RSS iconTwitter iconFacebook icon

The Trek BBS title image

The Trek BBS statistics

Threads: 135,759
Posts: 5,216,455
Members: 24,217
Currently online: 956
Newest member: Vger23

TrekToday headlines

Q Meets NuTrek Crew
By: T'Bonz on Apr 18

Pine In Talks For Drama
By: T'Bonz on Apr 18

New X-Men: Days of Future Past Trailer
By: T'Bonz on Apr 17

Nimoy to Receive Award
By: T'Bonz on Apr 17

Star Trek Special: Flesh and Stone Comic
By: T'Bonz on Apr 16

These Are The Voyages TOS Season Two Book Review
By: T'Bonz on Apr 16

Kirk’s Well Wishes To Kirk
By: T'Bonz on Apr 15

Quinto In New Starz Series
By: T'Bonz on Apr 15

Star Trek: Horizon Film
By: T'Bonz on Apr 14

Star Trek: Fleet Captains Game Expansion
By: T'Bonz on Apr 14


Welcome! The Trek BBS is the number one place to chat about Star Trek with like-minded fans. Please login to see our full range of forums as well as the ability to send and receive private messages, track your favourite topics and of course join in the discussions.

If you are a new visitor, join us for free. If you are an existing member please login below. Note: for members who joined under our old messageboard system, please login with your display name not your login name.


Go Back   The Trek BBS > Misc. Star Trek > Trek Literature

Trek Literature "...Good words. That's where ideas begin."

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old September 5 2012, 07:58 PM   #16
zarkon
Captain
 
zarkon's Avatar
 
Re: I want Data back...

Christopher wrote: View Post
Then again, the very nature of Data as an AI means that finding a way to reconstitute his consciousness could potentially be handled more plausibly than your typical resurrection, as long as it were done in some other way than the "B-4 turns into Data" route, which is not only unlikely in the context of what the film established, but is deeply undesirable because it would mean murdering another individual so that Data could live. (Not to mention that it's too predictable -- there are surely more interesting ways it could be done.)
Yeah, I definitely don't want the STO method. But there's a novel coming out in the not-to-distant future that has...possibilities.

*fingers well & truly crossed*
__________________
In defeat, malice. In victory, revenge.
zarkon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 5 2012, 08:06 PM   #17
Jarvisimo
Commander
 
Jarvisimo's Avatar
 
Location: Paris
Re: I want Data back...

Sho wrote: View Post
Jarvisimo wrote: View Post
When a creator or writer tries to make death be death - as Logan, Baird, Stewart and Spiner were trying to do in Nemesis - maybe we should just accept that, rather than act as a fan and a dreamer, and deny death the totalised power it has over all our existences.
Then again, this is the guy talking who opened this thread. I could read 100 pages on how rebooting Data works on a tech level and be well-entertained .
I understand, and of course Data could come back. But I think then he/it wouldn't quite be Data, unless he was copyable, and that is a side of his existence as a computer program that seems to have never been addressed in lit.

Anyway, I just do prefer death to be death, since it seems that Treklit tries to aspire after a sense of realism these days (with exceptions like Peter David or the career of Sela between Death in Winter and DRG's books), and it feels like wish-fulfillment and escapism to do anything else. But who knows what will be happening with a certain trilogy, or other books in the future. Maybe it will happen, like an unmentionable character: but I hope not, unless the issues of identity and such really, really are explored (and poor B4 is not just killed effectively either: why do they need those bodies?)
__________________
In medio virtus
Jarvisimo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 5 2012, 08:08 PM   #18
Sho
Fleet Captain
 
Sho's Avatar
 
Location: Berlin, Germany
Re: I want Data back...

I went and looked at the Nemesis script btw, and at a glance I can't find anything that overtly conflicts with the replay method. Data talks about uploading his "memory engrams" to B-4. A memory engram is a (relatively fuzzy) concept from neuropsychology that is obviously not a raw sensory log, but you can make the case that Data was using a common term for simplicity's sake rather than meaning to imply any particularities about the nature of the data he was uploading. And the reason he didn't do a reset and replay is that his intention wasn't to create a copy of himself but to assist B-4's own personality (plus the challenges involved I already mentioned).
Sho is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 5 2012, 08:14 PM   #19
Jarvisimo
Commander
 
Jarvisimo's Avatar
 
Location: Paris
Re: I want Data back...

