Spoilers Artificial life forms

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Picard' started by A beaker full of death, May 11, 2020.

  1. A beaker full of death

    A beaker full of death Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Does anyone else think it makes no sense at all for the Federation to have banned androids but not "sentient" holograms, as they have been portrayed in Trek? Certainly Vic and the Voygager EMH are no less "alive" than Data.
     
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  2. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I wondered about this as well. But I figured it might have to do with holograms only being able to go where holoprojectors are whereas androids can move about wherever they want. Not the soundest reasoning but rulings based on fear usually aren't sound.

    There were also probably a ton more service holograms than service androids, so there might've been some politics influenced by special interest groups that played a hand in the Federation making its decision.
     
  3. SJGardner

    SJGardner Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    For me, this ban seemed like much of the quick-response legislation we're seeing nowadays, swiftly banning specific pieces of hardware and technology to avert the immediate crisis as opposed to a drawn-out process involving hundreds of legal and technological experts to figure out what to include in an AI ban or what restrictions newly produced AI would have to meet. That being said, the Federation is so dependent on AI to run everything that they wouldn't even entertain the mere idea of a blanket ban. Of course, the most convenient reasoning they could use is that holograms are simply software running on their existing infrastructure, while androids/synths are independent hardware autonomously running their own code which is probably not yet fully understood.
     
  4. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Surely banning only the specific type of hardware that failed would be the only prudent response?

    I mean, the supposed enemy supposedly exploited a supposed weakness in the Synth design. No other AI betrayed the Federation, nor did, say, the Tellarites or the redheads suddenly rebel. Banning anything but the Synths would serve no purpose: if the enemy could co-opt other machines and/or people, it clearly had not done so - so rather literally shooting oneself in the foot as a mere matter of precaution would just help the enemy get more damage done.

    The positronic Soongian-Maddoxian Synths were the thing specifically banned, in dialogue terms - and not, say, AIs in general, or androids in general. And the Synths appeared to be a very specific design, the product and brainchild of the Daystrom eggheads, and all identical-looking to boot. Banning them was like withdrawing the Toyota Camry '06 from the market rather than declaring all wheeled vehicles illegal. And this all affecting the Trois' son was really outlying collateral, positronics apparently not being in common use even though AI (say, in holograms) clearly was.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  5. NewHeavensNewEarth

    NewHeavensNewEarth Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    Looking at the thread title, now I wish they'd called them ALFs. Synths, to me, usually makes me think of music first. :lol:
     
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  6. F. King Daniel

    F. King Daniel Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Holograms haven't had an alpha quadrant uprising, yet.

    And I think it not making huge sense and being a knee-jerk reaction with dire consequences (for Thad Riker, at least) was the point.

    You could argue that was a continuing theme, since the Zhat Vash were so fanatic about stopping synthetic evolution they doomed their own people by sabotaging Starfleet and Picard's Romulan rescue effort.
     
  7. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Between so many worlds in the Federation wanting to have their say, and the partisan gridlock the Federation might have if they want to mirror today, it would give the "Do Nothing Congress" a whole new name.
     
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  8. DEWLine

    DEWLine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Which leaves a question up in the air: how were Vic Fontaine and the Voyager EMH (whatever name he'd finally adopted for himself) affected by the situation?
     
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  9. Rahul

    Rahul Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'm still waiting for the ExoComps to go all Skynet on their creators... or the Bynars... or Mudd's robots... or all EMHs... or all ship computers... or all universal translators... or V'Ger's people...

    To be frank, the basic concept of "all artificial intelligence inevitably leads to a robot uprising apocalypse" is immensely stupid in a universe as filled with sentient A.I. as Star Trek. This is not BSG or Terminator, there is already plenty of precedence for the opposite.
     
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  10. Makarov

    Makarov Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    It's not really a terminator uprising in Picard, it is a Mass Effect event where some super advanced 3rd party enters the story at a threshold of advancement
     
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  11. Qonundrum

    Qonundrum Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Believe it or not, 90s Trek went so overboard with "sentient holograms", where it all felt hollow - never mind it'd already been done with "teh androidz", so the diminishing returns would be palpable. Even more since every story after "The Measure of a Man" felt like a lame copy, with the exocomp crap winning the prize for "lamest regurgitation ever"... to the point that the creators of PIC are probably doing the right thing.

    The most tangible definition of "life" involves not having a power button anywhere on the chassis.
     
  12. Qonundrum

    Qonundrum Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Then they'll all gang up on Picard, who's a robut now anyway, like how all the baddies in the Doctor Who show put Matt Smith in a big box - where his future self slipped in to save the day, paradoxically and with the worst possible "get out of plot free" card.

    ^^this

    All technology is nothing more than what it's programmed to do. They can even get a computer to play the original Pac-Man video game, which had its monsters using distinct patterns so that sorta helps... but random situations would have very much unwanted reactions, depending on what said "AI" is operating.
     
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  13. Angry Fanboy

    Angry Fanboy Captain Captain

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    I think androids are generally more of a threat because they're fully autonomous - a hologram (29th century mobile emitter aside) needs to be run by a computer and needs a network of holo-emitters creating an environment for it to operate in.

    I'd imagine a hologram is therefore easier to switch off or reprogram should the need arise, where a rogue Soong-type android could go anywhere it wished, no recharging etc.
     
  14. Rahul

    Rahul Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I'd be more afraid of an A.I. that is the entirety of the metal thing around me, than one that has just one, feeble, humanoid body.
     
  15. Angry Fanboy

    Angry Fanboy Captain Captain

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    I take your point, but I'd hesitate to call a Soong-type android feeble.