Discussion in 'General Trek Discussion' started by Photonic, Jan 26, 2013.
Sorry. No Emergency Medical Holograms on my ship. Real doctors treating real people.
I think we've seen ample evidence that emergency force fields, while great in theory, are rarely sufficient on their own to stop security problems on board starships.
Especially that one played by Andy Dick AM I RIGHT?!
Sorry. Got a little carried away there.
Are we sure those redshirts and other security officers were not, in fact, holograms?
On the other hand, adversaries capable of defeating forcefields are typically also capable of defeating live security people with at least equal ease.
Live personnel are mainly an asset in the intelligence gathering aspect of security work. In a flat-out fight, forcefields and live troopers are equally vulnerable. But if the task is one of tracking a suspect, there are a number of ways the suspect can thwart dumb machinery or render intelligent machinery dumb, including "nonviolent" ones, ones even a mild-mannered opponent might resort to (because even gentle crooks seldom think that brutally murdering a computer would be a bad thing, but they will stop short of slaying live eyewitnesses). So, sending a pair of redshirts to chase after a criminal may well be smarter than tracking the criminal on cameras or other, more futuristic sensors.
Also, using live security personnel may have a calming effect similar to using fierce dogs or frighteningly large horses: even hardened villains find the animals both cute and intimidating at the same time, and will yield more easily than in the face of water cannon and armored vehicles.
Why have a security force that could be programmed to turn against your crew, have its morality switched turning them into murderers, or deleted altogether?
Yes, I know flesh and blood crew could be brain-washed, mentally unbalanced or killed, but I'd always feel much happier with a real person watching my back than a hologram--at least I know a real person would be trying to force the non-issue of holographic rights down my throat!
As much as the idea of "holographic rights" might seem ridiculous from a real-world point of view, it's definitely not a non-issue within the Trek universe because holograms are capable of reaching sentience. And as Optimus Prime would say, "Freedom is the right of all sentient beings."
If artificial intelligences could not attain sentience, Bry, what does that say about Data? How is he any different from Voyager's EMH? The only real difference is what their bodies are made of. If humans (or Vulcans, or whatever) can create a sentient positronic life-form, why can't they create a sentient holographic lifeform?
Lots of good points.
1. Its clear starfleet lacks military knowledge. A private fresh out of boot today could critique all the tactical errors in startrek.
2. Good call on the rights of sentient holograms. but who says they have to be sentient? depending on the complexity of their subroutines they can be sentient, or they can be simple machines. After all, even humans are machines. Complex ones. In VOY - flesh and blood belanna thought just as I did. "you liberated MINDLESS machines". And she was correct. it begged the question, even the holograms use consoles, ships, and machines. Their very own logic could be used against them. What if the ship had a computer core that was itself capable of sentience ...would the holograms not be guilty of using it as a tool? They use machines all the time as well. They also take them for granted because they do not recognize them as beings..until it begins to think for itself, then they fight for their own ideals. Or in their own logic they said "it doesnt MATTER they are children of LIGHT and I will LIBERATE THEM". This would be akin to us saying a virus deserves the same respect. After all...we could always genetically engineer it to grow into a multicellular sentient life form right? no one has a right to kill a virus .....
A hologram need only be as simple as todays drones and autonomous weapons. They need only identify friend or foe, they only need to rove the ship and only need to discharge weapons on foes. This is doable with todays technology using non photonic machines, and it hardly involves sentience.
To those questioning them being reprogrammed ....or some other stuff. really ....think a boarding situation through. I mean seriously ...tactically ..beginning to end. And if you think our military is even NOW ..near as "inept" as starfleet at intelligence leaks ..and tech problems ..think again. Encryption is a big deal and there are actually procedures and contingencies in place. Hundereds of times in startrek I find myself going "WAIT .....you know what could happen right??? why isnt your crew standing by to execute contingencies ...why do you even NEED to send a command??"
Startrek is mostly Plot moving ... very little actual science and very little military aptitude. it would be easiest to refute on a case by case basis.
My fav eps are always the philosophy ones . Inner light, who watches the watchers, all good things, the host! very good one Even the borg eps. Even though ..The borg would be easy to beat o.O
In my mind Data's status is partly because of his unique nature.
In "The Measure of a Man", it is Data (not artificial lifeforms as a whole) that is given equal status, so what he achieves isn't immediately applicable to Lore (Juliana Tainer would be a grey area however, seeing as she doesn't know she's an android). B4 would need a ruling of his own (just because he looked to become Data 2.0 doesn't mean he is Data, his more simplistic manner might mean he is incapable of making the same choices and decisions). B'Elanna states in "Prototype" that Starfleet has lots of robots but only one (Data) has equal status.
It is obviously extremely difficult to build such a complex and advanced android (Data only tries it once, and all of Doctor Soong's earlier versions were a bust) that is capable of achieving sentience--otherwise we'd see at least one on every ship and station in Starfleet. It is this uniqueness that gives Data his own place within the Federation, where he has the same rights as a flesh and blood person.
Holograms are a dime a dozen. Yes there are those who have are sentient so as to perform various tasks and roles (the EMH programmes, Vic Fontaine, Professor Moriarty), but the vast majority are programmed to be characters. Would a ruling on holographic rights apply to all of them (would T'lana from Vulcan Love Slave refuse to participate due to the exploitative nature of the programme) or just those deemed sentient, and what would be the definition of that requirement? And when holograms can be so easily made and manipulated, would that not mean that any and all of them could be upgraded and deemed sentient--which would destroy countless programmes if a character decided not to play their role or wanted another part.
What then does that mean for a starship's computer core? Depending on the definition of sentience for holograms, couldn't it be applied to advanced computers? It would never end.
Had it just been the Doctor looking to be recognised as a unique individual, for all he had developed, learnt and experienced, I would be more willing to accept the concept. Though for all holograms just seems ridiculous to me.
But then, that is just how I see things.
It's a valid point that all holograms are not created equal. Instead of "holographic rights," the issue should be one of sentient rights in general, with any sentient being -- whether organic, silicone-based, cybernetic, psionic energy matrix, or whatever -- entitled to the same rights regardless of origin. Although then you do get into the tricky question of how to prove sentience and whether such tests are even ethical (do only AIs have to prove their sentience or should everyone have to?).
After all, strictly speaking, it's a bit inaccurate to refer to the Doctor or Moriarty as "a hologram." Rather, they are AIs that reside inside starship computer mainframes (or inside a mobile emitter or other computer unit) and that use holographic bodies as their interfaces with the physical world. So defining it in terms of the hologram rather than the animating AI is kind of missing the point.
I like you. By the same comparison we could be Higher dimensional AI's or higher dimensional beings ..that reside inside a higher mainframe ..and use organic bodies as interfaces to the physical world too you know
I think religion would call this a soul.
Err... nothing to do with what I was saying, but... okay, if you like.
There's a hypothesis out there -- assuming that computer technology will eventually reach the point where computers can simulate vast numbers of entire universes, the probability that our universe is one such simulation greatly exceeds the probability that it's real, so we would most likely be just computer programs running in a vast software model. Or so the hypothesis claims. Of course, without evidence, it's just as much an article of faith as any religious belief.
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