Then I guess what the script suggests happen is that B4 be developed, not (a new) Data?
__________________
In medio virtus
Jarvisimo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 5 2012, 08:22 PM   #20
Sho
Fleet Captain
 
Sho's Avatar
 
Location: Berlin, Germany
Re: I want Data back...

But I think then he/it wouldn't quite be Data, unless he was copyable, and that is a side of his existence as a computer program that seems to have never been addressed in lit.
This is a bit subtle I suppose, but I actually wasn't saying that Data is copyable any more than we are, strictly speaking. Christopher pointed out quite correctly that we are more than our memories: we are the exact state of our physical body from moment to moment. The problem thus is not merely to copy Data's memory around, but to recreate the state of his neural network as formed by the steady succession of his life experiences.

The potential for recreating this state lies in the fact that Data may record his life experiences with greater fidelity than humans do. Human memory is quite lossy. Being a machine, however, and assuming sufficient storage, Data may be keeping logs of all of his sensory inputs: What his eyes are seeing, what his ears are hearing, ... as well as less obvious forms of sensory inputs like the position and condition of his limbs. This is unlikely to be Data's only form of memory since it would be very inefficient to search - at the very least he would need to build additional indices -, but it would have obvious advantages for optional recall.

All of these inputs reach Data's neural network in a particular way and format - simplified, a wire sticking into it. If you can create an "empty" neural network with the exact same state as Data's before his initial activation - i.e. have the same exact starting conditions - then feeding the logs of those inputs into this neural network over the wire gets you a long way toward accurately recreating the state of his neural network at the time of his death.

A remaining major problem is things the logs could not cover, like physical circumstances that were affecting his neural network at the time it was processing those inputs (i.e. the radiation field example). You might be able to explain this away by saying Data's cranium is extremely well shielded and that you can count the number of events that did affect his brain on one hand and simulate them.

Another problem is that it might take very long because the replay might have to be done in realtime (i.e. it would take exactly as long as Data had lived) to allow for the time the physical processes inside his neural network hardware need to happen in response to each input. How much you can compress time there depends on the exact nature of the hardware.


Jarvisimo wrote: View Post
Then I guess what the script suggests happen is that B4 be developed, not (a new) Data?
Well, I assume that Data would have seen resetting B-4 and creating a copy of himself in place of B-4's own mind as the murder it would be.

I think to resurrect Data you do need to first build a new body. B-4 is important because he may have backup of Data's sensory input logs.

Last edited by Sho; September 5 2012 at 08:38 PM.
Sho is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 5 2012, 08:25 PM   #21
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: I want Data back...

Jarvisimo wrote: View Post
Then I guess what the script suggests happen is that B4 be developed, not (a new) Data?
Yes. B-4's whole role in the story was to be a flawed reflection of Data in the same was that Shinzon was a flawed reflection of Picard. Both Shinzon and B-4 were trapped because they were unable to grow and improve the way Picard and Data had always striven to do -- Shinzon because he blamed all his problems on his circumstances rather than taking responsibility for himself, and B-4 because he was simply too limited a prototype. The point of the engram-download scene was that it failed -- that B-4 couldn't become Data even with all Data's knowledge dumped into his head. Sure, the studio surely insisted on leaving a back door open just a crack, a way to bring Data back if the film had done really well and they'd wanted to do another with Spiner in it, but that was what the studio wanted. I think the intent of the screenwriters was the opposite of that. B-4 wasn't meant to be a vehicle for Data's resurrection, not primarily; he was meant to be Data's legacy. The knowledge Data left him would finally permit him to begin growing past his limits as he never could before, and that would be Data's final gift, allowing him to live on in the sense that we live on through our children or the people we help and inspire.
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 4/8/14 including annotations for Rise of the Federation: Tower of Babel

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is online now   Reply With Quote
Old September 5 2012, 08:33 PM   #22
Sho
Fleet Captain
 
Sho's Avatar
 
Location: Berlin, Germany
Re: I want Data back...

