A Hologram in an Android Body

Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Mojochi, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. Mojochi

    Mojochi Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    In the years since Moriarty had become conscious, during which Data actually builds an android, comparable to his own design, wouldn't you think somebody would've thought of trying to add the Moriarty program (or another similar one) to an android body?

    In Phantasmns, we see that Data can be linked to a holodeck. Why wouldn't it be possible to do the opposite, and upload a holodeck character into an android, thus bypassing this elusive hologram issue of being trapped on a grid or forced to use an emitter, while also maybe providing a workaround to the Soong android, elusive positronic matrix mystery?

    Seems like it would be two techs made for each other
     
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  2. 1001001

    1001001 Boorish Jackass Moderator

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    That’s a very interesting idea.

    First question: would Moriarty’s emotional range and awareness remain if he was attached to a Soong-type android?

    Data, Lore, and Lal all had significant challenges with that.

    Second question: how would Moriarty “feel” as an android? I mean in the sense that he can touch and eat like a human on the holodeck. He would feel “human” there. Would he be satisfied in an android body?
     
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  3. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    That's basically the plot of the novel The Light Fantastic
     
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  4. Butters

    Butters Commodore Commodore

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    Let’s says it’s possible, since nothing indicates it not. What would be the point?
     
  5. Mojochi

    Mojochi Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I would think Lore, Lal & Data had their hurdles because Soong was himself trying to program a consciousness from scratch. Such is not the case with holographic beings like Moriarty & The Doctor. If you accept that they are somehow really conscious, then they have already somehow accidentally stumbled upon it, maybe in a similar way as the Exocomps or Wesley's nanites, or even the Enterprise herself, in Emergence, all of whom could potentially take on a more humanoid body, if they chose to

    Since real emotional awareness somehow already exists in the programming that made Moriarty & The Doctor, the need for a Soong type positronic matrix becomes completely moot. All they'd need to do is transfer it into a computer capable of running the program, which is essentially what they ended up doing with Moriarty & the Countess at the end of Ship in a Bottle anyhow.

    Even Data patches his mind into the holodeck in Phantasms, which raises an interesting point, that Data could literally make himself into any holodeck character he wants. He doesn't have to dress up like Prospero, or Sherlock Holmes. He could literally program one to inhabit digitally.

    For Moriarty, it could be as simple as taking that cube that Barclay has in his hand, at the end of Ship in a Bottle, & stuffing it into an android's head. lol
    Now THAT is an excellent question, & it touches on the Julianna Tainer dilemma. Does the knowledge of being artificial somehow taint the experience of being human, for someone who had thought of themselves as human? I'd say that question is specific to each individual. Soong & Data seemed to think Julianna would not be able to accept it, & should be kept in the dark about it. I don't know if I agree on that.

    However, in Moriarty's case, here's a guy who already knows that he is artificial, but holds a supreme value in his consciousness & life nonetheless. I think he might be willing to live with it, especially if it's the only way to allow him to live in the real universe.

    One issue is that we have no way of knowing how his consciousness will interact with hard tech. It may not interact as well as Soong's positronic matrix. It might be a more authentic experience to live as a hologram in their matrix, than to be stuffed into a robotic mechanism. So it might be a tough call, if they have to sacrifice. BUT who's to say they couldn't have it both ways, & live as a hologram whenever, & then choose to inhabit a mechanized body when the need arises?

    Another danger is in the kind of power are you bestowing on someone like Moriarty, who is fairly well known for villainy, if you were to put him into a body comparable to Data's. Even if you didn't give him as impressive a body, he could just upgrade himself anyhow.
    Twofold. The most important advance would be in the propagation of the android race, which in the production canon, is pretty much at a standstill, until duplication of Soong's positronic matrix is achieved, & no one, not even Data, has been able to do so. That bit is done. The birth of a real race of androids is easily undertaken

    The other benefit is in how to help the accidental hologram people, like Moriarty & the Countess, or even the Doctor. If this is happening more than a couple times, it's possible these kinds of incidents could begin happening all over the place, & if we truly accept that they are legitimately conscious, sapient beings, then they deserve a real life, especially if it is within their ability to get it. Right?
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
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  6. lawman

    lawman Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Interesting. It seems to be mostly a software/hardware issue.

    We've got two types of sapient AI: one is a Soong-type android with a positronic brain, and the other is a hologram with its consciousness contained in [what exactly?]. We know that a positronic consciousness can be embedded in a holographic matrix (as described above with Data and the holodeck). The question is whether a holo-consciousness could successfully inhabit a Soong-type android body.

    Offhand, I don't see why not (although of course writers could always come up with technical reasons why not if they wanted to prevent it for some reason). In the real world, there are lots of complicated issues about the extent to which consciousness depends on its physical substrate, making the old SF trope of a disembodied (or uploaded) brain problematic... but in the Trekverse, mind/body duality has pretty much always been a thing, with any given kind of mind transplantable into any available physical body as necessary. (Examples are almost too numerous to mention.)

