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Old October 9 2008, 02:33 AM   #1
StarTrek1701
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Skynet: stupidest A.I. ever?

We all know the basic premise of the Terminator franchise: Skynet gets built, turns against humans, starts a war, gets defeated at a strategic point, decides to kill the leader of the humans but can't get to him, so creates time travel, sends back three different Terminators in the past, yet fails to kill John Connor or even his mother, etc etc.

Now I know it is how the writers wanted it, but let's say we are "in universe" in the Terminator world. So Skynet is smart enough to figure out the complexities of time travel, but cannot eliminate humans with a genetically engineered virus? Perhaps it could create nanobots, if it was succesful in creating the T-1000, surely it could create undetectable nanobots? I mean really, could humans come up with a defense for that? They are already war torn and nearing extinction, one hit in the atmosphere with a highly energised biological or nano weapon and the entire human race goes to shit.

Okay, so Skynet is stupid, and creates the overly complex time travel gizmo. But then, it programs the gizmo to only allow organic matter through? For an automated program and factory to churn out non-organic soldiers, you'd think it would not have such a requirement in place.

Alright, so it is stupid, but now it is even stupider. Sending back its legions to the past, it divides the time every decade or so. Why not send back one Terminator every year? I mean how much can the Resistance truly keep up with it? Kyle Reese, and two defunct Terminators. How many can humans actually keep sending back to defend their glorious leader? Therein also lies the proof that Skynet is stupid.

What do you think?
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Old October 9 2008, 02:39 AM   #2
Lookingglassman
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Re: Skynet: stupidest A.I. ever?

They are stupid. If they know the past then they will know where Connor will be so why not just send a terminator to that location and when connor appears kill him?

For instance, they knew John would be born on whatever day in whatever hospital. Why not send a chick terminator back and dress her as a nurse. She can go into the nursery and break his neck.
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Old October 9 2008, 02:44 AM   #3
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Re: Skynet: stupidest A.I. ever?

clearly. it can't even program proper targetting subroutines on it's "terminators" which is why they can't ever hit anything moving! clearly it's not because the terminators are inferior machines. they're capable or so much. it's just they can't shoot anything even if their "lives" depended on it, and it does.
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Old October 9 2008, 02:47 AM   #4
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Re: Skynet: stupidest A.I. ever?

Lookingglassman wrote: View Post
They are stupid. If they know the past then they will know where Connor will be so why not just send a terminator to that location and when connor appears kill him?

For instance, they knew John would be born on whatever day in whatever hospital. Why not send a chick terminator back and dress her as a nurse. She can go into the nursery and break his neck.
Records from before the war were unavailable according to the first Terminator film. Skynet wouldn't have any knowledge of when, where, or why John Connor was in a certain place at a certain time. Even knowledge of when John Connor was born is unknown to it.

roguephoenix wrote: View Post
clearly. it can't even program proper targetting subroutines on it's "terminators" which is why they can't ever hit anything moving! clearly it's not because the terminators are inferior machines. they're capable or so much. it's just they can't shoot anything even if their "lives" depended on it, and it does.
No defense for that. Though it seems they can hit unimportant characters but leads they can't kill. Though the Terminators are meant for infiltration so they may not have subroutines for long range combat. Stretch.
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Old October 9 2008, 03:53 AM   #5
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Re: Skynet: stupidest A.I. ever?

nx1701g wrote: View Post
No defense for that. Though it seems they can hit unimportant characters but leads they can't kill. Though the Terminators are meant for infiltration so they may not have subroutines for long range combat. Stretch.
Quite the truth! And here is another: why does a robot that advanced actually need a HUD (head-up display) hovering in its field of vision? It's like there is a human inside controlling its movements.
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Old October 9 2008, 03:54 AM   #6
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Re: Skynet: stupidest A.I. ever?

Nx1701g, in response to your signature. If your a soldier of the future and you find someone out in the field wandering around, would you be more inclined to bring a cute girl to base, or a 6' tall muscle machine?

I don't think skynet wanted the time machine to be able to only send back flesh. It was a limitation of the physics involved. Of course this does not explain how t-1000 came back, even if you use the "encased in flesh" rationalization.

