El Aurian androids?

Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by King Daniel Beyond, Jan 26, 2014.

  1. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Watching "Time's Arrow". When Data introduces himself to Guinan...

    GUINAN: What exactly are you?

    DATA: Android. Artificial life form.

    GUINAN: Ah. Did my father send you here? Because if he did, you must go back and tell him I've not done listening.


    If she immediately thought of her world and father, it makes me wonder if El Auria was an I, Robot-style world where androids were common. Did anyone else have the same thought?
     
  2. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    "Who are you?"
    Not necessarily. I don't think we can conclude much.

    Data was a piece of advanced tech who knew who she was. She hadn't considered time travel as a possibility, much less someone coming back to meet her from her own future. She came up with the only reason she could think of for why a piece of advanced tech would show up knowing her specifically, which was that her father was behind it. For all we know, she might have assumed that he'd created a humanoid robot in order to blend in with the environment, just to deliver a message to her (she may have assumed that Data's capabilities were really quite limited).

    That's my explanation.
     
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I just figured her thinking was that androids didn't exist on 19th-century Earth, so Data must've been of alien origin. And the only reason she could think of for an extraterrestrial entity to seek her out was because her father had sent it. I doubt she thought her father had created Data, but he might have hired him as a detective, say. It's possible he'd hired detectives to track her down before.
     
  4. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Maybe not a "I Robot" type society, but it's clear that Guinan was not particularly surprise to be face to face with an android. This does suggest that Guinan had had at least some experience with them in her life, certain already heard of them.

    Also suggests that her father would have ready access to one to come after her.

    :)
     
  5. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Who in a technological society wouldn't have heard of androids, at least in theory? I'm sure they're part of most any humanoid civilization's science fiction and speculative futurism long before they become a viable reality.

    And maybe Guinan wasn't thinking in terms of having "access" as if they were just pieces of apparatus, but thought of them as a species like any other. Clearly she was well-traveled in the galaxy, and presumably her people were too, so defining this in terms of what was on their homeworld may be the wrong approach. Their knowledge was presumably a lot more cosmopolitan than that. I'm sure any people who've traveled widely in the galaxy would have some knowledge of androids.
     
  6. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    But if they did have advanced androids, it could explain the Borg's interest (beyond "their planet was next on the list")
     
  7. Dukhat

    Dukhat Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Not really. In BoBW, Locutus described Data as a "primitive artificial life form" or somesuch, and would be "irrelevant in the new order." Pretty clear there on how high up on the hierarchy the Borg consider androids.
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    That's a stretch. As I said, given that Guinan was commuting to Earth from the Delta Quadrant in the 19th century, clearly the El-Aurians were extraordinarily well-travelled in space -- far more widely travelled than the Federation is in the 24th century. Their knowledge of the galaxy must have been extraordinarily broad. Guinan or her people could've learned about androids virtually anywhere in the galaxy. There's no reason to assume that knowledge was connected solely to their own world.
     
  9. MikeS

    MikeS Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    ^ To support your line of thinking - I've always interpreted Guinan's lines in BOBW(about Humanity surviving) as an indication that the El-Aurian's were once as powerful as the Federation. Before the Borg came and they were scattered.
     
  10. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Where are you getting that El-Aurians are from the Delta Quad? The Borg have shown an ability to move throughout the galaxy.


    :)
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    In "Q Who," when Q threw the Enterprise into Borg space, it was stated that Guinan's people had been to that part of the galaxy -- and were implicitly from that part of the galaxy, since they'd been assimilated by the Borg generations before. On second thought, given the cited distance they were thrown, it was more likely a distant part of the Beta Quadrant in the direction of Borg territory in the Delta Quadrant. But in any case, it was definitely farther than 24th-century Federation ships have gone under their own power. The point stands that Guinan's people were extremely widely traveled through the galaxy before humans even invented powered flight.
     
  12. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    The distance traveled in Q Who is quoted to be around 7000 light years.

    I kind of feel sad for knowing that offhand. ;) But interesting tidbit that contradicts Voyager, Data quotes that time it will take to get home as around two and a half years.

    Data isn't the only android in the universe, he's just the only known android as advanced and as close an approximation to the human thought process (Perhaps the first who could pass a Turing test?). It's very likely that the El Aurians would have encountered androids less advanced than Data.
     
  13. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    There was also Data's android "mother."



    ")
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    That's not really a contradiction. It wasn't the time it would take to get back to their original position, but the time to get to the nearest starbase. Said starbase would presumably be somewhere between their original position and System J25. They could've been way off on the Alpha Quadrant side of explored space when they were flung to that part of the Beta Quadrant, so the time to reach the Beta Quadrant edge of the territory known to/occupied by the UFP could be much less than the time to return to their starting point.


    The Exo III androids could easily pass as human and were clearly intelligent. And Rayna Kapec was a self-aware, emotive gynoid -- possibly even positronic, given the striking similarities between her fate and Lal's. The only androids from TOS that I'd call subsentient would be the Mudd's Planet androids, which were very rigid and inflexible in their behavior, and were really just remote drones operated by a single central brain.

    I guess it would be more accurate to say that Data was the only known surviving android operating at a sapient level -- indeed, the only known surviving AI operating at that level until Moriarty and the EMH came along. Although the novel Immortal Coil and its followup, the Cold Equations trilogy, establish that there are rather more than that.
     
  15. Armored Saint

    Armored Saint Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    In TNG, the androids seems to be at least virtually possible. When you met Data, there are at least three possible reactions:
    1- As Bensen in Home Soil, you can be fascinated to met an actual android.
    2- You can be fascinated by Data as a person. Spock is astonished to learn that the perfect Vulcan wants to be human.
    3- You can underestimate Data the android and Data the person.

    So android are possible, but rare. Why are they rare? Why there's not a mass production of androids? Because, it's not the same deal than producing warp cores. A warp core is a tool, Data is not a tool. Ejecting the warp core is not like sending an officer to a suicide mission. You don't have to worry about the personnal rights of your warp core. Warp cores are not potential slaves or super-soldiers. You don't have to fear a warp core uprising.
     
  16. Nebusj

    Nebusj Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Given the way Galaxy-class ships had their warp cores explode when they were looked at funny, are you sure we didn't see a warp core uprising?
     
  17. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I haven't seen What Are Little Girls Made Of so can't comment on the Exo III androids, but if you judge TNG as the source of truth Soong type androids are unique in their sentience because the 'Positronic brain' is filled with magic soul juice.

    And if you judge Voyager as a source of truth the EMH did not begin the series sapient but became sapient when he 'Expanded beyond his original programming'.
     
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^I never said the EMH was sapient to begin with. "Until he came along" is a figure of speech.
     
  19. Armored Saint

    Armored Saint Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    One of them once called you "ugly bag of mostly water" or "carbon life-form"?