Discussion in 'Star Trek: The Next Generation' started by Captain McBain, Nov 14, 2012.
Do you believe the Exocomps were truly alive?
They had the basics down pat: rudimentary ability to reproduce (if they could build tools, they could build themselves), will to live, and no obvious extinction-inducing handicaps (plenty of raw materials around, status as sympathetic protected species despite lack of soft fur or cute eyes, no competition).
So yeah, alive at least in the same sense as viruses (biological or computer) are alive. And more so than Data, who apparently had no real hope of offspring.
Sense of self awareness, self preservation, ability to evolve & adapt. Yeah. surely alive & intelligent, & very likely sentient, at some level
Sure, just because something is not flesh, blood and bone means something is not alive.
I found the episode so boring that I didn't care either way. But if I did care I'd go with the alive side most likely as it makes the most sense in a sci-fi show. Uusually if there's a question about the aliveness of a artificial creature than the episode usually comes down on the alive side.
Of course it's not hard to believe at all, human level AI is only a few decades away (not centuries like in STNG), but I didn't really like the design, not very imaginative.
Alive, but I didn't see sentient. So maybe the intelligence of an animal, or an insect.
What was lacking was the ability for concept thinking and language. If they can materialize a tool, how about a speaker to communicate? Or couldn't one of these sentient beings think of that?
I could see a nightmare scenario with Exocomps evolving into Replicators, then are assimilated by the Borg, and then a big messy cross-universe war against Starfleet and Stargate Command ...
Never mind all that - why did Westmore have to put a funny forehead on the gorgeous Ellen Brye?!
in the Trek universe, yes.
Realistically, no. They were deliberately designed to be relatively simple tools with basic programming. Machines can't naturally "evolve" the way organic beings can.(not to mention that individuals don't really evolve) At least in the case of Data or Lore they were DESIGNED to be self-aware.
"QOL" would ask us to accept that simple machines accidentally evolved into self-awareness. Riiiight.
How so? What evidence do we have that the exocomps were not talking with each other, using a complex and expressive language?
If anything, we could argue that our heroes were not sentient, because clearly they didn't speak exocomp.
Why not? It's the organic beings that cannot evolve much (from infant to adult, yes, but that's not really all that remarkable) - but a machine like this could and would be built with the ability to improve itself within a single generation, and there'd be no point in building in limitations on exactly how it would improve itself (or else it would have been built to the improved specs already from the get-go). So unpredictable results would be guaranteed by design.
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