    One limitation would be that Soong-type android bodies are apparently pretty difficult to manufacture. There are other kinds of androids out there, of course, but as TrekLit makes clear (e.g., in Immortal Coil), they're less sophisticated. OTOH, the immortal Flint (aka Vaslovik, aka Akharin) seems to have the knack, and by the events of Light Fantastic in 2385 the revived Data (with Soong's memories) apparently figures it out as well.
     
  7. Butters

    Butters Commodore Commodore

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    Accepting that they are conscious is maybe the biggest hurdle. The question still persists as to why.

    When you can say to your computer, ‘computer, give me an opponent for my soduko challenge practice’ and boom, you’ve got a conscious observer with as much right to exist as you, you’ve got a problem,

    Why would you want a race of androids, and what would a race of androids want. They’re not like humans, with biological drivers.

    In voyager we see the EMH appreciate music. Did it make the hairs stand up on the back of his neck? Did it make the adrenaline surge through his body, heightening his senses? Did it cast him back to one night long ago with someone special?

    Given the choice between a mobile holo emitter, or a physical body with complex moving parts. I’d go for the holo emitter every time.

    The whole proposition though doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. Brains in android body, brain in a jar with holographic body. Yes, practical applications.

    But software becoming sentient, or sapient? That’s a bug. I’d like my hoover to recognise when it was time to vacuum and do it without intervention, but the conscious hologram thing is like my (hypothetical) autonomous vacuum cleaner demanding pocket money and two days off per week, but 25 days paid leave, and use of the TV. I’d send it back.
     
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  8. JirinPanthosa

    JirinPanthosa Vice Admiral Admiral

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    For that matter, if you can make self replicating mines, why not self replicating robots? They did that with nanites in Evolution. Imagine an invasion force of self replicating Lores?

    Before anyone completes the reference, yeah, the plan would probably fail because then they'd be asking the robots to do TWO THINGS! ;)
     
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  9. TauCygna

    TauCygna Captain Captain

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    So many wonderful ideas in that topic !! Lemme a day to read it and I'll be back with hypothesis ! :D
     
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  10. Shawnster

    Shawnster Commodore Commodore

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    It need not even be a Soong type android.

    The consciousness of the Doctor fit in the mobile emitter. An android would simply be a mobile emitter with waldos. Arms and legs. One just need build a robot the holoprogram could remote control. It would just need the memory capacity of the holoemitter. It could even be designed so that the holoprogram could only transfer in or out of the robot through a hard point connection. This would make this holo robot nearly like a biological lifeform whose consciousness can not easily be separated and reintegrated into its body.
     
  11. Mojochi

    Mojochi Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Absolutely correct. However, the thing I'm trying to reconcile with that, is that Data's body is more than just a robotic mechanism. It is a virtual humanoid organism simulator. When fully functional, as in the case of Julianna Tainer, it is likely indistinguishable from living as a humanoid organism. Accurate senses of touch, taste & smell, the feel of breathing, the sensation of pressure, how to know the accurate pressures to apply to things, like Data kissing his girlfriend etc...

    These are incredibly detailed technologies. While Soong's positronic matrix is certainly the highest achievement in Soong's work, it is only one of multitudes of other insanely amazing systems interacting with it, almost mimicking humanoid organic life to perfection, such that Julianna wouldn't even know herself to be artificial.

    If a hologram were to take up residence in a waldo (A term I didn't know... so thanks) It might be an entirely less authentic experience than what they were accustomed to, as a hologram, who seem almost fully realized in how they experience humanoid existence, unless they had the magnificence of something like Soong's android mechanism. Data's body might be the only thing in the known Star Trek universe that might offer a true representation of what living like a real humanoid is like

    And sadly, we have to wonder if the reason it all works so well is that it's linked to that marvelous positronic matrix. Meaning, even if you uploaded Moriarty into Data's body, his programming might not be capable of interacting with the advance hardware in the body, such to give him the full experience a Soong android is capable of. In which case, the best simulation for humanoid life available to a hologram might be staying as a hologram, at least some of the time, & stepping out into a remote mechanism would be an additional feature, at least until the interaction could be perfected as well as it is with a positronic matrix
    All they'd need is replicators. That's pretty much how he made Lal isn't it?
     
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  12. Mojochi

    Mojochi Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Sorry for the double post, but this took some time too respond to lol
    Maybe... or maybe not. I couldn't say, but when Julianna has a duet with Data, It really does seem like someone engaging in it with the full breadth of its experience. It's amazing to me, to go back to that episode & realize neither of the people in that relationship dynamic are biological, at any point in it, but it develops like they are

    The Soong droids do seem to have drive though, & perhaps it's unknowable what would drive them, but it is at least feasible that something would, enough so that they'd want more of their kind. The notion of them wanting that is ever present in the ongoing narrative. I mean what was the first thing Moriarty did when he thought he had a life to live? Made someone to share in his experience. Data made Lal. Even Lore tried to retrofit the Borg drones, & somewhere in that is maybe a need to have a group to be part of

    For us, sure, but this isn't about what's practical for us. What I think you sort of overlook is what the nature of Star Trek is. Their very mission statement is to seek out new intelligent life, because they have an inherent appreciation for it, such that they'd want to see it prosper & propagate, for its own sake.
     
