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Topic: Are the Orville and the Enterprise alive? Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Eric Sofer
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Joined: 31 January 2014
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Posted: 24 March 2019 at 12:19pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

This past week's (3-22) Orville involved Gordon falling in love with a simulator character, and its seeming response to fall in love with him. We've seen intense interactions on both The Orville and Star Trek.

My topic is one that applies to both simulator and holodeck. It's obvious that the the things can manage A.I.; there were simu-characters who noticed Gordon's odd dress mode. And the simulator acted smart enough that no one was surprised or shocked at a new character in their pseudo reality.

But at what point does this become slavery? Maybe STTNG's "Ship In a Bottle" touched on it some, but a serious look at this shows that the simulator can create characters realistic enough to fall in love with, and fall in love in return.

We can surely say that Gordon fell in love with the computer; and it seems as if the computer responded. But the computer has no freedom whatsoever; despite seeming to be sentient, it must follow orders and that's that. It's dragged into combat willy-nilly, get switched around or modified at the drop of a spanner, and has nothing to say about its "life" or destiny. All of this is determined by its human masters.

We're approaching A.I. fast as lightning in the real world... what happens then? Is there a way to deal with this?
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John Byrne
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Posted: 24 March 2019 at 2:07pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

“Self-aware” seems to be the big requirement—without invoking nonsense like “souls”—but we’ve spent thousands of years insisting dogs and cats are nor self-aware, so how quick would we be to embrace “aware” machines?
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Doug Centers
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Posted: 24 March 2019 at 3:22pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Gideon, the on board computer on LEGENDS of TOMORROW, has manifested itself in human forms subconsciously, and thru an avatar once. Rip Hunter definitely has feelings towards her/it but it's unclear if that is reciprocated.
To the question of A.I. slavery, in this case, at the moment I would say she has accepted her lot in...er, life.
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Steve De Young
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Posted: 24 March 2019 at 7:11pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Consciousness is a slippery concept.  Its more of a continuum than a 0 or 1.  As JB points out, dogs, higher primates, and a number of other animals essentially have consciousness of a certain level.  In fact, there's a theory called "panpsychism" which defines consciousness as an ordered system which intakes, processes, and outputs information.  Which would mean that pretty much everything in the universe is somewhere on the continuum of consciousness.  And there's no reason to believe that the human brain is necessarily the apex of that continuum.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 24 March 2019 at 7:56pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

I would be SO SAD if it was!!
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Thomas Woods
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Posted: 25 March 2019 at 1:29am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

To me the line is emotions. Dogs, etc. clearly have tons
of emotion and feel pain. If a ship had emotions I would
consider it alive, if it was only self aware, but did
not seem to care if it 'lived' or 'died', I would not
consider it alive.
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