Machine Intelligences

BeronTheGrey

Mongoose
Quick question here:

In the B5 Universe, are there any reported machine intelligences out there? AI seems to be a somewhat neglected field of research . . .

Simon D. Taylor
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Well, the station had an AI, but they didn't use it.

Judging from the problems with labor, I would think that machine intelligence isn't neglected...it's probably actively opposed by unions and other groups worried about losing their jobs. At least, that's my excuse for it.

The Minbari use it...we've seen that with the fighters in season 5.
 

BeronTheGrey

Mongoose
Thanks. Still, what I'm really wondering is if there are any entire civilisations of machine intelligence out there? On the whole, it seems to be a direction that's been avoided in the B5 universe. Unless, are any of the Ancients in fact a form of machine intelligence?

Simon D. Taylor
 

frobisher

Mongoose
BeronTheGrey said:
On the whole, it seems to be a direction that's been avoided in the B5 universe. Unless, are any of the Ancients in fact a form of machine intelligence?

It sort of depends what happens with the Tal-Kona'Sha...

AoG didn't get much development for them out the door - basically a "Mid Born" race (somewhere between the true Ancients and the Minbari for when they attained space flight), with organic/cybernetic ships.

It really depends where Mongoose want to take them. They could now be artificial intelligences using technology to hold easily malliable organic creatures in thrall.
 

Lizard

Mongoose
There's a bit on the Tal'Kona-Sha in the Galaxy Guide, just so you know. :)

My own take on AI in B5 is that there are no truly free-willed sentient machines, but there are specialized AIs capable of making "judgements" about things - such as when it's a good time to seal bulkhead doors in the event of an amergency.
 

frobisher

Mongoose
Lizard said:
There's a bit on the Tal'Kona-Sha in the Galaxy Guide, just so you know. :)

Oooh, you tease ;)

What's our ETA on the book? There's a couple of guys on the B5W forum who'll probably be a little annoyed to discover there's some concrete info on the TKS coming (developing ships and background) :)
 
Well the Babylon 5 cosmos does acknowldge the exsistence of Souls. (soul hunters, Minbari beliefs etc.) But no Artificial Inteliigences.

Possibly, truly sentient things have souls. If it's not got a soul, it's not truly sentient (like Bab 5's AI subroutines. It's just a program, not truly intelligent.)

I'd argue that only very advanced races have developed AIs, and such things are given a soul through some process. Possibly through sentient being poutring themselves into machine bodies and then 'breeding'.
 
BeronTheGrey said:
Quick question here:

In the B5 Universe, are there any reported machine intelligences out there? AI seems to be a somewhat neglected field of research . . .

Simon D. Taylor


On page 58 of the Zocalo book it clearly explains why AI is not used in the Babylon 5 Universe. To sum it up it says that as neat as AI is no one wants a computer talking to them, a computer engaging you in human conversation can drive even the strongest person to drink
 

skalvar

Mongoose
That was probably the sanest possible response from prolonged exposure to an interactive AI. There's a fairly famous animation problem: the closer something gets to human (or in this case sentient) behaviour the more we notice its flaws. An animated skeleton that moves with 80% fidelity "looks" much more lifelike than one animated at 99% fidenlity, even though the later matches human motion much more closely than the former. Basically, the fewer errors there are, the more the remaining errors stand out in the pattern matching we inherited from our ancestors.

In terms of skilled AI, I assumed the problems with abstract representation remained: you can get programs to perform in remarkably skilled fashions but only within very narrow parameters. The narrower your parameters the more "intelligent" the system seems. This is great for simulations and games but terrible for anything that has to interact with chaotic systems (i.e. the real world).

In terms of so called "machine life", created by mimicking basic learning behaviours and functions (mostly from insects, who have shockingly simple neural structures) I didn't go there. B5 could, presumably, have a mechanical race of this later type. However, its "intelligence" would be so alien to that of organic life it seems an unlikely inclusion in a game focused on the relationship between races - if it could communicate with us, what kind of relationship could we have with it? How would its "mind" be structured? Would it even have one as we understand the term?

Now, you could have a lot of fun with the above speculation in something derived from David Brin's work. From JMS's though, it seems wiser to stick to things more in keeping with the settings focus: things we can talk to who have the capacity to make moral choices.

Shannon
Current Status: Deciphering "uah...uha...uhhha....uah.". It contains meaning. I know this to be true.
 
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