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Old October 14 2008, 05:24 PM   #1
V
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Star Trek vs Wars: Robot Slavery?

In TNG's "Measure of a Man", Picard comes to the realization, after Guinan points it out to him, that if more Data-robots are made per the plan, and they aren't given rights, they'll effectively be making a slave race of robots.

The arguement is that they use computers and stuff, and i.e. the Enterprise's computer is very advanced, but its not "really sentient"

Data is "really sentient". I personally believe we should be able to make human-like robots for work and stuff, but so long as they're not "actually sentient"; Data is, and that makes him a person.

So Trek's answer to this was to realize that "all sentience" has basic rights

Star Wars, however....I saw some thing pointing out that the droids are basically analagous to the peasant charaters in "Hidden Fortress" whose caste was basically slaves.

And I realize: people OWN C-3PO and R2-D2, they are indeed legally "owned" by other people.

Doesn't that mean that everyone, including the "good guys", considers robots, despite their sentience, to basically be a slave race?

Granted, not all robots are "fully sentient": the Battle-droids are mass-produced morons, but the astromechs (robot mechanics) like R2-D2 are master-hackers and engineers; C-3PO is a protocol droid and as such is a lot better at interacting with people verbally/emotionally.
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Old October 14 2008, 05:48 PM   #2
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Re: Star Trek vs Wars: Robot Slavery?

The general view seems to be that droids which achieve true sentience are fairly rare.
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Old October 14 2008, 05:48 PM   #3
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Re: Star Trek vs Wars: Robot Slavery?

Of the droids in the Star Wars series, only R2-D2 has shown demonstrable sentience that might be considered adult (remember, children lack rights in our society). Fittingly, R2 units seem to be treated with somewhat more respect than other types of droids; R2 himself was declared 'deserving of our gratitude' by Amidala's decoy in The Phantom Menace. Oddly, the Rebels seemed to treat droids with the least respect.
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Old October 14 2008, 05:49 PM   #4
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Re: Star Trek vs Wars: Robot Slavery?

Personally, I am more offended by the issue of yellow peril as portrayed in "Buck Rogers" and "Flash Gordon."
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Old October 14 2008, 05:53 PM   #5
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Re: Star Trek vs Wars: Robot Slavery?

Yellow peril?
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Old October 14 2008, 06:09 PM   #6
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Re: Star Trek vs Wars: Robot Slavery?

The Chinese/Japanese stereotypes as villains in the old 40's serials.
Ming the Merciless for example.
Also check out the 40's Batman serials for some heavy handed racism on that front.

On the root subject I think there will be degrees of machine intelligence.
I don't think we will see true non-organic sentience within the next 100 years. I do think that non-sentient intelligence or a simulated intelligence is possible. What I mean by that is I think you can program a computer to react/interact in a controlled environment. ex: Counter at a hotel, teller at a store/fast food place. This robot would be able to answer simple FAQs and complete transactions. If anything came up that the bot couldn't do/answer it would summon human assistance. These would basically be a form of video game interaction.
We are seeing self-checkout lanes at grocery stores and they work well.

I do think that we will see commercial/home use robots in the next 50 years.
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Old October 14 2008, 06:15 PM   #7
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Re: Star Trek vs Wars: Robot Slavery?

I believe there's a line in Revenge of the Sith from Obi-Wan about droids not being able to think, which suggests to me that droids are not considered to be sentient.

Threepio and Artoo might have a kind of simulated intelligence that makes it seem like they can think, but ultimately it might just be programming.

That said, my opinion on R2-D2 in particular is that something went "wrong" and he gained some sort of limited sentience as a result.
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Old October 14 2008, 06:23 PM   #8
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Re: Star Trek vs Wars: Robot Slavery?

Good Will Riker wrote: View Post
Personally, I am more offended by the issue of yellow peril as portrayed in "Buck Rogers" and "Flash Gordon."
And out of fracking nowhere!
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Old October 14 2008, 06:26 PM   #9
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Re: Star Trek vs Wars: Robot Slavery?

the distinction between sentience and "simulated" sentience is completely glossed over because folks make what is basically an emotional choice based on their degree of attachment to the object or "droid."

the fact that a droid might be able to mimic very well the emotional range of a human being and react accordingly to emotional interaction does not mean said droid can actually feel anything or is sentient.

This whole idea of considering robots a "slave race" is rather silly since that is the purpose for which they were built. Even a robot that protests its own captivity may be simply acting out what the inference engine has told it to do and not in any way out of an ability to reflect on its own condition.
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Old October 14 2008, 06:29 PM   #10
Good Will Riker
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Re: Star Trek vs Wars: Robot Slavery?

Cicero wrote: View Post
Yellow peril?
"Yellow Peril" - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow_peril
"Buck Rogers" - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armageddon_2419_A.D.
"Flash Gordon" - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_Gordon#Plot_summary
"Batman" (1943 serial) - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Batman_(serial)#Production
"The Mandarin" (Iron Man) - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandarin_(comics)
"Fin Fang Foom" (Iron Man) - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fing_Fang_Foom
"Charlie Chan" - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlie_Chan
"Fu Manchu" - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fu_Manchu
"Chu Chin Chow" - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chu_Chin_Chow
"Shiwan Khan" (The Shadow)) - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Golden_Master
"Breakfast at Tiffany's" - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breakfa...%27s#Criticism
"Long Duk Dong" (Sixteen Candles) - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sixteen_Candles
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Old October 14 2008, 06:31 PM   #11
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Re: Star Trek vs Wars: Robot Slavery?

Good Will Riker wrote: View Post
It's also completely off topic.
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Old October 14 2008, 06:34 PM   #12
Good Will Riker
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Re: Star Trek vs Wars: Robot Slavery?

^^^

How so?

Slavery and racism are 2 forms of oppression rampant throughout history and still quite prevalent throughout the world?

These 2 issues are under-represented, and infact under the radar to most media consumers out there. The studio heads, producers, and writers know, but the only color that they really care about is "green" (greed).
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Old October 14 2008, 06:39 PM   #13
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Re: Star Trek vs Wars: Robot Slavery?

This thread is about robots in Star Trek and Star Wars.

It is not about the general oppression of people in the real world.
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Old October 14 2008, 06:41 PM   #14
Good Will Riker
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Re: Star Trek vs Wars: Robot Slavery?

RoJoHellraiser wrote: View Post
This thread is about robots in Star Trek and Star Wars.

It is not about the general oppression of people in the real world.
You may have pwned me, but the issues that I raise up are quite relevant.
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Old October 14 2008, 06:45 PM   #15
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Re: Star Trek vs Wars: Robot Slavery?

Good Will Riker wrote: View Post
RoJoHellraiser wrote: View Post
This thread is about robots in Star Trek and Star Wars.

It is not about the general oppression of people in the real world.
You may have pwned me, but the issues that I raise up are quite relevant.
Indeed, click here to post about them.
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