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In the OTU In the Official Traveller Universe. Any milieux that's been published in any edition. Not for discussion of rules except in reference to how they reflect the OTU

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  #21  
Old February 2nd, 2018, 01:26 PM
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Robot: A mechanically-based artifact engineered by sophonts.
Android: A biologically-based artifact engineered by sophonts.
Sophont: A biologically-based artifact engineered by the Ancients.

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  #22  
Old February 2nd, 2018, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Dray View Post
Robot: A mechanically-based artifact engineered by sophonts.
Android: A biologically-based artifact engineered by sophonts.
Sophont: A biologically-based artifact engineered by the Ancients.

No reason an android is biologically based - it is just a human-shaped artificial being. No need for biological components per se, although that would make the human-seeming part probably easier.
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  #23  
Old February 2nd, 2018, 03:03 PM
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In Traveller androids are defined as biologically based artificial beings.
Anthropomorphic robots are not androids since they are mechanical rather than biological.

On the last page I quoted the original article on the subject by MWM, and T5 further reinforces that synthetics - biologically based constructs - may be anthropomorphic and thus are anthropoids (the gender neutral term rather than android - male, gynoid - female).
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Old February 2nd, 2018, 04:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike wightman View Post
In Traveller androids are defined as biologically based artificial beings.
Anthropomorphic robots are not androids since they are mechanical rather than biological.

On the last page I quoted the original article on the subject by MWM, and T5 further reinforces that synthetics - biologically based constructs - may be anthropomorphic and thus are anthropoids (the gender neutral term rather than android - male, gynoid - female).
This speaks to something I have been wrestling with for a while now -- in Traveller, what is the difference, if any, between synthetics and pseudo-biological robots? The term "android" has been applied to both types of constructs.

There seems to be a pretty major schism within canon. On one hand, there is Marc Miller's essay in JTAS 2 as well as his work in T5. In these places, "pseudo-biological" is not used: androids are artificially created, organic beings that cannot reproduce. This is consistent with Roger E Moore's article on "Androids in Traveller" from White Dwarf 30.

In T5, androids are a specific type of sophontoid fashioned in the form of a human; sophontoids in turn are simply synthetics fashioned in the form of a sophont. Synthetics are a generic term for

Quote:
Originally Posted by T5, p 92
an organic- or biologically-based artificial being manufactured according to a master template or blueprint. Synthetics blend biological and nonbiological processes (the specific proportion may vary). For example, a synthetic may use biological processes to produce energy but have a mechanical pump to circulate blood. Synthetics are distinguishable from clones (duplicates created from existing genetic templates), chimeras (the result of genetic engineering), and robots (truly mechanical or non-organic beings).
In T5, synthetics become viable at TL 13.

For whatever reason, the JTAS 2 article was ignored when CT Book 8 Robots was developed. This book introduces the term "pseudo-biological robot":

Quote:
Originally Posted by CT Book 8, p 5
Pseudo-biological robots are rare in the Third Imperium. Tech level 15 is the first tech level at which a convincing pseudo-biological robot can be constructed. The majority of the worlds in the Imperium are below tech 15 in local manufacturing capability. Besides this, pseudo-biological robots are not particularly cost effective in design (the experimental robot described later would cost 12 million credits to construct). Pseudo-bio robots also tend to be more fragile and less reliable than traditional robots.

Another reason that pseudo-biological robots have been slow to catch on is the bias some sophonts have against them. Many people, even from high-tech worlds, are unsure of how to react to a human that turns out to be a machine. Some human-populated worlds harbor a general anti-robotic bias, even though robots are technologically feasible there. On such worlds, items advertised as "Human-Made" often bring a premium price. A famous example of this philosophy is the popular quasi-religious Society for the Sovereignty of Man over Machine (SSMM) in the Solomani Confederation.

For these reasons, few researchers spend their time trying to re-invent man in machine form. Much more energy is spent on related pursuits that obviously help humaniti, such as prosthetics.
And from there, this terminology was adapted into MegaTraveller as well as T20, Traveller Hero, and at least Mongoose Traveller. (I have not checked TNE, GURPS, or T4.) In this line of canon, android = pseudo-biological robot. The MGT Robots Book (13 Mann), for example, has this: "So far, none of the manufacturing companies in the Third Imperium [of 1105] has started mass production of pseudo-biological robots or androids, but the technology has come to a point at which this would be possible" (6).

Last edited by Garnfellow; February 3rd, 2018 at 08:41 AM..
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  #25  
Old February 2nd, 2018, 04:51 PM
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LBB:8 Robots was written by DGP.

It used the term pseudo-biological robot to describe AB-101, which they had introduced in their serial adventures in their Traveller's Digest magazine.

AB-101 is a mechanical robot made to resemble a real person, but since it is entirely mechanical and not biological it is not a Traveller anthropoid (android/gynoid).

It's almost as if the folks at DGP hadn't read Marc's original article or decided to just write about their interpretation of what had been written...

and it's almost as if subsequent authors didn't do their research.

MWM is clear in his original article in JTAS and in T5.
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Old February 2nd, 2018, 05:12 PM
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My very simplistic take:

A pseudo-biological robot is a mechanical device with a biological exterior designed to mimic the sophont it was patterned on.

A sophontoid is an organic device which may contain some cybernetic parts and is grown to imitate the sophont it is patterned on.
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Old October 4th, 2018, 06:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Garnfellow View Post
Imagine, if you will, an underground railroad that smuggles Imperial androids, little more than slaves to the Megacorps, into the Solomani Confederation where they can finally be free. Really turns a lot of common conceptions on their heads.
As I read through this thread I couldn't help but think of the Cylons from the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica, and similar ideas.

If a robot is "intelligent" enough to object to being dismissed as a soulless machine, to the point they are not only willing, but eager, to be smuggled along an underground railroad to freedom...then wouldn't they be "intelligent" enough to try to throw off the chains of their repression, and rebel?

Literature is rife with stories of robot uprisings trying to overthrow mankind. From your postulation it seems you would be laying the groundwork for such an occurrence. Perhaps it's something that should be considered in the context of Traveller.

Hmmm...
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Old October 5th, 2018, 08:30 AM
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The greater freedoms and recognition as sophonts enjoyed by robots et al in Solomano space would be a great way for the Solomano to claim a degree of moral superiority over the 3I. That of course is diminished by elements of the Solomano party and the SSMM, but those internal tensions are normal on polities of any reasonable size (fighting for the soul of the nation & all that sort of thing).
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Old October 21st, 2018, 05:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ManOfGrey View Post
As I read through this thread I couldn't help but think of the Cylons from the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica, and similar ideas.

If a robot is "intelligent" enough to object to being dismissed as a soulless machine, to the point they are not only willing, but eager, to be smuggled along an underground railroad to freedom...then wouldn't they be "intelligent" enough to try to throw off the chains of their repression, and rebel?

Literature is rife with stories of robot uprisings trying to overthrow mankind. From your postulation it seems you would be laying the groundwork for such an occurrence. Perhaps it's something that should be considered in the context of Traveller.

Hmmm...

The genesis of the word robot, from the play RUR, is literally connected with their uprising, due to what we would today call a programming error.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R.U.R.


Other interesting sidenotes- Capek was predicting that the humans were in trouble with massive automation, apparently with nothing left to struggle or fight for the birth rate plummeted. Cordwainer Smith took up that challenge and his Instrumentality's answer was to reintroduce sickness and take the safeties off life, no guaranteed 400 years and enforced happiness.



Both Smith and Capek were using biobots- Smith animal-templated slaves, Capek factory formed pseudo-humans.
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