Gentlemen, you asked for a plot device that leaves plot holes in every movie; I give you the Time Machine!
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Old October 9 2008, 03:58 AM   #7
StarTrek1701
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Re: Skynet: stupidest A.I. ever?

sojourner wrote: View Post
I don't think skynet wanted the time machine to be able to only send back flesh. It was a limitation of the physics involved.
The writers cornered themselves with that rationalization didn't they?
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Old October 9 2008, 04:14 AM   #8
Jax
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Re: Skynet: stupidest A.I. ever?

Its a time travel story meaning there are automatically more plot holes around than any of us have ever had hot dinners.
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Old October 9 2008, 04:17 AM   #9
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Re: Skynet: stupidest A.I. ever?

sojourner wrote: View Post
Nx1701g, in response to your signature. If your a soldier of the future and you find someone out in the field wandering around, would you be more inclined to bring a cute girl to base, or a 6' tall muscle machine?
That's not actually by me. It's from The Big Bang Theory - oddly enough a show opposite Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.
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Old October 9 2008, 04:18 AM   #10
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Re: Skynet: stupidest A.I. ever?

a terminator could never play Space Invaders
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Old October 9 2008, 04:24 AM   #11
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Re: Skynet: stupidest A.I. ever?

StarTrek1701 wrote: View Post
nx1701g wrote: View Post
No defense for that. Though it seems they can hit unimportant characters but leads they can't kill. Though the Terminators are meant for infiltration so they may not have subroutines for long range combat. Stretch.
Quite the truth! And here is another: why does a robot that advanced actually need a HUD (head-up display) hovering in its field of vision? It's like there is a human inside controlling its movements.
Out of character reason: Jim Cameron thought that the audience needed a way to get into the head of the Terminator to help better understand it.

In character reason: It's partially touched upon in TSCC that the T-888 does have an interface for external control both by Skynet and, to an extent, any human. The Terminators of the series are descendants of the remote controlled weapons employed by the United States military. In the novels there are a couple of chapters that refer to humans that are agents of Skynet that serve to help it accomplish its goals.

Going back to an earlier post about a genetic virus, Skynet has a slight problem with genetic viruses (it prefers to employ nuclear attacks). In one of the novels - Future War - Skynet explains that it has used biological weapons in the past; however, it cannot allow for the complete destruction of humanity due to its original programming. It needs to keep a select number alive to ensure that humanity survives.
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Old October 9 2008, 05:23 AM   #12
A Clockwork Lim
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Re: Skynet: stupidest A.I. ever?

While I can't defend even a solid fraction of the weirdness in the storyline (nevermind the stupidity that John Connor wouldn't even have been born without Skynet's involvement), was it ever said on-screen that Skynet was the one who came up with the time travel device? And if so, how or why would the Resistance even stand a chance of getting their hands on it?

I think it's safer to say that it was at the cutting edge of human technology just prior to Skynet's awakening, and Skynet only subjucated the technology rather than developed it. The Resistance could have simply found a second prototype or built one of their own based upon recovered plans.

It's really the only way it would make sense. If it were something Skynet built itself, there's no way it would have created in a vulnerable location that the Resistance could easily -- and apparently regularly -- access themselves.
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Old October 9 2008, 05:33 AM   #13
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Re: Skynet: stupidest A.I. ever?

A Clockwork Lim wrote: View Post
Was it ever said on-screen that Skynet was the one who came up with the time travel device?
Yes. In "The Terminator" it was said that Skynet built the time travel equipment. The Terminator went through first then Kyle Reese.

And if so, how or why would the Resistance even stand a chance of getting their hands on it?
The Resistance had stormed the Skynet Command and Control Complex at NORAD. They found the temporal transporter there. Skynet was defeated at NORAD, but its systems were reactivated at a secondary processing site in LA.

In The Sarah Connor Chronicles the Resistance moved the temporal transporter to their LA Base of Operations through the assistance of reprogrammed T-600s. Skynet has built a second transporter.
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Old October 9 2008, 06:01 AM   #14
A Clockwork Lim
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Re: Skynet: stupidest A.I. ever?

Well shit. If after destroying the vast majority of life on the planet, leaving the survivors living like sewer rats, and building war machines far and away beyond anything we have today and still getting your ass kicked, well, there are no words for what I want to say right now.

Any inconsistencies beyond that is pretty much moot. I always wondered why Skynet had such a hard-on for killing Connor. It's because SkyNet really is galactically stupid.
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Old October 9 2008, 06:10 AM   #15
Sephiroth
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Re: Skynet: stupidest A.I. ever?

i think we can defeat SKYnet by downloading Space Invaders into it
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