Soong Class Positronic Android

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Re: Soong Class Positronic Android

Postby Mikey » Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:19 pm

Starfleet/UFP advanced computing systems have a nasty tendency to develop sentience a/o sapience, even when designed not to do so. C.f. the Doctor, the hunting targets donated to the Hirogen, M-5 (of a sort,) even the E-D itself. I'd bear that in mind, especially when trying to limit a system that was intended to become sentient such as the Soong positronic brain.

As an aside, has anyone else thought of this: Data is primarily made of matter. Wouldn't the use of positrons in a tangible way inside him make him instantly blow up as soon as he was switched on?
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Re: Soong Class Positronic Android

Postby Captain Seafort » Mon Mar 26, 2012 6:06 pm

Mikey wrote:Starfleet/UFP advanced computing systems have a nasty tendency to develop sentience a/o sapience, even when designed not to do so. C.f. the Doctor, the hunting targets donated to the Hirogen, M-5 (of a sort,) even the E-D itself. I'd bear that in mind, especially when trying to limit a system that was intended to become sentient such as the Soong positronic brain.


The key difference between them and Data is that they all have the computing power of a starship behind them. The improvement Data offers is that he can fit that capability into a far more compact device.
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Re: Soong Class Positronic Android

Postby Mikey » Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:22 pm

That's true, but bears precious little on my point. Mark asked about somehow including an anti-sentience gate into the positronic brain and thus mass-manufacturing it. The size of the unit has nothing to do with the tendency of these things to go all self-aware at inconvenient times.

BTW, forgot to mention the exocomps, too.
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Re: Soong Class Positronic Android

Postby Graham Kennedy » Tue Mar 27, 2012 12:38 am

Re the positron thing... most likely, yeah. There's no real thought behind using positrons - it was a homage to Asimov's positronic robot brains, and he in turn only used positron because it sounded some "more advanced" successor to electronics.

As for some sort of sentience inhibitor, I wonder just how useful a non sentient robot could be. They could act like our own robot weapons, sure, but I suspect they'd ultimately be just as limited as our own robot weapons. Subject them to something that requires even a small degree of creating or imaginative thinking and they're toast.
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Re: Soong Class Positronic Android

Postby Mikey » Tue Mar 27, 2012 2:54 am

Agreed. My main concern was that sentience seems to just crop up in these things without intent, but you're right too - any sort of built-in limiter would be, well, limiting. Even today, things like the U.S. Army's XM1219 or APD are considered to be not even worth testing without some sort of situational adaptability that doesn't require user input.
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Re: Soong Class Positronic Android

Postby Mark » Tue Mar 27, 2012 5:20 pm

Fair enough.

Assuming that Starfleet in the four decades they've had to study the tech behind these androids, and theoretically COULD recreate them, do you think they would? We've seen how valuable Data was to the Enterprise time and time again, don't you think that Starfleet and the Federation would choose to embrace that culture and build them into a species (ie the Geth from Mass Effect or even Cylons)
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Re: Soong Class Positronic Android

Postby Captain Seafort » Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:01 pm

Mark wrote:Assuming that Starfleet in the four decades they've had to study the tech behind these androids, and theoretically COULD recreate them


Trouble is that they can't - even Data failed, using the inside of his own noggin as a template.
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Re: Soong Class Positronic Android

Postby Mark » Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:16 pm

Hey, do you suppose that Starfleet ever sent in a team to collect all the research and data found first at the research facility where Data and Lore were built, as well as Dr. Soong's new lab where he died?

With all of that research, and an extra ten years or so between Data's failure and his death, it should have been feasable to build new Androids, wouldn't you say?
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Re: Soong Class Positronic Android

Postby McAvoy » Fri Mar 30, 2012 2:53 pm

Mark wrote:Hey, do you suppose that Starfleet ever sent in a team to collect all the research and data found first at the research facility where Data and Lore were built, as well as Dr. Soong's new lab where he died?

With all of that research, and an extra ten years or so between Data's failure and his death, it should have been feasable to build new Androids, wouldn't you say?


Could be politics. If Starfleet has all the data it needs to build even a primitive Data (like B4) you would be creating a whole new race. So what do you do with the ones you made? Experience with Data probably gave Starfleet an outlook that they cannot merely create a bunch of Datas to man their ships.

But I do imagine it is very possible for Starfleet to create a watered down Soong type android for basic work that requires little intelligence like mining or even building things. Perhaps they already have.
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Re: Soong Class Positronic Android

Postby Tholian_Avenger » Fri Mar 30, 2012 5:53 pm

Just curious, why do you think mining in the 24th century would be a simpleton's task?
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Re: Soong Class Positronic Android

Postby McAvoy » Fri Mar 30, 2012 6:32 pm

I wouldn't call it a simpleton's task. Mining requires knowledge of the surrounding geology, concerning strength, efficient use of mining to get the maximum material etc. Something easily programmable into let's say B4 minus the baby talk.
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Re: Soong Class Positronic Android

Postby Tholian_Avenger » Fri Mar 30, 2012 8:22 pm

You might find this interesting.
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Re: Soong Class Positronic Android

Postby SomosFuga » Wed May 30, 2012 4:18 am

Mark wrote:Fair enough.

Assuming that Starfleet in the four decades they've had to study the tech behind these androids, and theoretically COULD recreate them, do you think they would? We've seen how valuable Data was to the Enterprise time and time again, don't you think that Starfleet and the Federation would choose to embrace that culture and build them into a species (ie the Geth from Mass Effect or even Cylons)


Assuming they can make these androids, how they know they will get a bunch of Datas and not a bunch of Lores or something in between. One think about sentients is that you can't predict what you will get.

Sure, it would be great to have a Data like guy in every capital ship and station, something like Romy form Andromeda, who was an avatar of the ship's AI. But what if some (or all) of them decide they want to conquer/destroy UFP or even all organic life or whatever. With the strength, endurance, speed, skills, training, knowledge, etc Data has, is not hard to imagine that a group of them (not to say a few hundreds) may cause a lot of problems.

Hey that would made a good movie for the new (or main) time line future!
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Re: Soong Class Positronic Android

Postby Graham Kennedy » Wed May 30, 2012 12:37 pm

You could equally well suggest that people shouldn't have kids, because what if they grow up all evil and decide to take over the Federation and kill everybody? We've seen that humans can grow up evil, after all.
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Re: Soong Class Positronic Android

Postby SomosFuga » Wed May 30, 2012 2:29 pm

GrahamKennedy wrote:You could equally well suggest that people shouldn't have kids, because what if they grow up all evil and decide to take over the Federation and kill everybody? We've seen that humans can grow up evil, after all.


Of course, but our kids probably won't have super powers.
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