FWIW, I agree that using B-4 as the vessel of Data's resurrection would be terribly obvious and boring, even though the ethical challenges involved (i.e. a Data waking up in B-4's body would most likely struggle with the knowledge that his life comes at the expense of B-4's) make for some interesting story potential in their own right.

In my mind using the data that was uploaded into B-4 to recreate Data's neural network inside a newly-built model would be a massive engineering challenge, not a simple thing to do. After all, to begin with you actually need to build Data.
Sho is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 5 2012, 08:37 PM   #23
Hartzilla2007
Vice Admiral
 
Hartzilla2007's Avatar
 
Location: Star Trekkin Across the universe.
Re: I want Data back...

BillJ wrote: View Post
Seriously, we've brought Kirk, Spock,
Kirk's still dead and Spock is getting stuck in a new timeline try again.

Sho wrote: View Post
Jarvisimo wrote: View Post
When a creator or writer tries to make death be death - as Logan, Baird, Stewart and Spiner were trying to do in Nemesis - maybe we should just accept that, rather than act as a fan and a dreamer, and deny death the totalised power it has over all our existences.
On the one hand I agree with you, on the other hand I think this is arguably a special case because it's Data. Data is an android, and because he is an android the differences between artificially created, non-biological life and us have always been part of his treasure chest of story potential. If there is a technologically credible way to remake him because he is an android
An android that wanted to be more human as his major character arc.

An arc which ended in his death and shouldn't be reset back to 1 because some fans weren't happy about where it ended.

then that fact in itself is a story beat that begs to be exploited. You can make a case that treating Data's death as final just as if he were human is actually not staying true to his nature, and so not using the character to his full potential.
Considering Data wanted to be more human staying dead is actually true to his nature.
Hartzilla2007 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old September 5 2012, 08:39 PM   #24
Jarvisimo
Commander
 
Jarvisimo's Avatar
 
Location: Paris
Re: I want Data back...

Sho wrote: View Post
After all, to begin with you actually need to build Data.
Why do you need to build Data? Why can't he put in something else? I'm just curious why he can't be a bit like Morven Prime (or whatever her name was) in New Frontier, except for how cheesy that could potentially be - or Zoe-A in Caprica? Isn't Data's consciousness essentially software?
__________________
In medio virtus
Jarvisimo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 5 2012, 08:43 PM   #25
Sho
Fleet Captain
 
Sho's Avatar
 
Location: Berlin, Germany
Re: I want Data back...

Hartzilla2007 wrote: View Post
An arc which ended in his death and shouldn't be reset back to 1 because some fans weren't happy about where it ended.
For the record, as a fan I'm not unhappy with the end of the character's arc.

This is actually more of an in-universe dilemma, I think. If you assume that it is technologically feasible to recreate Data from the ingredients available (sensor logs uploaded into B-4, historic information on his life, information on the make of his hardware), then Data is not dead, he is waiting to be cured. How much effort in personnel, equipment and time is justified to cure him?


Hartzilla2007 wrote: View Post
Considering Data wanted to be more human staying dead is actually true to his nature.
I was talking about the nature of his body, not the preferences of the person.

That said, Data was never shy to point out the differences between him and humans, and never embarrassed to use them to his advantage.
Sho is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 5 2012, 08:47 PM   #26
Sho
Fleet Captain
 
Sho's Avatar
 
Location: Berlin, Germany
Re: I want Data back...

Jarvisimo wrote: View Post
Why do you need to build Data? Why can't he put in something else? I'm just curious why he can't be a bit like Morven Prime (or whatever her name was) in New Frontier, except for how cheesy that could potentially be - or Zoe-A in Caprica? Isn't Data's consciousness essentially software?
That's a very good question. On the one hand, yes, you could argue that what you minimally need to build is only Data's brain, or even just an accurate simulation of his brain.

