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"...being predictive, being right about the future, is not the point of any given story or novel. The point is about exploring as wide a range of possibilities as possible."
- Peter Watts

Emissarial Projection  
  An expert system able to converse and act in the capacity of ambassador.  

"Do you know what an emissarial projection is...? It's when they send a tuned suite of queries and responses to a remote location, by light beam. To play the part of an emissary."

"...If we are to believe what we are told, the object they send is something like a library, transmitted by a signal laser. Suitably housed and emplaced within enabled equipment of sufficient capacity and complexity, this... entity, though it is simply a many-branched array of statements, questions and answers, with a set of rules governing the order in which they are expressed, is able to carry out what seems like an intelligent conversation. It is as close as one is allowed to to come to an artificial intelligence.

From The Algebraist, by Iain M Banks.
Published by Orbit in 2004
Additional resources -

A much simpler use of this idea was used in the film I, Robot; Dr. Lanning creates a hologram controlled by simple rules to act as his representative after his death.


(Dr. Lanning hologram from I, Robot)

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Algebraist
  More Ideas and Technology by Iain M Banks
  Tech news articles related to The Algebraist
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