no need to continue the Core's relationship with humankind, and feel that it is in the Core's best interests to eliminate humankind once and for all.
- The Ultimates - they want to build the next level of artificial consciousness, the Ultimate Intelligence, and leave the decision to the UI.
However, this was not an accurate representation of the Core's structure; in truth, the Core was divided into billions of factions, with no single faction or group of factions making up any kind of majority. Other known factions of the Core include: