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Robots in the honorverse

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Robots in the honorverse
Post by Blackwarder   » Fri Oct 27, 2017 5:28 am

Blackwarder
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Hi guys!

I’m rereading the entire series in preparation to the next main HH book and something just occurred to me, they don’t use any sort of armed robots at all.

Is there any in universe reason for that?

Warder
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Re: Robots in the honorverse
Post by ldwechsler   » Fri Oct 27, 2017 5:42 am

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Blackwarder wrote:Hi guys!

I’m rereading the entire series in preparation to the next main HH book and something just occurred to me, they don’t use any sort of armed robots at all.

Is there any in universe reason for that?

Warder


Probably a choice of RFC. When he began the series, robots were not nearly as advanced as now.

Also, there is not much fun if robots do most of the work and take most of the risks.

Other points:

Lots of people around. For Sollies, not all that hard to build armies to occupy planets.

We're focusing on navies. We already know automation can cut back the number of crewmen and officers on a ship. But not much story if you need almost no one to run the ship...well, at least in this universe.

But, in the end, it all comes down to author's choice.
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Re: Robots in the honorverse
Post by Silverwall   » Fri Oct 27, 2017 5:53 am

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Much of it is an offshoot of the dumber than a bag of rocks computers that are present in the Honorverse.

With computers that limited robots would be of very little value. Especially in a naval context.

Reading RFCs other work it is clear that he has no problem with drones and the like, especially in a ground combat context. Therefore the lack of automation visibility is probably because we never really see organised ground combat though the Hexapuma's marines do use a variety of drones in the raid on the rebel base. I am sure there are plenty of industrial robots following pre-programmed tasks in industry.

Robots in classic sci-fi sense for other roles rely on what could be described as "true AI" reminiscent of Data on star trek or even that posessed by the terminator and this is explicitly something that is avoided in all RFCs writing.

It is also somthing that is perpetually 2 decades away in the real world and has been that far away since the topic started in the 60s. In fact estimates of the development timeframe of True AI range for 2 decades to centuaries to millenia to NEVER. Personally I feel true AI is hundreds of years off given how little we understand about the mind right now.
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Re: Robots in the honorverse
Post by Weird Harold   » Fri Oct 27, 2017 6:13 am

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Blackwarder wrote:Hi guys!

I’m rereading the entire series in preparation to the next main HH book and something just occurred to me, they don’t use any sort of armed robots at all.

Is there any in universe reason for that?

Warder


We have seen an armed remote-control drone in Saltash. With RFC's aversion to self-aware AI -- and probably some heretofore unmentioned aspect of the "Final War" that generated an in universe aversion to autonomous AIs -- It's unlikely that we'll see anything more developed than "Mistletoe" drones.
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Answers! I got lots of answers!

(Now if I could just find the right questions.)
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Re: Robots in the honorverse
Post by quite possibly a cat   » Fri Oct 27, 2017 6:29 am

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I recall Honor fighting a martial arts training robot.


Silverwall wrote:It is also somthing that is perpetually 2 decades away in the real world and has been that far away since the topic started in the 60s. In fact estimates of the development timeframe of True AI range for 2 decades to centuaries to millenia to NEVER. Personally I feel true AI is hundreds of years off given how little we understand about the mind right now.


Its probably not never. All we really need to do is map out a human brain, build an accurate brain model and stick it in a robot body.

We've already done it for worms!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_cont ... WQnzylhgHc

BAM! Immortal soul of a worm in a robot body.

Although to be fair C. elegans is a very simple worm. But the point is we are on the path to true AI! No understanding of the "mind" required.

Of course, with the Honorverses Transhumanphobia from the Final War even if Honorverse had (or could reasonably easily get) the technology they would shoot anyone who suggested putting a human mind in a computer. Similarly, not even Manpower has tried to make "robots" by just giving them a brain for their AI. (You'll also note there is no mention of them doing something like spiking brain volume/mass.)

I'm still surprised at the lack of cybernetics in places where they would be really helpful. Like a professional duelist. I suspect that's a similar sort of sentiment.

Silverwall wrote:
Robots in classic sci-fi sense for other roles rely on what could be described as "true AI" reminiscent of Data on star trek or even that posessed by the terminator and this is explicitly something that is avoided in all RFCs writing.
I thought Safehold had that. Unless you aren't counting human mind emulations.