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  13. Valenti

    Valenti Captain Captain

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    Sounds like Battlestar Galactica.
     
  14. Captain Rob

    Captain Rob Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Sounds just like a chapter of "Bladerunner 2049" When the cop's hologirlfriend hires a replicant hooker to come to their home and the girlfriend inhabits and controls the hooker as she makes it with the cop.
     
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  15. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    Star Trek's writers didn't seem to understand the basics of technology. Next Gen's and Voyager's didn't seem to know Moritarty and the EMH should be AI's using a holographic avatars, that they should be as easily backed up as the EMH was moved to his mobile emitter and back. Voyager, Next Gen and DS9 all used the "stack of PADDs" thing when a character was busy and it's debatable whether it was a visual metaphor or that the writers genuinely didn't know one tablet can store thousands and thousands of books.

    Thus androids and holograms are only as compatible as the story of the moment requires. An android body should have solved all of Moriarty's problems but...:shrug:
     
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  16. Mojochi

    Mojochi Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Funny, I was thinking that @Butters ideas, sounded like season 2 of Westworld

    You know, it's probably conceivable that human consciousness, via something like Seven of Nine's Borg implants, could also be routed to a remote avatar like a hologram or android body. So in a weird way, there's your human practical application :alienblush:
    Did TNG do that too? I never noticed
     
  17. King Daniel Beyond

    King Daniel Beyond Admiral Admiral

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    It was definitely in Star Trek Nemesis. Not 100% sure about the series proper.
     
  18. SpyOne

    SpyOne Captain Captain

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    I think it was one of the movies where Picard has a pile of padds on his desk.

    For what it's worth, I do that.
    I will be doing something on my desktop computer and have reference photos open on my tablet and reference documents open on my phone and the only reason I don't use more devices is I don't own more. I like being able to have two documents visible at the same time so I can move rapidly between them.
    So it always bothers me when folks point to that as an anachronism in Star Trek: if iPhones were free at the replicator, I would have dozens of them even if each of them could hold every book I own, and if I were researching something you would find me at a desk with a haphazard pile of phones on it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
  19. SpyOne

    SpyOne Captain Captain

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    To the main point:
    Whether the two technologies are compatible is a good question, whether the two experiences are comparable is a better one.
    We know that a Soong android can interact with the world in a way similar enough to human experience to fool Juliana, but is that similar to how the Doctor experiences it?
    He often says that he's made of images and force fields, so I expect his sense of "touch" is more the ability to measure the pressure against the force fields very precisely and discretely. He can tell exactly which square millimeter is being pressed and exactly how much force.
    So I suspect he would find the senses of a Soong android to be quite alien.

    But if you were to build something roughly human sized that was capable of projecting a hologram of sufficient sophistication around itself, that would suit him exactly. It combines the sensory experience of being a hologram with the freedom to go where the infrastructure wasn't built specifically to allow him to go there. Well, he's got the better version of that from the future, but such a device would apply to others of his kind.

    Which brings us to Moriarty. He's a special problem, because he's a hologram programmed to think he's human.
    What I mean is: when I eat a sandwich on the holodeck, the computer replictes a sandwich for me to eat. But when Moriarty eats a sandwich, the sandwich is an illusion and disappears as he eats it, but he thinks he's tasting it and feels full when he's done.
    The computer doesn't do a chemical analysis of the sandwich and then tell his brain how tasty it would be, it just tells him "it tastes good".
    Moriarty may be consciously aware that he is a hologram, but he perceives his own body as being flesh and blood.
    I guess my feeling is that we don't know enough about how Moriarty perceives his environment to know if we can satisfactorily mimic it for him.

    Lastly, I don't think Moriarty was just a result of Geordi mis-speaking when asking for an opponent. The computer of the Enterprise D was unique because of the things the Binars had done to it, and one of those changes made holodeck characters much more realistic. While whatever had allowed the creation of Minuette stopped working after the Binars returned the Enterprise, apparently enough of it was left to allow the accidental creation of a character who was self-aware.
     
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  20. The Wormhole

    The Wormhole Admiral Admiral

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    TNG had the silliness of people carrying PADDs around the ship to deliver them to people. Like in Tapestry, Picard is supposed to be taking a padd to Geordi who needs the information on it for something critical in engineering. At one point, Geordi angrily contacts Picard demanding to know why the padd hasn't been delivered yet. But really, there's no reason why Geordi had to wait for a junior science officer to deliver a padd, he should have easily been able to access the information from any computer console or padd in engineering.
     
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