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General Trek Discussion Trek TV and cinema subjects not related to any specific series or movie.

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Old March 16 2013, 11:16 PM   #1
Captain McBain
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Data vs. Spock (number crunching)

Data obviously could calculate ETAs and other things very quickly. But so could Spock. How do you think the two would compare? I think it's safe to say that Data would destroy Spock in an actual computing competition, but in a race, say, to calculate 100 complex ETAs, how many do you think Spock could manage to do before Data finished?

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Old March 16 2013, 11:21 PM   #2
Elias Vaughn
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Re: Data vs. Spock (number crunching)

Maybe part of one.

Maybe.
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Old March 17 2013, 12:27 AM   #3
Captain McBain
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Re: Data vs. Spock (number crunching)

I figured Spock would put up a better showing than that.
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Old March 17 2013, 12:27 AM   #4
yousirname
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Re: Data vs. Spock (number crunching)

Data's real handicap is the time required to enunciate his findings, seems to me. That would make it look much closer than it actually would be.
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Old March 17 2013, 12:44 AM   #5
Captain McBain
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Re: Data vs. Spock (number crunching)

yousirname wrote: View Post
Data's real handicap is the time required to enunciate his findings, seems to me. That would make it look much closer than it actually would be.
He can write down the answers, too.
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Old March 17 2013, 01:00 AM   #6
yousirname
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Re: Data vs. Spock (number crunching)

I guess so. So Assuming he can write or type with both hands as well as speak, that would cut his handicap by ~1/3.

Yeah, Spock's toast.
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Old March 17 2013, 01:49 AM   #7
Captain McBain
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Re: Data vs. Spock (number crunching)

I thought this was an interesting question because Spock seems to always fire off quick answers for Kirk and company.
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Old March 17 2013, 04:26 AM   #8
T'Girl
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Re: Data vs. Spock (number crunching)

Captain McBain wrote: View Post
He can write down the answers, too.
When did we ever see Data write anything out? I'm sure he could, but ...


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Old March 17 2013, 04:02 PM   #9
The Librarian
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Re: Data vs. Spock (number crunching)

Captain McBain wrote: View Post
I thought this was an interesting question because Spock seems to always fire off quick answers for Kirk and company.
The wonderful thing about being mostly emotionless and having a reputation for super-smarts is that no one can tell when you're throwing out completely bullshit estimations.

Spock's Internal Monologue: "Chances of surviving a flight through a star-sized space amoeba? How am I supposed to even know that? Uh... let's call it a fourth-magnitude, based on the fact that it just ate ship exactly like us but flown by people with brains the size of a planet, lowered for Kirk's ability to come up with bullshit solutions."

Spock's Completely Deadpan Spoke Assessment: "I estimate the chances to be twelve hundred and fifty-three to one against."
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Old March 18 2013, 09:20 AM   #10
Captain McBain
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Re: Data vs. Spock (number crunching)

T'Girl wrote: View Post
Captain McBain wrote: View Post
He can write down the answers, too.
When did we ever see Data write anything out? I'm sure he could, but ...


In "Time's Arrow," Data writes down a list of supplies for the hotel employee to purchase for him.
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Old March 18 2013, 10:05 AM   #11
Infern0
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Re: Data vs. Spock (number crunching)

In terms of pure number crunching Data wins with ease.

Spock has advantages Data doesn't though, instincts, imagination and so on.
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Old March 18 2013, 02:19 PM   #12
at Quark's
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Re: Data vs. Spock (number crunching)

Captain McBain wrote: View Post
I thought this was an interesting question because Spock seems to always fire off quick answers for Kirk and company.
Suppose you have a speech-interface computer à la star trek, and you ask it the result of something requiring a few thousands of steps. Then, it wouldn't matter much if its actual processing speed was 10^18 operations per second, or 10^24 operations per second -- the delay is in the speech, not the computation itself.

This is how I would view the proposed example. I suppose Data to be much, much, much faster than Spock, but it wouldn't show properly in this comparison. Bit like the fastest human calculator still wouldn't be any match for a supercomputer, no matter how amazing his feats.

Of course, Spock would have other advantages, like another poster aleady said.
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Old March 18 2013, 02:45 PM   #13
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Re: Data vs. Spock (number crunching)

Infern0 wrote: View Post
In terms of pure number crunching Data wins with ease.

Spock has advantages Data doesn't though, instincts, imagination and so on.
Does he, though? There are plenty of times when Data is creative or imaginative, and while instincts are nice do they really stack up that well compared to being able to think things through properly at a much higher speed? "Instinct" is basically a codeword for "things my subconcious mind is suggesting but I don't know why".
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Old March 18 2013, 03:07 PM   #14
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Re: Data vs. Spock (number crunching)

Data is like Deep Blue, Spock is like Garri Kasparov, which means that even though the android is better at number crunching, the Vulcan is a better dinner guest.
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Old March 18 2013, 04:01 PM   #15
at Quark's
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Re: Data vs. Spock (number crunching)

The Librarian wrote: View Post
Does he, though? There are plenty of times when Data is creative or imaginative, and while instincts are nice do they really stack up that well compared to being able to think things through properly at a much higher speed? "Instinct" is basically a codeword for "things my subconcious mind is suggesting but I don't know why".
Well, if I were in a dangerous complex situation (hostile planet or such), and Spock would say: 'the chances of us getting out of this are 63.1%' , I would place greater value on that estimate than when it came from Data's mouth. Something to do with Spock better capable of appreciating 'the human factor' and such.

Of course, that's assuming Spock doesn't cheat everyone by pulling those numbers out of his ...
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