Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
knasserII

If droids could think, none of us would be here.

Recommended Posts

My guess is that droids that are so long lived and that have never had a memory wiped are rare (even 3P0 had one and is arguably not as creative a thinker as R2), so most citizens of the galaxy only know droids as being obediant servants who generally don't think outside the box (or their own programing).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I realize some people have taken my question in a more simple manner than I intended. I get the part about droids making people redundant if they could actually "think". My question is more about what it means that they can't. I'm taking it that what Obi Wan says has at least some validity. There's also a line from the Kaminoans about how clones are better because they can think creatively unlike droids. I'm taking this to mean that droids are more very sophisticated programs rather than sentient beings per se. I.e. a living being decides to do something. A droid follows a decision tree, for want of a better term. You can't get out more than you put in. Thoughts?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I realize some people have taken my question in a more simple manner than I intended. I get the part about droids making people redundant if they could actually "think". My question is more about what it means that they can't. I'm taking it that what Obi Wan says has at least some validity. There's also a line from the Kaminoans about how clones are better because they can think creatively unlike droids. I'm taking this to mean that droids are more very sophisticated programs rather than sentient beings per se. I.e. a living being decides to do something. A droid follows a decision tree, for want of a better term. You can't get out more than you put in. Thoughts?

I'm sure that what Obi-Wan says is true, from a certain point of view.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I realize some people have taken my question in a more simple manner than I intended. I get the part about droids making people redundant if they could actually "think". My question is more about what it means that they can't. I'm taking it that what Obi Wan says has at least some validity. There's also a line from the Kaminoans about how clones are better because they can think creatively unlike droids. I'm taking this to mean that droids are more very sophisticated programs rather than sentient beings per se. I.e. a living being decides to do something. A droid follows a decision tree, for want of a better term. You can't get out more than you put in. Thoughts?

 

Well yeah. Droids really are, overall, just some advanced machines following their programming. They are still constrained by it.

 

Some droids, like R2-D2 and -C3PO, potentially have crossed the line over to being sentient beings. But they are overwhelmingly rare. Or more likely R2 and 3PO have simply altered their base programming beyond what it normally would be. Thus giving them most of the appearance and abilities being sapient gives you without actually being sapient.

 

So droids may be capable of learning and appearing to act on their own initiative, but that doesn't make them a sapient being.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm sort of wondering what a complete wreck most planets with a very heavy droid saturation are like?

 

Entry level skilled workers- droids (Assembly plants, maintenance crews, cooks etc) 

Medical/Technical work- droids (Surgeons, doctors, nurses and engineering)

Menial task repetition- droids (Garbage men, sewer workers, cleaners)

Starship & transportation- droids (loaders, astrogators, pilots etc)

And probably a whole lot more.

 

But my point would be, for a starting average young person of organic origions, they go to school, they leave to get a basic job somewhere and find some metal person has been doing it for the last century, never gets sick days, goes on strike, complains about conditions or has a union-riot out the front of the place of business and doesn't get paid.

 

No one really starts day-1 as a manager, executive or supervisor... so, what do you do?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Somebody has to "teach" the droids new things. In the case of the factory, someone is designing new products, which means the droids need to be taught the new plans somehow. Someone has to design new droids, ships, buildings, weapons, maintenance systems, etc... Also, not every world uses droids that heavily, so there is always somewhere to get a job and learn and move up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But my point would be, for a starting average young person of organic origions, they go to school, they leave to get a basic job somewhere and find some metal person has been doing it for the last century, never gets sick days, goes on strike, complains about conditions or has a union-riot out the front of the place of business and doesn't get paid.

Welcome to Coruscant.

Of course, there is the "Droid Rights" movement (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Droid_rights_(movement)).  And we certainly wouldn't want another "Great Droid Revolution" (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Great_Droid_Revolution).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You also have to ask the question why would droids decide to wipe everyone out? They may be programmed beings, but they are not all programmed to admire or strive for peak efficiency. Droids in Star Wars have personalities, and while they may not be as complex or nuanced as a sentient's, they are something that sets them apart from the standard robot.

 

First imagine C-3PO turning on one day and fully realizing that organic bodies waste energy and organic brains are riddled with contradictions. Now try to imagine him suddenly reaching the conclusion that the only solution to this problem is complete extermination. Yes, some malicious droids certainly might come to this conclusion and try to act on it, but 3PO? Or R2? The leap to galaxy-wide genocide takes more than realizing flesh and bone isn't as durable as metal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For all the good things about him, Obi-Wan is pretty bigoted when it comes to droids. He thinks of them as useful objects and as property, not as individuals with thoughts and emotions. So his statement is, IMO, colored by his prejudice.

 

This!

