Emergency ....Medical? Hologram???

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Photonic, Jan 26, 2013.

  1. Photonic

    Photonic Ensign Newbie

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    I love trek because of the stories and examples it can give us about being more moral human beings...if you can get past the ridiculous plot problems to watch it long enough.



    So you are sitting on a Starfleet committee and you are a high ranking officer, at least captain. You have tons of experience under your belt either commanding ships, or leading men and women in various facets.

    Assembled for this committee you sit and listen to doctor lewis zimmerman give you his sales pitch about an autonomous hologram capable of instantly appearing and doing complex functions like ...treating aortic ruptures and brain hemmorages and designing borg nano probes to kill species 8472 (*cough*)




    This is all well and good ..and now to the point. You wonder why we don't have Emergency Security holograms instead. The ability to project 100 EMH's with limited tactical training (who btw cant be harmed unless you target the EMITTERS) would have ended dozens of episodes in mere seconds.


    Why not emergency engineer holograms? Hell we already know about how the EMH mark 1's were scrubbing plasma conduits.
     
  2. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I think EMH's only came first because of the humanitarian element. If they could fit their entire ship with holo-projectors, or even reproduce the mobile emitter (A little strange the 29th century folks let them keep that), you wonder if you could run an entire starship where everyone and everything is holographically projected.
     
  3. Bry_Sinclair

    Bry_Sinclair Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    If follows in the same line of questioning, why doesn't Starfleet just send out probes or automated ships? Why send out crews?

    Holograms are tools. They are only as ggod as their programming and will never replace a flesh and blood individual.
     
  4. CoveTom

    CoveTom Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    See "The Ultimate Computer" for why holograms don't run starships or even do security.
     
  5. Mr. Laser Beam

    Mr. Laser Beam Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    ^ Although it can be argued that the reason the M-5 was so unstable in that episode was because Dr. Daystrom programmed it with his own memories and personality. Daystrom was a bit nuts himself, so naturally the M-5 also was.
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    First of all, the technology wasn't that advanced to start with. You needed a controlled environment for the EMH to exist in. As we saw, Voyager's crew looked into the possibility of installing more holodiodes to grant the Doctor more mobility around the ship, but nothing ever came of it; apparently it didn't turn out to be viable. The Hirogen were able to expand the holodecks considerably, but at the expense of a lot of other vital ship's systems. The more holographic capacity you build into the ship, the more power and processing it demands.

    For another thing, when dealing with an untested AI, it makes sense to employ something akin to Asimov's Laws. You'd want to program them with safeguards that would ensure they wouldn't harm living beings.

    Of course, that's when it was starting out. Realistically, you'd expect them to use ESHs or some sort of robotic drones by the time of Nemesis, say. But then, realistically you'd expect them to have kept the helmets and body armor that security guards wore in the TOS movies, or to have seatbelts on their ships and airlocks in their shuttles. The fundamental disconnect between fiction and reality is that real-world designers are concerned with minimizing the odds of anything dangerous happening, while storytellers are concerned with maximizing them.
     
  7. JoeZhang

    JoeZhang Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Except the whole point of the EMH on voyager was that he did replace a flesh and blood being and was treated the same as one by the crew.
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    But that wasn't the point of the EMH as intended by its in-universe designers. They saw it only as an emergency supplement that would assist the ship's medical staff in situations where there were a lot of injuries to treat. It was never expected or intended that any EMH would remain in service long enough to develop any real self-awareness or personality. What happened with Voyager's EMH was a special case, something that quite overtly went against the intentions of the program's creators. As we saw in "The Swarm," the program wasn't meant to stay in continual use for that long or to expand its parameters like the Doctor did, and almost suffered catastrophic failure as a result.

    And what we're talking about here are the intentions of the designers and the Starfleet planners. What Bry_Sinclair presumably means is that Starfleet didn't perceive holograms to be anything more than tools and thus wouldn't have seen them as replacements for living personnel.
     
  9. Gary7

    Gary7 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    True, that the programming for medical skills far exceeds that required for employing a weapon. So yes, in theory one could have holo-emitters all throughout the ship, with weapons lockers in reach so that the ESH (Emergency Security Hologram) squad could arm themselves after appearing. But then that would foil a lot of the stories in Star Trek. ;)

    A "plausible" way to explain why this was never done is to say that the holo emitters are energy intensive and thus not practical in use for security purposes. Of course, if the doctor's mobile emitter is figured out and replicated, then... well, this presents a HUGE set of problems because you can create an entire population of virtual beings within a very short period of time, that could easily outnumber the entire sentient population of the galaxy. Since the EMH doctor did evolve over time and become what one would consider "sentient", it's possible for undesirable human like traits to emerge like narcissism or megalomania. Virtual tyrants. Yeah... that's just what we need.
    :lol:
     
  10. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Yeah, this is why I'm not fond of suggestions to do Trek series set in the 25th or 26th century or something. The technology that's already on the table as of the late 24th century would logically have the potential to transform the Federation profoundly. Why not just have everyone upload their minds into mobile holoemitters and become effectively immortal? Then they wouldn't need starships either, since they could just transmit themselves from world to world. But I doubt we'd ever see a Trek series like that. The creators would probably stick with live human characters and starships and stuff that would just be hard to justify given all the revolutionary stuff hinted at by TNG-era Trek.
     
  11. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

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    Just because Starships have EMH programs doesn't mean they are used much or at all by doctors. Beverly Crusher herself swore she would never use one in First Contact until she was forced to use it as a distraction against the Borg.

    Why doesn't Starfleet send out a crew of holograms to explore in starships? Well, what's the fun in that? You might be killed in a car crash outside, but staying indoors to be safe all the time would suck. Humans want to explore and that means being out there.
     
