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Old 08-25-2019, 08:31 AM   #1
Dr. Beckenstein
 
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Default Timeline with sentient androids?

Hallo,

I have some vague ideas for a close parallel with sentient (or "awakened"?) robots.

Does anybody know an even remotely plausible POD where this could happen, say a corporation develops a gaming console with multiple parallel running CPU in the 90's or something like that?

To make it better fit my taste, I am more interested in world that looks like animes like "Ghost in the Shell" or "Armitage III" than the Swedish TV Show "Real Humans".

So, any ideas?
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Old 08-25-2019, 08:57 AM   #2
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Default Re: Timeline with sentient androids?

Don't try to do this with electronics like that of the present day, because suspension of disbelief will be difficult. Put your divergence point further back, perhaps with the development of positronic brains in the later 1930s?
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Old 08-25-2019, 09:55 AM   #3
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Default Re: Timeline with sentient androids?

I doubt it's what you're looking for, but one of my settings features Commodore Perry's arrival in Japan being the Western world's first exposure to clockwork automata.
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Old 08-25-2019, 11:44 AM   #4
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Default Re: Timeline with sentient androids?

A bright young chemist who didn't exist in OTL ends up discovering photolithography in the 1920s. He develops the process until it reaches 1 micron precision (developed in our timeline circa 1984) up until the depression, where upon he loses funding and withers into obscurity. In 1952, under pressure to miniaturize proximity fuses, Lathrop and Nall apply the chemist's photolithography to transistor technology and create transistors at the scale of 3 microns (concerns about reliability etc.).

Computer companies soon see the value of transistor based computers, and with competition and time, computers similar as powerful as today's are developed by 1993. It's reasonably foreseeable that sentient computers could be developed by 2020 with that much lead time.
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Old 08-25-2019, 12:11 PM   #5
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Default Re: Timeline with sentient androids?

I say put superior food crops in Africa. Let industrial civilization advance there due to a larger population base, perhaps centuries earlier than OTL.

Or, add a philosopher to ancient China at some point in the last couple thousand years. Give him some clever ideas about crude mechanical computers that others can build on, and that can come to make electrical ones decades earlier than OTL.

Or, say Babbage gets his funding and build a crude mechanical computer in the early 1800s. This develops the principles of general computing rather early, and allows for relay-based electrical computers by the turn of the century. A good 50 years head start should be plenty to have semi-humanlike AI by the present day.

Or have your present day be 2030 and be optimistic.
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Old 08-25-2019, 05:50 PM   #6
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Default Re: Timeline with sentient androids?

Give Ray Kurzweil an early “eureka” moment while developing one of his many accessibility inventions so that he starts successfully working on cybernetics. If his eureka is linked to a brain-machine interface, this can potentially be leveraged to make more robust, human-like AI’s (as the interface makes the brain easier to study) in the future. I’d say put it in the mid-80’s, which should give enough time for GitS/Armitage III (or Deus Ex: Human Revolution, even if nobody asked for it) shenanigans by the current day.
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Old 08-25-2019, 07:33 PM   #7
David Johnston2
 
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Default Re: Timeline with sentient androids?

Kurzweil would be good if you want a world that is mostly the same except for the recent introduction of cute girldroids. Babbage works if more butterfly effects are desired.
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Old 08-25-2019, 08:59 PM   #8
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Default Re: Timeline with sentient androids?

Steel, 2029: One of the human-tolerant AIs wrests a linear time machine from the Brisbane AI and sends a proxy (loaded with technical data) into the past before destroying the device.
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Old 08-25-2019, 09:13 PM   #9
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Default Re: Timeline with sentient androids?

Or sent to what it may or may not have thought was THE past, but in fact was a past-like parallel reality.
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Old 08-26-2019, 08:37 AM   #10
Varyon
 
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Default Re: Timeline with sentient androids?

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
Kurzweil would be good if you want a world that is mostly the same except for the recent introduction of cute girldroids. Babbage works if more butterfly effects are desired.
Depends on how the good doctor wants the rest of the tech to be. I think GitS is doable with the Kurzweil divergence - the majority of the advanced tech there is doable with the mind-machine interface, is A.I. related, or can be chalked up to cinematic TL8 (thermoptic camouflage has been present in plenty of “modern day” cinematic tech thrillers). Armitage III is tougher, with its space colonies, advanced bioroids (the Thirds are cybernetic bioroids, rather than “pure” gynoids), and overall advanced tech. GitS could potentially be doable with TL8 and advanced in cybernetics and robotics, but I’m not certain Armitage III would be doable below general TL9.

Of course, this is all based on memories from well over a decade ago, so I may be misremembering.
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