Robotics

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Eryx
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Robotics

Postby Eryx » Thu Sep 09, 2004 9:49 pm

I just got back from watching I Robot tonight, and it made me think what state Robotics is in in the B5 universe. Its not a subject that has been touched I don't think.

Any ideas?
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Can of the Cave Beer
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Postby Can of the Cave Beer » Fri Sep 10, 2004 3:05 am

Well, I don't think it's anything that's mentioned directly. But there are a few things we can infer.

1) A Spider in the Web--at least partial cyborgs with cybernetic implants--bleeding edge stuff. So bleeding edge, it doesn't even exist yet.

2) Crusade (I forget the episode, but the one with Dr. Franklin)--shows that Earth has the capability of examining nano-tech, although we don't seem to be able to do much with it beyond that.

3) Crusade (episode with Brian Johnson guesting)--don't the rogues have cybernetic implants?

4) AI--Artificial intelligence is cantankerous at best. The station's AI program had to be sidelined because it was Harlan Ellison and therefore too grumpy to get along with anyone for any length of time.

5) Computer--The computers on B5 showed a significant ability to do raw research. Limited, focused AI seems to work.

6) Organ Replacement--As shown by G'Kar's eye, organ replacement seems to be attainable. If we can match the complexity of the optic nerve, we can probaly handle certain organs and possibly even limbs with limited (if not widespread) success.

Speculation--Robotics on the line of cybernetic implants are probably out of reach for the next 10-15 years (after the show ends) due to the level of pain they cause the host and their complexity. Artificial Intelligence programs can probably handle minor issues, but more complex programs prove to be too "uppity" to be effective--most manufacturing is probably governed by AI, fact gathering as well. Autonomous robots are probably limited to basic tasks such as manufacturing and sanitation--anything where human intuition and reasoning aren't desired.
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Jal
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Postby Jal » Fri Sep 10, 2004 4:06 am

what state Robotics is in in the B5 universe.
to quote JMS "no robots and no cute kids". :twisted:

but on the plus side;

cybernetics is alive and well in the B5 universe from illegal implants via black ops (Brian Johnson and friends), cyborg recorders (the ViCaR, season 2 i think), technomages (who actually use Shadow technology) and right on through to the Shadows use of living beings as the central processing units for their ships.

Minbari AI systems look to be advanced as well (as Harlan wasn`t involved with them!). :wink:
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Postby El Cid » Fri Sep 10, 2004 12:37 pm

Don't forget the repair and maintenance bots that we see from time to time.

I'm not sure how they are controlled, if AI or joystick but I didn't get the impression that they were shown as truely AI.

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Postby mthomason » Fri Sep 10, 2004 12:59 pm

El Cid wrote:Don't forget the repair and maintenance bots that we see from time to time.

I'm not sure how they are controlled, if AI or joystick but I didn't get the impression that they were shown as truely AI.

Sidney
I would assume enough programming to be able to act on instructions such as "proceed to hull plate 532-A and replace it", but not enough to cope with hull plate 532-A not being there, so they would sit and request further instructions). I would however include some maneuvering AI, enough to get out of the way of something coming towards them, and to plot a course around obstacles on the way to said hull plate.

So mostly activity-based "situational" AI, and not "true" AI in the sense of being able to hold a conversation or decide to do something they're not programmed to do.

Lets not forget the "AI" in the episode Infection... you could run a scenario whereby an alien artifact is brought aboard, but instead of taking over people it taps into the comm frequencies and "infects" the station's maintenance bots and fighters...
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Postby PottsBr » Fri Sep 10, 2004 6:11 pm

I would have to go and rewatch the series to find it, but their is a throw away comment about robotics in one episode. My gut feeling is that Garibaldi made the comment and indicated that something bad had happened in the world of robitics and they had been banned. If I had to guess, I would suggest some sort of robot revolt along the lines (though obviously not as serious) of the Cylons in the new Battlestar Galactica series.

Don't remember the exact episode or circumstance, but it was something about "Before the ban..." or along those lines.
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Postby Silk » Fri Sep 10, 2004 7:46 pm

Wasn't there a cyborg in season 2? he could electricute people with his hands while saying "Free Mars!"

If memory serves he was a terrorist leader who got destroyed in a space fighter, then was rebuilt..
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Black Campbell
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Postby Black Campbell » Fri Sep 10, 2004 9:40 pm

The impression I get is that AI and robotics exist, but that they have not seen the level of roll-out one might expect. There are a couple reasons I can think for this: an inherent, Luddite distrust of machine intelligence; a desire to avoid robotization in all sectors of life -- there were obviously guilds/unions in B5's universe; they might have prevented the mass use of robotics to prevent mass unemployment...idle hands, so to speak.

Cybernetics seem to be available, if not popular.
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Postby Vorlon Servant » Sat Sep 11, 2004 1:14 am

I would have to go and rewatch the series to find it, but their is a throw away comment about robotics in one episode. My gut feeling is that Garibaldi made the comment and indicated that something bad had happened in the world of robitics and they had been banned. If I had to guess, I would suggest some sort of robot revolt along the lines (though obviously not as serious) of the Cylons in the new Battlestar Galactica series.
The line was from early in season 5. It was said by bester were talking to Garibaldi about his 'Asimov'. He mentions cyber techs that adopted the three laws to robots in 'the pre-ban experiments'.

The old B5 Security Manual did mention an uprising of robots caused by bad wiring (if that was at all accurate).

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