  12. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

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    I think Starfleet must be pissed that Janeway allowed the Doctor to continue to use his mobile emitter. It should be considered stolen future tech. How many times have the future been changed by the fact that the Doctor was able to leave sickbay and be involved in away missions, or the many lives he saved?

    It wouldn't be surprising if the moment Voyager arrived back to Earth, they took the emitter and stuffed it in a box and kept it classified.

    That is the ONLY way I can explain about how the Enteprirse crew in Nemesis never mentioned or used the supertech that Voyager back to the Federation in Endgame.
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Except that Nemesis took place only a year or two after "Endgame." We're talking about technology centuries ahead of the Federation's -- it could easily take years to reverse-engineer that and gain insight into its operating principles, then years or decades more to do the R&D on the offshoot technologies. It would've been far more implausible if they had been using those technologies that soon.

    I figure the reason the mobile emitter wasn't confiscated by the Temporal Integrity Commission (Braxton's organization) was because it wasn't really that far beyond what the Federation already had, and that they already had prototypes for such a device in the works by the time Voyager got home, albeit probably on a larger scale. The Pocket novels bear this out; in the first couple of novels set after "Endgame," we see a mobile emitter about the size of a large briefcase.
     
  14. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    In real life logic, yes. In Star Trek logic, any AI as complicated as a human brain is sentient and capable of making the same decisions a human can.

    And if we're talking about security and engineering, why not have a few extra squads of soldiers on your ship? Why not have a crew member who can walk through plasma to reach the control console?
     
  15. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    That should be true in real life as well, if and when such AIs came into existence.


    Of course, the in-universe explanation is that the technology wasn't advanced enough for that yet; the EMH was a prototype. In theory, it's the sort of thing that very well could be coming along in the years following the 24th-century Trek we've seen. For instance, it might be valid to ask, in the context of the Star Trek Online game set in the early 25th century, why they still don't have things like Emergency Engineering or Security Holograms. (Indeed, that would work quite well there; you could say the whole crews were holograms being remote-operated by the players, and that would explain how a game character could have multiple lives.)
     
  16. Hando

    Hando Commander Red Shirt

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    ^Well, there are Emergency Holograms of the three types in STO.

    But there are additional points:

    1. What is the difference between regular (entertainment) holograms and dedicated/professional holograms?
    We have seen regular holograms that were the same as the real person. So why can't I just create a holographic McCoy and let him heal people?

    2. The problem of "memory"/"run time". This is connected to my 1. point. The longer a hologram runs the more unstable it becomes and requires a restart/reboot - kind of like Windows.
    A regular hologram has a run time of a month, a emergency a year and the long-term five years.
    So you could have a emergency hologram on ships within or near the UFP. And a long-term on explorers where the hologram cannot be restarted because it needs the knowledge on the new species encountered on the current mission.
    This was the problem with Voyager's EMH, they could have restarted him, but as it would rob him of his memories they searched for a different way.

    3. Why there was a Medical hologram, well perhaps Zimmerman had to create one because Barcley's hypochondria was getting on his nerves. And if the Medical one would have been successful, he would go on to create different types.

    4. ESecurityH, just what weapons would they have? Holographic phasers? Could a holoemitters handle so much power?

    5. Reachability. Already the Prometheus had holoemitters everywhere? But is accessibility the only requirement? In Engeneering: Perhaps it is faster for a human to just jump to his death and press the button to release something then it is to call a EEH and explain to it what it should do.

    6. Human in the machine. Something we have seen in M-5 and EMH (just basic arrogance, at the time when he adapted too many personalities). At the same time what constitutes an emergency...

    7. AI rights. If you give human rights to AIs, just how do you create more an actually use them?
     
  17. Timo

    Timo Admiral Admiral

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    Random points:

    Medical emergencies are relatively rare, and between them there is very limited need for medical personnel. It's nice to have a "stowable" doctor, then.

    Engineering emergencies may be rare, too, but an emergency system reliant on engineering doesn't make for a very good system for fighting an engineering emergency. You don't want a repairman who shuts down when things go haywire. You want a permanent repairman who can bring your emergency systems (including EMHs) back online in an emergency. Plus, engineers need to monitor things constantly between emergencies, unlike medics who only do very occasional checkups. You don't want to stow away your engineers, nor do you really want to have more than the exact number needed to care for the systems you have onboard, not even in emergencies.

    Security emergencies may be very regular on certain types of mission, but generally they are rare. You need a lot of humanoid-shaped bodies to deal with a typical security emergency (as opposed to medical emergencies where just a few extra hands will do, and engineering emergencies where extra hands will only get in the way), and basically none outside emergencies, so "stowability" is very important.

    However, security emergencies can also be handled by non-humanoid projections. Medics need to be humanoid to help humanoids, perhaps not in terms of efficiency but in important terms of psychological comfort. Engineers need to be compatible with systems normally operated by humanoids. But an emergency security projection might take the (transparent or invisible) shape of an octopus with a weapon in each tentacle, or of an impenetrable barrier, or of a fierce-looking beast.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  18. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    Also, if there was a security emergency too serious for the reuglar security force to handle, it would be far more practical to give any available officer and crewman a phaser and have them help fighting the enemy. After all, combat training is presumably part of Starfleet basic.
     
  19. Dream

    Dream Admiral Admiral

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    Emergency Force fields would take care of nearly all security problems on board the ship.

    The only really dangerous situations are for those that go on away missions. I still think it is ridiculous how many redshirts died on Kirk's watch.
     
  20. T'Girl

    T'Girl Vice Admiral Admiral

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    And Zimmerman?