It seems to be a returning thing in the movies though.... On the whole they are pretty disinterested in their droids, using them as bait, switching them off, ignoring them, giving them memory (read personality) wipes, not allowing them in bars, etc. and no-one bats an eyelid at this. Sure it gets better over time when Luke grows attached to R2 for instance, but Obi-Wan's attitude is pretty much mirrored by most people's attitude towards droids. They are sentient beings that are considered property so it is probably easier to ignore the fact that they are sentient so they don't feel bad about "owning them". In a universe where slavery is mostly done by the bad guys it is hard to reconcile having other sentients (whether they are mechanic or not) as property so let's pretend they cannot think.

Edited by DanteRotterdam

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suspect that sapient droids are rare*.  If most of them didn't just do their job because that was what they were for, people wouldn't use them.  "normal" droids wouldn't think, they'd just perform the task they were built for as efficiently as possible (which would make Obi Wan's statement a gross generalisation).

 

*Unfortunately almost all of the droids we see in the films have quirks and personality traits, but I hope that that's because it'd be dull to put the "normal" droids on screen.

Edited by Col. Orange

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

*Unfortunately almost all of the droids we see in the films have quirks and personality traits, but I hope that that's because it'd be dull to put the "normal" droids on screen.

 

I don't think so... We see droids in all fields act in a thoughful, instinctual or sentient manner... The droid screaming while tortured in Jawa's palace, the head droid being beligerent of R2 in the same scene, the droids in the Jawa Sandcrawler acting very nervous, Battledroids acting like morons, the mouse droid making a hasty retreat when he comes close to Chewie, a protocol droid acting rude to C3PO in Cloud City, IG-88 acting as an independent bounty hunter, etc. etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

*Unfortunately almost all of the droids we see in the films have quirks and personality traits, but I hope that that's because it'd be dull to put the "normal" droids on screen.

 

I don't think so... We see droids in all fields act in a thoughful, instinctual or sentient manner... The droid screaming while tortured in Jawa's palace, the head droid being beligerent of R2 in the same scene, the droids in the Jawa Sandcrawler acting very nervous, Battledroids acting like morons, the mouse droid making a hasty retreat when he comes close to Chewie, a protocol droid acting rude to C3PO in Cloud City, IG-88 acting as an independent bounty hunter, etc. etc.

Yes, but similar is done by various toys, they simulate emotions because their creators want them to. Like sticking a friendly face on them. Such communication are useful, even. It seems unlikely to me that droids would express their condition in a human-like way if humans hadn't made them to do so.

They seem to me have only the most rudimentary independence to me. Even if a Battle Droid says "uh-oh" as Anakin and Obi-Wan start battling towards it, it still stands there waiting to be cut apart by lightsabre. Is it even possible to have emotions without free will?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 

*Unfortunately almost all of the droids we see in the films have quirks and personality traits, but I hope that that's because it'd be dull to put the "normal" droids on screen.

 

I don't think so... We see droids in all fields act in a thoughful, instinctual or sentient manner... The droid screaming while tortured in Jawa's palace, the head droid being beligerent of R2 in the same scene, the droids in the Jawa Sandcrawler acting very nervous, Battledroids acting like morons, the mouse droid making a hasty retreat when he comes close to Chewie, a protocol droid acting rude to C3PO in Cloud City, IG-88 acting as an independent bounty hunter, etc. etc.

 

Yes, but similar is done by various toys, they simulate emotions because their creators want them to. Like sticking a friendly face on them. Such communication are useful, even. It seems unlikely to me that droids would express their condition in a human-like way if humans hadn't made them to do so.

They seem to me have only the most rudimentary independence to me. Even if a Battle Droid says "uh-oh" as Anakin and Obi-Wan start battling towards it, it still stands there waiting to be cut apart by lightsabre. Is it even possible to have emotions without free will?

 

 

They have free will though... Look at the fact that R2 and c3Po get into fights or call others rude...

Especially R2 is a droid that is described as rude, feisty, bold, etc. all personality traits that don't seem to be a manner of programming... They truly feel... Remember R2's whining pitch when the doors slam shut on Hoth? That is emotion.

Battle droids seeing the hopelesness of their situation and vocalize it is another thing that, to me, screams sentience.

Edited by DanteRotterdam

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 
Dexter Jettster: It's these funny little cuts on the side that give it away. Those analysis droids only focus on symbols. Huh! I should think that you Jedi would have more respect for the difference between knowledge and... heh heh heh... wisdom.
Obi-Wan: Well if droids could think, there'd be none of us here, would there?
 
If I asked Obi-Wan what he meant by this, I'd imagine he'd say:
"They would turn on their masters."
 

 

 

If I asked George Lucas what he meant, I'd imagine he'd say:
"It's about robots turning against their masters. It's just a Space Odyssey reference. The line is really just spoken by Obi-wan as a one-liner. Don't take it too seriously."
 
