Organic Android

Discussion in 'Star Trek: Picard' started by Admiral Jean-Luc Picard, Oct 8, 2020.

  1. Admiral Jean-Luc Picard

    Admiral Jean-Luc Picard Commander Red Shirt

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    Something I never quite understood. What is an organic android? An android is a robot made to resemble a person. How does an organic android pass for human to the point where no one knows the person is an android? If the person is that organic, how are they an android? At this point, doesn't the person have more in common with Khan than Data?
     
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  2. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I think that's why the term "synth" is more preferred, since it is a synthetic humanoid. Android a more familiar term, and still technically applies since it is a human looking machine.
     
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  3. NCC-73515

    NCC-73515 Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Synth includes gynoids and nonbinoids
     
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  4. Admiral Jean-Luc Picard

    Admiral Jean-Luc Picard Commander Red Shirt

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    A doctor never figured her out upon a routine doctor visit?
     
  5. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Android today simply means man-shaped. The EMH of Voyager is very much an android, too.

    Future word usage is likely to be different from current, and Trek usage from ours, simply because that's how language works. But we have little reason to think that the word android in the Trek 24th or 25th century would be limited to mechanical contraptions, that is, mechanisms made of non-organic materials, and never mind that "organic" also covers carbon fiber, say.

    Trek language has evolved, though: "synth" apparently is an all-new term for the 2390s. Is it a catchall, or is it a distinction required by the introduction of all-new technology (to wit, those fractal Data copies)? We still don't know for sure. But we get lots of different words: android, synth, hologram, replicant (yes, DS9 "Whispers" has those, too), robot, golem, cyborg... Obviously the Trek folks feel the need for all those words, and clearly there are nuances to how the likeness of man is achieved. There need not be rhyme or reason to what gets distinguished and what clumped together: our own language provides ample precedent there. What works for the Trek folks, works for them. Even if the writers can't necessarily keep it straight all the way.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  6. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Apparently not.
     
  7. SolarisOne

    SolarisOne Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

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    How many times in Trek have things been hidden from all but the most comprehensive deep tissue scans, where a doctor was actively lookng for something awry?
     
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  8. Kelso

    Kelso Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Organic robots have been around in fiction since at least as early as Karel Capek's 1920 play R.U.R.

    In that story...

    I would assume that the organic synths in Picard are similarly made from synthetic elements that are indistinguishable from organic elements but have greater capabilities.
     
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  9. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    True enough. Apparently being close enough works.
     
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  10. Admiral Jean-Luc Picard

    Admiral Jean-Luc Picard Commander Red Shirt

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    If medical scans of a person match that of an organic being, can we really call that person an android? Maybe an organic being grown in a lab, but an android?
     
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  11. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Android just means a man-like machine. Doesn't matter how the machine was crafted it still fits the definition, which is a fairly broad one to begin with.
     
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  12. RAMA

    RAMA Admiral Admiral

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    Synths, Replicants. Technically any artificially created organic being that is not cloned would be an organic Android.

    Admittedly, our definitions aren't very good for the more subtle permutations of their intelligence and makeup, but I feel we have seen many different kinds.

    Some are very limited, they talk and act like stereotypical robots.

    Others have almost every trait of a human, but stories say they lack something that makes them human. Sometimes they CAN be made identical but they are given limitations, such as Blade Runner.

    The highest order are indistinguishable including consciousness. They deserve all rights and considerations of humans. At one point these were just considered thought experiments in sci-fi(also the subject of the most moral/ethical explorations), but now they seem very possible. This is also the hardest for 21st century humans to accept. Some here won't accept they are possible, and still they do make for some interesting stories.

    RAMA
     
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  13. RAMA

    RAMA Admiral Admiral

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  14. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    And I guess that's a bit of a problem. If a human talks and acts like a stereotypical robot, we don't exactly have a mechanism for deciding which rights and considerations he or she should be allocated. Generally, though, we remove some of the usual rights, since such a person is unable to cope with the full scope of the society, and we want to promote coping with the society.

    Perversely enough, most of mankind lacks something that makes us human, though. Rights are quickly eroded when an enthusiastic courtroom gets to it, as the somethings missing (conscience, empathy, social graces, correct genitals, correct political leaning, wealth) are fairly easily demonstrated. But since most of mankind won't be happy with the eroding, the courtrooms are made to err on the side of caution and to treat us all as fully human, despite the demonstrable shortcomings: even an emotionless killing automaton gets the same starter kit of rights, regardless of whether some of those are then stripped from him or her in the process of judging the associated actions (or the potential for actions).

    Built things may cover a broader spectrum of humanity than humans do. But we won't err on the side of caution and give a talking toaster full human rights as a starter kit. We don't do that even with cats or common crows, which can be sapient and sentient enough to trump certain humans.

    At some point, something will have to give. Blade Runner is a fun treatise of this something being stretched to the utmost limit, with the "skin jobs" just about as far removed from humanity as those of different skin color. LDS in turn doesn't hesitate to give us an exocomp that essentially is just that talking toaster (only she talks a lot), and indicate that the something has indeed given here and the exocomp has the full starter kit of rights at the very least.

    Anything in between may happen, and that's the interesting part with the most extensive implications: what set of human rights does a machine get when it's mentally exactly and demonstrably on par with an IQ23 human who likes to tear limbs off little children and eat her excretions a lot? And what human rights does that yield to a hyena?

    (Also, too drunk yesterday: no, carbon fiber skeletons would not make an android organic by the chemical definition. But the grease between the joints would.)

    Timo Saloniemi
     
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  15. Imaus

    Imaus Commander Red Shirt

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    Organic Androids are just...well, androids made with wetware. Not Blade Runner, those are genetically engineered humans, right? Which is EXTREMELY messed up overall, but I think the word(s are) is Bioroid, Bionoid, Softbot, Synthetic Human, etc...

    Now why the hell you would want a android composed of weak flesh is beyond me, however. Humans without limits can be pretty naft. But still beaten to a pulp by any metal clanker worth its salt.
     
  16. fireproof78

    fireproof78 Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    Less threatening.
     
  17. publiusr

    publiusr Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Less vulnerable to EMP
    Can heal, etc.