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Old 09-29-2016, 06:31 PM   #1
scc
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Default [THS] Why Make Bioroids?

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?
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Old 09-29-2016, 06:50 PM   #2
Flyndaran
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Default Re: [THS] Why Make Bioroids?

Quote:
Originally Posted by scc View Post
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?
Honest Answer? It's a genre thing like having humans in space at all when dumb programs, aka NAI, can do nearly everything a person could and far cheaper, safer, and effectively.
One possible reason is extreme biochauvenism or paranoia about the singularity. They may be a slave race, but at least they aren't those creepy data masquerading as people. Look at all the fiction where robots "rise up" to conquer mankind, while bioroids are often portrayed as victims but with mostly human thoughts and feelings.
One could half accept fleshies after indentured servitude, but you can never trust those "easily" reprogrammed A.I.s.
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Old 09-29-2016, 06:55 PM   #3
Flyndaran
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Default Re: [THS] Why Make Bioroids?

Another way to make them competitive is either have meat sacks perform better than most A.I.s in some task.
Or have really cheap bioroid assembly machines compared to robotic facilities.
Ultimately, bioroids need only ultra common elements available everywhere, while robots may need expensive even in bulk substances.

Robots if you need 100 tomorrow at any cost. But bioroids if you need 1000 over the next year at a reasonable price.
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Old 09-29-2016, 07:21 PM   #4
David Johnston2
 
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Default Re: [THS] Why Make Bioroids?

Quote:
Originally Posted by scc View Post
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?
Officially it's because bioroids were developed before true AI. So since people wanted fully conscious sex slaves, they had to go with bioroids first.
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Old 09-29-2016, 07:34 PM   #5
Fred Brackin
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Default Re: [THS] Why Make Bioroids?

Quote:
Originally Posted by scc View Post
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?
Why would you think getting involved with Transhuman Space-style robots avoided ethical minefields? :)

Seriously, anything that can do everything a bioroid could is a sapient being and if I had to have that level of mentality I might trust an organic intelligence more than an artificial one. I definitely think I would be able to judge the sanity of a human-like being better than I could an AI.
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Old 09-29-2016, 07:51 PM   #6
Anthony
 
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Default Re: [THS] Why Make Bioroids?

Basically, bioroids are in THS because the authors liked the idea and were influenced by fiction that had them. They don't actually make a lot of sense in the setting.
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Old 09-29-2016, 08:36 PM   #7
scc
 
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Default Re: [THS] Why Make Bioroids?

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
Why would you think getting involved with Transhuman Space-style robots avoided ethical minefields? :)

Seriously, anything that can do everything a bioroid could is a sapient being and if I had to have that level of mentality I might trust an organic intelligence more than an artificial one. I definitely think I would be able to judge the sanity of a human-like being better than I could an AI.
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*
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Old 09-29-2016, 09:48 PM   #8
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Default Re: [THS] Why Make Bioroids?

Depends on what you want them for, and how you arrive at them.

Some important factors:
1. Durability without needing repairs: Grand scheme, complex robots that are as capable as humans are, at least for the first several generations, going to be repair/tweak hogs, careful alignments, replacement parts requiring special tools, etc. Over the long haul biological systems are pretty good at self-repair and maintenance.
2. Ethics: If AI is actually EASY (IE- once you give a robot enough knowledge to understand the world it becomes sentient) it may be more ethically correct to make non-sentient bioroids to fill those role.
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.
3. Early access to complex reasoning systems: Editing a reliable starting point may be more
4. Easy reprogramming: This gets more into uplift than traditional bioroid- but it would probably be a LOT easier to engineer a rat to clean my floor expertly and perfectly then to make a robot to do the same task- Heck if I'm not careful about what I leave out rats do that already; they just also destroy everything in sight and relieve themselves in inappropriate places. A small colony of bioroids based on rats could live under my kitchen sink and sustain themselves indefinately on my kitchen waste, some modifications to there saliva to make it fully antiseptic and changes to there bladder functions to make them relieve themselves only in the colony storage zone
5. Complexities we can't overcome for an additional TL or two: Right now we can't pack the same strength and speed as a human arm into a robot arm, the balance of the combination of a spine/inner ear, etc- most tech books (and THS) assume that we overcome that limitation at about the time we gain the knowledge required to make bioroids; but it does not need to be the case. THS may have had this issue and bioroids filled an important gap between large scale highly accurate industrial machinery, and limited special application robots- providing that 'generalist' servitor in a size and capability package that made it attractive. Something that seems simple to us, like being able to react quickly enough to catch a falling pen is REALLY hard for robots right now unless they are specifically build to catch falling pens (in which case they are radically better than we are)
6. Cheap mass production- assuming the bioroids are a 'species', they can breed, and breeding means cheap production; if effective robots require very expensive or exotic parts they may be preferable for mass production (If its going to take a mere 5 years to get the Jenny house-roid produced at numbers to get into every home for christmas via massive scale use of EXISTING IVF and external wombs but 35 years and a custom state of the art production facility to get Rosie house-bot at the same numbers; Jenny will probably win out)
7. Existing logistics channels- there is a LOT of existing framework to support humans (food, facilities for relieving yourself, everything is the right size, weight tolerances of buildings, floors, stairs, ramps)- if robots require some logistics it may take long enough to overhaul society as a whole that there is room for bioroids that use the existing logistics.
8. Realism- If the goal is to create a reasonable approximation of a human bioroids will likely have the edge over bots for a while; silicone, polyurethane, or whatever other exotic coverings will be an approximation of skin for quite a while before its indistinguishable; depending on your application, that may not be acceptable. Weight, power to weight ratio, flexibility, reflex, response- admittedly most of these have to do with sex, but there are other points to this, a robot vs bioroid to assist the sick/elderly into and out of bathes and wheelchairs, perform therapeutic message, etc


Final:
Any one of these items might justify the creation of bioroids once, and if its been done once, then the system to continue to support there creation now exists and you can end up with the situation where it does not make sense to use a bioroid for this design- but a bioroid company wanted to get into this field, and it was easier for them to build a bioroid (since that is what they know) then to completely shift there development cycle to build a robot. (doubly so since the people who develop bioroids are going to be biologists, behavioral scientists, neurologists, etc; and the people who build robots are going to be programmers and engineers).
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Old 09-29-2016, 10:35 PM   #9
Flyndaran
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Default Re: [THS] Why Make Bioroids?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
Why would you think getting involved with Transhuman Space-style robots avoided ethical minefields? :)

Seriously, anything that can do everything a bioroid could is a sapient being and if I had to have that level of mentality I might trust an organic intelligence more than an artificial one. I definitely think I would be able to judge the sanity of a human-like being better than I could an AI.
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.

Though I might like the "creepy" middle ground of computer "brains" and decerebrate bioroid bodies.
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Old 09-29-2016, 11:30 PM   #10
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Default Re: [THS] Why Make Bioroids?

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Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
Not a lot of posters here think smart machines are in the same ballpark as genetically modified human slaves.
That's one reason I think THS would be better off without bioroids; it makes the ethical questions purer.
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