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  #1  
Old 03-26-2008, 12:53 PM
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Default Enterprise A.I.?

Okay, here's a puzzler:

Even back in TOS, computers were programmed with personality (usually female, due to the planet of Starfleet's computer suppliers at the time being a matriarchal society) and up to the time of TNG, they were able to compress positronics down to the point where sentience could be placed in Data's head. i.e. they could make a brain small enough and complex enough that it becomes self-aware...

So....

Why aren't any of the ships of Starfleet self-aware, intelligent entities? Again, I hate to point out another series (in this case,, also a Roddenberry creation) but Andromeda has ships which are characters unto themselves. Why hasn't the Enterprise ever been given more of a personality? (I'm thinking more along the lines of "The Ship Who Sang", rather than Eddie the shipboard computer from HHGTTG.) Was the experience with the M-5 so souring that UFP gave up on the idea entirely?
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Old 03-26-2008, 01:08 PM
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Default Ship Sentience?

If you check, there has been a program from a ship's computer that did attain sentience. That was on Voyager with their EMH, "The Doctor". In the "ST Universe" books, he progressed in personality and standing in Star Fleet.

As for the ship computer itself, Captain Janeway address this her self. She talked about this when the self awareness of her EMH was brought into question. There are programs built into all computers that prevent the computer from being Self Aware. She bypassed the programs to enhance Voyager's EMH. Result was "The Doctor".
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Old 03-26-2008, 01:25 PM
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Well, that's interesting... but not really my point. I guess I have to put it bluntly... Why isn't the Enterprise a character, instead of a set peice?
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Old 03-27-2008, 08:53 AM
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The Ent-D herself piloted the ship out of the Promellian trap, if I remember correctly...
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Old 03-27-2008, 10:15 AM
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In TNG there was a hologram that became as clever as Data, professor moriarty.
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Old 03-27-2008, 07:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cmdr Tovo View Post
In TNG there was a hologram that became as clever as Data, professor moriarty.
But, again, the computer had to be given specific instructions to create the program that attained sentience. The ship's computer is programed with instructions that make it not to become "Self Aware".

Fanwriter45, I understand your statement. When Gene Roddenberry wrote Star Trek, he did not want the ships in the Star Trek Universe to be a character in and of them self. When he wrote Andromeda, he wrote those ships to be "Self Aware" and to be a character in and of them self.
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Old 03-28-2008, 06:42 AM
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What if that sentient being went the path of Lore? We could have evil starships running amok. Just a thought.
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Old 03-28-2008, 07:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fifthrate View Post
What if that sentient being went the path of Lore? We could have evil starships running amok. Just a thought.
You make a good point. Not only do we have the M-5 story to draw on but also TOS episode I, Mudd where the androids wanted to control humans and other species in the galaxy according to their own beliefs. In Voyager there was an episode that dealt with a mal-functioning halogram that killed the crew and nearly killed Torres and The Doctor. Whats to say some anomoly could affect the computer system and kill the crew or just simply rebel. Want to look beyond Star Trek for a minute, also remember the stories in the Terminator series and 2001 and 2010. Go into a dangerous situation where the ship/main computer could be harmed and the main computer could override you and you're stuck. Situations like this proves that its just a bad idea overall, too much risk to warrant it.
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Old 03-28-2008, 12:33 PM
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bintrepid,

Now THAT's a good point. Thinking back Trek DOES seem to have a theme running through it, of A.I. going out of control. So maybe the Trek universe is somewhat similar to that of Dune, where one of the religious commandments was: Thou shat not make a computer that thinks for itself." (I paraphrase, of course. It's been decades since I last read Herbert.)
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Old 04-13-2008, 03:30 PM
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Wow.... I didn't think anybody else in the world had read "The Ship who Sang."

In some sci-fi series like Farscape, a sentient ship has been shown as a positive thing, while in others it has been negative. Usually when a sci-fi series features a sentient ship (or any sentient machine) it is because it is trying to make a specific point about the idea of sentient machines. Since it wasn't a running theme in Star Trek, it wasn't included, save for the few episodes that DID deal with the idea.

In The Ship who Sang, the underlying theme was how society treated brainships.
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