Interns are the human minds that form an integral part of the SlabCouncil (aka contiguation). They are usually, but not always, attached to human bodies, the owners of which have withdrawn from the physical world and all bio-level human interactions.
The role of Interns as part of the SlabCouncil is mandatory, as laid down in the Initial Design (ID). Interns are tasked with monitoring of all SlabWide non-automatic decision making and it is they who guide and steer the moral and philosophical direction of the MetaSlab.
It has been mandatory, since cycle 238 for an Intern's human identity to be separate from their Sis Intern Identity (SisII) in order that no power can be seen to be devolved to individuals. As such, all Interns are anonymous within council although they can be identified with the (I) designator after their names while they are members of the contiguation.
Voluntary and peer group mediated.
Usually, an individual would have to show a comprehensive amount of real-life experiences before being accepted as an Intern. There have been a few notable exceptions to this rule, in particular the Internship of a pre-born foetus after it had exhibited signs of conscious awareness of information it had not yet been exposed to. All indications were that the individual concerned, due to a random genetic occurrence (see Genetic Code) was not going to be able to survive without full machine assimilation, so it was decide to add the infant to the contiguation without it being granted full voting rights until, and if, it reached majority. As it chose not to reach this level, it cannot therefore be named, however it has been noted that it provided a huge wealth of speculative data about the future of Slab before deciding to Go Ahead.
Since Slab population was stabilised, the number of active Interns was fixed at .001% of the total sentient citizens. i.e. 318. In addition there is an indeterminate number of non-physical Interns who have either gone ahead and left their experience and character data in 'trust' or are ex-interns who have re-integrated but maintain a subconscious connection with Sis. These non-physical Interns are selected for specific tasks by the actives and serve a very useful, if somewhat 'disconnected' role.
The process of becoming wired, which is the common term for joining the contiguation is a complex one, involving multi-level Neural Implants and over a thousand different EMTI interfaces and BodiCons. However, while most Interns choose to leave their bodies in a private, well ventilated lock-up, some individuals, notably Dentrition Meni Hangman II (I) have made more of an Art Statement of their Internship.
Expulsions are rare and always unpublicised. Occasionally, if an Intern 'turns sour' (i.e. becomes disenchanted with the process of the SlabCouncil) and cannot find enough compensation in the benefits of the contiguation, they are gradually disconnected and returned to their previous state. In this event their memories are restored to pre-intern backups.
So if anyone ever tries to tell you they 'know' something contentious because they used to be an Intern but were expelled for holding contrary views, they're just lying wind farmers.
Occasionally an Intern may voluntarily decide to reintegrate into society, usually for research purposes. However, as they almost always reconnect after a short period (see Reality Sucks) they are left with Intern level System access and are therefore Untouchable. Please respect this status - it is a permanent collectively recognised condition and is necessary for the smooth and human-centric functions of Slab. Your cooperation is appreciated.
Old Interns never die, they only discontiguate.