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Old March 22 2009, 06:27 AM   #1
Dingo
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Vic Fontaine's Sentience

Though never explicitly mentioned in canon or in even fanfiction or apocrypha, do you think that in the DS9 Relaunch that Vic Fontaine will ever gain sentience?

The Voyager EMH would be a perfect example of a sentient hologram in my book, and Vic seems to have a roughly similar (if not more advanced) holographic matrix, his heuristic and fully interactive programming, and definite awareness of his holographic nature. I would definitely say Vic Fontaine qualifies as a sentient hologram if not a unique hologram.

Come to think of it, does anyone believe that Vic Fontaine and Voyager's Doctor represent an evolution in holographic intelligence and a hopeful advance for the rights of photonic beings? I just wonder what the ramifications of the Doctor's definite sentience and Vic Fontaine's likely sentience would be across the quadrant?
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Old March 22 2009, 06:43 AM   #2
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Re: Vic Fontaine's Sentience

Vic appears to fit the qualifications for sentience, as far as Starfleet goes.

http://memory-alpha.org/en/wiki/The_...A_Man_(episode)

"Picard maneuvers Maddox into conceding that Data fulfills most of the cyberneticist's own criteria for sentience – intelligence and self-awareness – and dramatically coerces the scientist into admission that the remaining criterion, consciousness, is too nebulous a concept to precisely determine whether the android is in possession of it or not."

Vic is clearly intelligent as well as aware of himself as a hologram. The only question is, is he possessed of consciousness?
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Old March 22 2009, 06:49 AM   #3
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Re: Vic Fontaine's Sentience

I would say so. For instance is aware of efforts to open his program or tamper with it (Nog's tampering in It's Only a Paper Moon readily comes to mind).
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Old March 22 2009, 07:43 AM   #4
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Re: Vic Fontaine's Sentience

I had always assumed that he was sentient. He wasn't like the other holograms.
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Old March 22 2009, 05:29 PM   #5
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Re: Vic Fontaine's Sentience

The Doctor, Vic & don't forget Moriarty & girlfriend?/wife?, represent milestones in holographic evolution. That milestone being, having consciousness.

They are to holograms what the Soong Androids are to androids & robotics. But being holograms, are more advanced, evolved than Data, Lore, Data's daughter & B4. Maybe At least on the same level anyway.

Maybe the Bynar-enhanced Minuet was also, or could've become, conscious
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Old March 22 2009, 05:33 PM   #6
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Re: Vic Fontaine's Sentience

On that note, if the mobile emitter were ever to become mass produced and sentient holograms able to utilize them, I assume that this would make for a very interesting change for 24th Century Society.

Perhaps the mobile emitter used by the Doctor in Voyager is due to a society that has recognized the sentience of some holograms?
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Old March 22 2009, 05:55 PM   #7
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Re: Vic Fontaine's Sentience

Dingo wrote: View Post
Perhaps the mobile emitter used by the Doctor in Voyager is due to a society that has recognized the sentience of some holograms?
That's a good point.

After V'GER's return, I wonder if a mobile emitter was ever built for Vic?
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Old March 22 2009, 06:04 PM   #8
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Re: Vic Fontaine's Sentience

In the DS9 books I think they explain Vic by saying he had merged with some sort of photonic lifeform to explain his sentience.

Personally, I don't really like that idea. I think the longer a hologram is left on (assuming that it's creator was VERY skilled and allowed it enough room to grow) the greater the chance for REAL sentience rather than simulated sentience.

With the Doctor on Voyager, he was left on for a long time, allowed to modify his own program and was often merged with different alien techs as well as exposure to the future tech of the mobile emitter. I think that explains his eventual sentience.

As for giving Vic a mobile emitter, even if they could (I imagine it would have to be much larger than Doc's) would Vic even want it? He seems to be very tied into his environment and I'm not sure he would want to leave it. Vic mentions a few times that the Vegas environment is very real to him, even though he knows it is all holographic.
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Old March 22 2009, 06:12 PM   #9
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Re: Vic Fontaine's Sentience

destro wrote: View Post
In the DS9 books I think they explain Vic by saying he had merged with some sort of photonic lifeform to explain his sentience.
No, they don't do that. He's still "just" a hologram.
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Old March 22 2009, 10:07 PM   #10
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Re: Vic Fontaine's Sentience

Dingo wrote: View Post
Though never explicitly mentioned in canon
Disagree with this statement.

It is mentioned in canon that Vic has free will and therefore sentience in the scene were O'Brien tells Nog he can shut himself off and O'Brien says "I'm not a philosopher".

Vic can not ever 'gain' sentience because he already has it.
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Old March 23 2009, 01:18 AM   #11
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Re: Vic Fontaine's Sentience

Didn't Bashir once say that that holoprogrammer friend of his tended to put something 'extra' in his programs? Maybe in Vic, that was sentience, or at least a capacity to develop it.
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Old March 23 2009, 06:20 AM   #12
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Re: Vic Fontaine's Sentience

Didn't Bashir once say that that holoprogrammer friend of his tended to put something 'extra' in his programs? Maybe in Vic, that was sentience, or at least a capacity to develop it.
Yes, I remember almost exactly that phrase was used in the episode His Way, when Vic Fontaine first appeared.

At any rate, Vic is in his own words: "Smarter than the average bear." And the argument could definitely be made as to his sentience. I can to imagine Vic and Voyager's EMH crossing paths one day...
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Old March 23 2009, 06:40 AM   #13
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Re: Vic Fontaine's Sentience

I could almost see Vic not wanting full sentience though. He seemed happy where he was, as he was.

In 'The Matrix,' he would be the guy that took the other pill.
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Old March 23 2009, 04:16 PM   #14
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Re: Vic Fontaine's Sentience

Praetor wrote: View Post
In 'The Matrix,' he would be the guy that took the other pill.
So would I...

And I just had a thought about the *mirror* Vic (who was human and not a hologram). It seemed odd that this Vic could have turned out that way. But what if that wasn't mirror Vic after all? Maybe it was Felix.

In the real universe, Felix could have modelled Vic's physical appearance on *himself*, couldn't he?
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Old March 23 2009, 04:29 PM   #15
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Re: Vic Fontaine's Sentience

In the real universe, Felix could have modelled Vic's physical appearance on *himself*, couldn't he?
That is definitely conceivable. I never even imagined that possibility.

Perhaps what Felix is to Vic Fontaine, Dr. Zimmerman is to the EMH MK I?
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