Weird Harold wrote:and probably some heretofore unmentioned aspect of the "Final War" that generated an in universe aversion to autonomous AIs
At the very least it should create an aversion to turning humans into AIs. And if you are adverse to that, you must be adverse to even more alien intelligences. Honorverse did sound like it had some automation phobia seeing as how the RMN was able to cut like 80% of its people out of a ship.
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Re: Robots in the honorverse
Post by cthia   » Fri Oct 27, 2017 7:45 am

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An aside:

The arrogance of man is astounding.

I consider myself a computer scientist. In my long career, I've come up against many professionals in all walks of life who do not believe in the existence of God, yet believe that one day man will create a true Artificial Intelligence. A true A.I. is indeed life. It is simply arrogant of man to believe that some day he will create life, but that some entity long ago couldn't have beat him to it.

The arrogance of educated man is appalling.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: Robots in the honorverse
Post by n7axw   » Fri Oct 27, 2017 8:33 am

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Well, in the Safehold universe you have Owl who seems to have become self aware... Then too you have Merlin and Nimue, but I'm not sure that would count sinse those are downloaded human personalities. Then in Duhak, there is Duhak who has evolved into sentience over 45,000 years. RFC has written stories in the bolo series.

So it doesn't seem to me that the charge that RFC is anti AI sticks... But he does seem to have made a decision not to do it in the Honorverse for whatever reason...

Don

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When any group seeks political power in God's name, both religion and politics are instantly corrupted.
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Re: Robots in the honorverse
Post by cthia   » Fri Oct 27, 2017 8:42 am

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n7axw wrote:Well, in the Safehold universe you have Owl who seems to have become self aware... Then too you have Merlin and Nimue, but I'm not sure that would count sinse those are downloaded human personalities. Then in Duhak, there is Duhak who has evolved into sentience over 45,000 years. RFC has written stories in the bolo series.

So it doesn't seem to me that the charge that RFC is anti AI sticks... But he does seem to have made a decision not to do it in the Honorverse for whatever reason...

Don

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I think the reason is obvious. A storyline based on warm-bodied intelligence makes for a warmer story.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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Re: Robots in the honorverse
Post by n7axw   » Fri Oct 27, 2017 9:11 am

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cthia wrote:
n7axw wrote:Well, in the Safehold universe you have Owl who seems to have become self aware... Then too you have Merlin and Nimue, but I'm not sure that would count sinse those are downloaded human personalities. Then in Duhak, there is Duhak who has evolved into sentience over 45,000 years. RFC has written stories in the bolo series.

So it doesn't seem to me that the charge that RFC is anti AI sticks... But he does seem to have made a decision not to do it in the Honorverse for whatever reason...

Don

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I think the reason is obvious. A storyline based on warm-bodied intelligence makes for a warmer story.


I'm not sure this assertion makes any sense. Duhak, Owl, and the bolos all become very sensitive characters with sympathetic povs. Face it Cthia, you are not talking about RFC's story here. You are really talking about your own bias... a bias I mostly share! :lol: But still, facts are facts...

Don

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When any group seeks political power in God's name, both religion and politics are instantly corrupted.
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Re: Robots in the honorverse
Post by cthia   » Fri Oct 27, 2017 10:24 am

cthia
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cthia wrote:
n7axw wrote:Well, in the Safehold universe you have Owl who seems to have become self aware... Then too you have Merlin and Nimue, but I'm not sure that would count sinse those are downloaded human personalities. Then in Duhak, there is Duhak who has evolved into sentience over 45,000 years. RFC has written stories in the bolo series.

So it doesn't seem to me that the charge that RFC is anti AI sticks... But he does seem to have made a decision not to do it in the Honorverse for whatever reason...

Don

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I think the reason is obvious. A storyline based on warm-bodied intelligence makes for a warmer story.
n7axw wrote:I'm not sure this assertion makes any sense. Duhak, Owl, and the bolos all become very sensitive characters with sympathetic povs. Face it Cthia, you are not talking about RFC's story here. You are really talking about your own bias... a bias I mostly share! :lol: But still, facts are facts...

Don

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Must yield to you Don, as I've not read any of the author's other series. And because it is all too true regarding my personal bias too.

To be comprehensive though, I never said that adopting A.I. or automation in a storyline doesn't make for a warm story. One only needs to consult the many movies that adopt such a storyline to quickly discredit that claim. It is just that warm bodies offer more potential warmth. Again, my downright, unmitigated bias shows its true colors. :D

However, I suppose there is something to be said about the interaction of "human intelligence" with "humanly conceived" intelligence -- along with all of the squirming worms inside the can being opened.

Son, your mother says I have to hang you. Personally I don't think this is a capital offense. But if I don't hang you, she's gonna hang me and frankly, I'm not the one in trouble. —cthia's father. Incident in ? Axiom of Common Sense
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