However, after you feed the log into that simulation and recreate Data's original state, then what? You're left with a neural network that has evolved to function inside the body it was controlling, and it might not easily work inside any other context, especially just from one moment to the next. Of course it might turn out that Data's brand of mind is flexible enough to handle that, or that you can identify the minimal context you need to simulate or substitute and do that as well.

In depends on how much of Data's simpler functions (e.g. limb movements) are actually controlled by his neural network to any specific detail, or delegated to secondary processors, etc. - i.e. how tied his mind is to his body.

From a story POV, plenty of options. Data's technology has never been specified to that amount of detail.
Sho is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 5 2012, 08:56 PM   #27
BillJ
Admiral
 
Location: In the 23rd Century...
View BillJ's Twitter Profile
Re: I want Data back...

Hartzilla2007 wrote: View Post
Kirk's still dead and Spock is getting stuck in a new timeline try again.
You must've missed all those Jim Kirk in the 24th Century books that Pocket started churning out in the mid-late 90's. And the fact that Spock died in the 2280's, yet still has adventures well into the 24th century. Wasn't Spock even on the cover of a book with Sisko not so long ago?
__________________
I'm not popular enough to be different! - Homer Simpson
BillJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 5 2012, 09:01 PM   #28
Christopher
Writer
 
Christopher's Avatar
 
Re: I want Data back...

I'm with Sho here. The sci-fi conceit that a brain evolved to function inside a physical body can be "copied" or "transferred" into cyberspace or a different type of body and still be exactly the same is overly simplistic. It's like transporters -- a handy story trope in some cases, but one that's full of logic and plausibility holes.

Although Trek has routinely assumed that swapping consciousnesses between bodies would actually be pretty easy -- usually with organic beings' minds, but sometimes with software, such as the Doctor's program running inside Seven of Nine's body (and letting Jeri Ryan do an uncanny Robert Picardo impression).
__________________
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 4/8/14 including annotations for Rise of the Federation: Tower of Babel

Written Worlds -- My blog
Christopher is online now   Reply With Quote
Old September 5 2012, 09:02 PM   #29
flandry84
Captain
 
flandry84's Avatar
 
Location: Sunshine cottage,Lollipop lane,Latveria
Re: I want Data back...

Janeway is back??!

In space no one can hear you groan...
__________________
Bah!
flandry84 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 5 2012, 09:12 PM   #30
Sho
Fleet Captain
 
Sho's Avatar
 
Location: Berlin, Germany
Re: I want Data back...

To add to what Christopher is saying, it's my take-away from the few bits we did get about Data's implementation on the show and films that he is very much not merely software, i.e. not just a program that runs on an easily exchangeable general-purpose computer.

Many of Data's cognitive advantages over humans likely stem from the fact that he also possesses traditional computing circuitry and software and that his mind can interface with them with great efficiency (in other words, whereas humans interface with computers through their limbs and senses, he can do it more directly with the computers built into himself). But he secret sauce that makes him more than the Enterprise computer, the chunk of hardware that accounts for his personality and higher-order functions, is a purpose-built machine that moreover actively changes its makeup in response to the stimuli fed into it. As with humans and their brains, the hardware/software distinction becomes non-useful there because the hardware is not fixed. Arguably Soong was very inspired by biologic precedents in his work.

It may be possible to simulate both Data's positronic matrix and for that matter a human brain in software - science is actively working on that problem today (check back in a few decades on that one) - but that doesn't immediately give you a working human in a box.

So to reiterate, really the only reasons that Data's machineness may make him recreatable are that there's a good case for him having complete logs of his sensory inputs in an exportable format (supported by his perfect recall on the show), that we may have such an export in B-4, and that we know it's possible to build his body because his body was once built (of course it's a bit more complicated than that and I could offer additional thoughts on rebuilding Data's body, but by now probably everyone's eyes are bleeding ...).

Last edited by Sho; September 5 2012 at 09:34 PM.
Sho is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 11:15 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
FireFox 2+ or Internet Explorer 7+ highly recommended.