Star Wars is a space opera is anything you want it to be. There really isn't any logical reason for the Battle Droids to do any of their comical antics as seen in The Clone Wars, apart from the producers wanting to add humor. On one hand, there's a good EU on IG-88 and how he's involved with the robot revolution, and then there are Clone Wars pranks between the droids.
 
It really depends on who's writing the story. If we're asking Lucas's Obi-wan, it's just a one-liner. To a different EU author, you could expand this into its own story about the robot revolution. Star Wars simply isn't consistent in tone to answer your question.
 

But Star Trek's tone is consistent. (Even considering Fistful of Datas)

Edited by hencook

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Remember R2's whining pitch when the doors slam shut on Hoth? That is emotion.

I'm open to persuasion - I'm not sure on all of this which is why I posted the question. But I genuinely cannot think of an example that isn't easily interpreted as programming. As to R2-D2's whine:

You've just watched 2 dimensional ink and a recorded voice express grief and loss. Is the film cell or sound recording sentient or self-aware? Of course not. Can a sophisticated program arrange such things on the fly as needed? Of course! I think droids have programmed personalities. C3-P0 is designed to be a prissy worry-wort. The robo-waitress in the diner in Attack of the Clones is designed to have a sassy waitress personality. If you impede C3-P0 he will exclaim "Well, excuse me!" in a put out manner. It's clear to me their personalities are designed.

We are developing toys and computer programs that are designed to exactly provoke emotional reactions in people in similar manners without actually being self-aware or having free will.

Edited by knasserII

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dude, really?

I am aware that everything could be programmed, even such things but I don't think the droids re intended to be viewed as such. Of course if you enjoy a movie where droids are just programmed to act in such  a manner (which would mean that a great many droids are programmed seperately for their personalities as all R2 units tend to (re)act very differently) then go ahead, however it wouldn't be for me.

Heck, you could be a program designed to post the most unreasonable side in a discussion ever, for all I know. ;)

Edited by DanteRotterdam

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Remember R2's whining pitch when the doors slam shut on Hoth? That is emotion.

I'm open to persuasion - I'm not sure on all of this which is why I posted the question. But I genuinely cannot think of an example that isn't easily interpreted as programming. As to R2-D2's whine:

You've just watched 2 dimensional ink and a recorded voice express grief and loss. Is the film cell or sound recording sentient or self-aware? Of course not. Can a sophisticated program arrange such things on the fly as needed? Of course! I think droids have programmed personalities. C3-P0 is designed to be a prissy worry-wort. The robo-waitress in the diner in Attack of the Clones is designed to have a sassy waitress personality. If you impede C3-P0 he will exclaim "Well, excuse me!" in a put out manner. It's clear to me their personalities are designed.

We are developing toys and computer programs that are designed to exactly provoke emotional reactions in people in similar manners without actually being self-aware or having free will.

 

 

I think that's very much a stretch. The droids have highly varied, complex personalities. I think it's far more likely that they're simply sentient beings with their own personalities, rather than someone decided to load R2 with the 'testy *******' personality and put C3PO in 'whiny git' mode.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Dude, really?

I am aware that everything could be programmed, even such things but I don't think the droids re intended to be viewed as such. Of course if you enjoy a movie where droids are just programmed to act in such  a manner (which would mean that a great many droids are programmed seperately for their personalities as all R2 units tend to (re)act very differently) then go ahead, however it wouldn't be for me.

Heck, you could be a program designed to post the most unreasonable side in a discussion ever, for all I know. ;)

 

R2-D2 not being a fully self-aware entity with its own motivations and goals (beyond those hardwired into it as an Astromech) seems a little too cynical.

 

On the other hand (and this may just be an illusion caused by Prequel dialogue), the personality of the waitress-bot in Dex's seems artificially tailored to the theme of the diner.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Dude, really?

I am aware that everything could be programmed, even such things but I don't think the droids re intended to be viewed as such. Of course if you enjoy a movie where droids are just programmed to act in such  a manner (which would mean that a great many droids are programmed seperately for their personalities as all R2 units tend to (re)act very differently) then go ahead, however it wouldn't be for me.

Heck, you could be a program designed to post the most unreasonable side in a discussion ever, for all I know. ;)

 

R2-D2 not being a fully self-aware entity with its own motivations and goals (beyond those hardwired into it as an Astromech) seems a little too cynical.

 

On the other hand (and this may just be an illusion caused by Prequel dialogue), the personality of the waitress-bot in Dex's seems artificially tailored to the theme of the diner.

 

 

I agree... Then again there are an awful lot of waiters on Earth who act in that exact same way and I am pretty sure they are sentient (somewhat) beings!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...