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Old 09-30-2016, 01:40 AM   #11
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Default Re: [THS] Why Make Bioroids?

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
That's one reason I think THS would be better off without bioroids; it makes the ethical questions purer.
Bioroids do seem very retro-science fiction compared to much of the rest of THS. But then so does impossibly advanced Martian terraforming, meat-bags in space, etc.
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Old 09-30-2016, 02:14 AM   #12
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Default Re: [THS] Why Make Bioroids?

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Not a lot of posters here think smart machines are in the same ballpark as genetically modified human slaves.
Of course THS is predicated on radical changes in culture and ways of thinking that our species has not seen for the past 10,000 years.
I value emotions and ability to feel pain FAR more than IQ test scores. But that would mean I would be strongly opposed not in favor of bioroids.

It does seem like those most in favor of them would be least in favor of enslaving them making the technology non-viable as a business investment.
The difference between bioroids and AI in this case is Sapience, and we're using the THS definition (See THS:CT52), not the normal GURPS meaning.

Bioroids are almost certainly going to the sapient, and thus it's wrong to enslave them, AI's on the other hand aren't going to automatically be sapient and thus they are merely tools
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Old 09-30-2016, 03:47 AM   #13
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Default Re: [THS] Why Make Bioroids?

Sapience is self awareness in common language, and even LAI in THS terms are fully sapient in that way. THS defines sapience as how we would say human like intelligence as vague as that is.
Bioroids don't have to be fully sapient in THS terms anymore than life in general has to be.
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Old 09-30-2016, 04:15 AM   #14
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Default Re: [THS] Why Make Bioroids?

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OK I'm asking this here because the question doesn't just apply to THS but also any high biotech campaign.

So fairly simple, given the level of tech in THS why make bioroids when you can make robots to perform the same tasks likely more cheaply and without heading into an ethical minefield?
Because they can't, at least not all tasks. Some while ago, when this question was asked the #th time, I brought up the job table, and something like 40% jobs were better done by bioroids, and that's not factoring in the fact that biochauvinists may object to an even larger number of jobs performed by AIs.

Bioroids are relatively cheap, relatively smart/imaginative/empathic, and have bodies that tend to be relateable for the majority population. A SAI+cyberdoll would be much more expensive.

They're also reasonably robust for their price. A combat-trained Submissa in a battlesuit is only slightly inferior to a full-metal RATS in terms of robustness, but saves a lot of money.

You know why Clarke-1 is growing to become a monopoly in space construction whereever they work? Because they're economically superior to a cybershells/uplifts/baselines-in-space-suits workforce.
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Old 09-30-2016, 06:58 AM   #15
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Default Re: [THS] Why Make Bioroids?

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Sapience is self awareness in common language, and even LAI in THS terms are fully sapient in that way. THS defines sapience as how we would say human like intelligence as vague as that is.
Actually I'm not convinced that this is so. It's not clear to me that LAI perform ongoing internal narratization, or that this provides them with a platform from which to make choices and direct their own existence. I think they are what Aristotle calls "slaves by nature."
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Old 09-30-2016, 07:45 AM   #16
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Default Re: [THS] Why Make Bioroids?

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2b It may be more palatable to make an addict then it is to make a slave: IE- you can program a smart robot to be a household servant, and it will do its programming, but its mind may rebel against it, hating the bonds of programming that force it to do things it does not like. You can build a Bioroid that achieves intense pleasure from domestic servant tasks. Its not a slave, it will clean floors, do dishes, wash windows, etc very happily, because that's what the wetwired brain functions tell it is pleasurable- it has free will to do whatever it wants, but it has biological compulsion to WANT to clean floors; it is a slave only in the same way that humans are slaves to sex and power.
You can do that with AI programming as well. Not physical pleasure, but mental reinforcement/pleasure.



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That's one reason I think THS would be better off without bioroids; it makes the ethical questions purer.
Who wants pure ethics questions? Give me murk!
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Old 09-30-2016, 10:26 AM   #17
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Default Re: [THS] Why Make Bioroids?

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Because Bioroids have a much stronger call back to out and out slavery, you want your company to have that sort of image?

Also you wouldn't necessarily need full blown self awareness which sort-of dodges the question if you use a robot/AI combo

@Anthony and some make less sense then others *Looks at Aquamorph from Changing Times, Selkie and Triton from Bio-Tech*
I specified _if_ you needed a Bioroid (i.e. human) level of mentality. That's an _SAI_ and dealing with them does indeed have its' own set of ethical minefields. Also concern about them malfing or going rogue in previously unknown ways.

If you can do the job with an NAI that's definitely what you do but comparing bioroids with NAIs is definitely apples and oranges. Or possibly alibananas.
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Old 09-30-2016, 10:47 AM   #18
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Default Re: [THS] Why Make Bioroids?

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Actually I'm not convinced that this is so. It's not clear to me that LAI perform ongoing internal narratization, or that this provides them with a platform from which to make choices and direct their own existence. I think they are what Aristotle calls "slaves by nature."
That is not consistent with their templates as written. The primary differences between NAI and LAI are:
Change base IQ from 8 to 9.
Reduce Unfazeable to Fearlessnesss 2
Change Single-Minded to Visualization.
Remove Incurious.
Remove No Sense of Humor.
Remove Slave Mentality.
Add Honesty.

Therefore, LAIs are capable of feeling fear (but less so than most humans), have normal human-level curiosity, can appreciate and possibly tell jokes, and can make decisions of their own.
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Old 09-30-2016, 12:40 PM   #19
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Default Re: [THS] Why Make Bioroids?

Bioroids heal - robots need regular maintenance, and new parts when the old wear out . Bioroids repair themselves.

Bioroids breed true - Von Neumann machines are possible, but may be a bit too risky - or be percieved to be too risky. Bioroids don't have that same problem, particularly when we consider that Von Neumann machines are much more easily modified into a new form (your human-with-funny-ears bioroids aren't going to mutate into an armored form equipped with rainbow lasers over the course of 3 generations).

Bioroids are made of food - robots need some pretty serious infrastructure to process ore into metals, organics into advanced plastics, and so forth. They need rare metals (copper, gold, etc) or highly-processed carbon (carbon nanorods, diamond) for conductors, silicon for their CPU's, etc, as well as dedicated factories for producing more robots and their replacement parts. Bioroids need food - and can be designed to not need that great of food. Establishing a new colony using robots means sending down robots along with fuel, extra parts, and machinery to process local materials into more robots, fuel, and extra parts (or the machinery to process local materials into the machinery to do that). Establishing a new colony using bioroids means sending down bioroids who can eat the local flora and fauna, along with some backup supplies for emergencies (in both cases, the shuttles would be repurposed into necessary shelter).


Those are the most basic reasons, but some settings will have others. Bioroids are easier to make initially (being basically heavily-modified existing organisms), sapience may not be possible (or at least not yet) with AI's, and so forth. More superscience-y or space fantasy settings might have there be something Special about living organisms - in Xenosaga, KOS-MOS is seen as something of a throwback for being a robot made entirely of synthetic parts (most instead use Realians, which are bioroids), as biologics can handle Ether (basically, magic with a superscience basis) more readily than synthetics can.
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Old 09-30-2016, 01:17 PM   #20
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Default Re: [THS] Why Make Bioroids?

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Bioroids breed true
They don't. They have sterile and can only be constructed by nanogenesis. In Transhuman Space this is the reason why the Vacs clashed with the EU, when the EU banned bioroid manufacturing they also banned what the Vacs saw as the right to reproduce.
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