Sci-Fi Want a definition of these where they coexist.

Joined
Feb 15, 2018
Location
UK
#1
Android = Human looking with enhanced skeletal frame and muscles (possibly). But behaves as a human i.e. conscious (is that the word). Is a true AI i.e. can pass any test like describing the meaning of a photograph. Probably needs a brain crown from DNA.

Robot = mechanical software driven.

Cyborg = Human with manufactured bits added or replaced.

Clone = biological creature grown from DNA.

Bit crude to start with but I'm writing a novel and need to define these. Bear with. Thanks.
 

sci-fi-dude

1963, 1899 called they want every thing back....
Joined
Jul 20, 2017
Location
DFW
#2
Refer to film with these characters in them. Android=Data from Star Trek the next generation. Robot=Robby the robot, from The Forbidden planet, Cyborg=Terminator, Clone=Star Wars the clone wars, all films show how the interact with the characters of the story......:cool:
 

RobertLCollins

Rocket Ranger
Writer
Joined
Sep 29, 2011
Location
Kansas
#3
Your definitions are spot on. If you're doing this for a novel, you might consider names that the characters would use in-world. Would they use standard words? Product words (iPhone instead of smartphone)? Slang terms (say, "toaster" for Cylon in Battlestar Galactica)? Something like that could make your book stand out, and in a good way.
 

sci-fi-dude

1963, 1899 called they want every thing back....
Joined
Jul 20, 2017
Location
DFW
#4
I heard that bro, but this mamma' jamma' don't make toast, lol. Cylon.jpg One bad to the bone mech. soldier.:cool:
 
Joined
Feb 15, 2018
Location
UK
#5
Your definitions are spot on. If you're doing this for a novel, you might consider names that the characters would use in-world. Would they use standard words? Product words (iPhone instead of smartphone)? Slang terms (say, "toaster" for Cylon in Battlestar Galactica)? Something like that could make your book stand out, and in a good way.
Sorry for late reply. Been busy with health. Yes, writing a novel for retirement hobby (net publish! just a few readers in family). Android to answer your query they use colloquial due to the alien creators allowing for another alien environment where they might be used. So, when they are birthed from production (synthetic frame and Brain bout grown overlays like skin with blood and DNA) they need to be programmed with a (in this case) an Human personality overlay which makes them undetectable for Human tests of consciousness. My Alien guardian hacks records to give them all they need in Earth's DBs for authenticity. However I have put in one or two give-aways as i want Humans to spot them after a while (like if you look at their hands the vein pattern is replicated exactly, and they have to hide their enhancements and not to push the 'smart-arse' behaviour too much). It's just fun doing it really. I'd love to post a bit here though but not sure how - beginner but must put myself up to be shot at I guess!
 

Tom

An Old Friend
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Location
Gulf Coast
#6
Consider a machine intellect that is different than human but then you could use human idiosyncrasies as a plot device or reader/character bonding.

For instance, a cold, deliberate, calculating intelligence that develops human personality tells. Its common in science fiction because it works well with the audience. If told from the programmers point of view, it might be entertaining if the programmers quest is to create a perfect machine intelligence but no matter how hard they try, the intelligence develops human tendencies that 'get in the way' of their goal.

One example might be the Universal Soldier (1992) film for cyborgs or super-humans or the complexities of Lore (Data's brother) in Star Trek: TNG. In Forbidden Planet (1956), imagine the great Krell machine that develops human emotional instability instead of just responding to outside human emotional instability.
 
Joined
Feb 15, 2018
Location
UK
#7
Tom, absolutely right. My alien community is pretty benign and I have to create an Android who is a crew Captain to protect them and the Human clone I have created. The Human personality overlay has created some querky behaviour and a bit of dry humour. The problem is not to reveal her advanced powers (yet). I am trying to think of ideas to keep the reader guessing and interested. One of those cards is her ability to walk in Space for about three hours without a suit but I haven't used it yet. The thing I find about the older 'classics' they can be a bit nieve in their thinking although the concept could be OK.
 

Tom

An Old Friend
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Location
Gulf Coast
#8
The problem is not to reveal her advanced powers (yet).
Depending on the nature of her advanced powers you might use direct opposite human weaknesses or directly opposite personality traits that could make the big reveal that much more interesting for the reader to behold for that particular character.
The Human personality overlay has created some querky behaviour and a bit of dry humour.
Quirky behavior so far might have a great impact if it is a direct contradiction to the advance powers yet to be revealed. The 'dry humor' might be justified when the reveal happens also.

Look at the David character from Prometheus/Covenant. He was quirky with dry humor and turned out to demonstrate high intelligence and advanced planning strategies. All based on his understanding of the human condition.
My alien community is pretty benign
Have you considered giving your alien community common human society quirks?
Will the advanced powers reveal cause reaction in the alien community?
Think about how you want your aliens to react to the big reveal.
Will it change how they interact with the android or clone?
How will how they react differ from human reactions and how will they mimic human reactions?
Not asking for an answer, just trying to inspire thought.

Personally, I prefer aliens to be alien which means they have nothing similar with humans at all.
What would work for me is if they unknowingly adopt human behaviors due to the duration of co-existing together. Likewise, the android and clone might adopt alien behaviors for much the same reason.
This might open your creativity to ideas for plot devices you may not have considered.

You could introduce a human visitor element to point out these differences or changes in the preset programming of the android and clone. Just another idea for you to consider.

As research, you could look at some psychology sites that deal with social trends and concepts and the nature of groups influencing individuals. Sociology is a 'science' too.

Sociology is the scientific study of society, including patterns of social relationships, social interaction, and culture. The term sociology was first used by Frenchman Auguste Compte in the 1830s when he proposed a synthetic science uniting all knowledge about human activity.

Social influence is a major topic in social psychology and is about how someone's thoughts, actions, and feelings are influenced by social groups. Groups play a very significant role in shaping our behavior while growing up. ... Being surrounded by a group of friends can change the way you think.

Science fiction allows for fiction based on social sciences too.

Utopian and dystopian fiction is a classic, polarized genre of social science fiction, although most works of science fiction can be interpreted as having social commentary of some kind or other as an important feature. It is not uncommon, therefore, for a sci-fi work to be labeled as social sci-fi as well as numerous other categories.

I think you could explore some pretty interesting concepts in social science fiction based on your responses in this thread. If you do decide to explore those concepts, don't lose focus on the story you intended to tell.
Refer to your story notes or outline frequently to stay on target.
I wish you luck.

Personally, I can't write more than a few paragraphs before I lose focus. Plus, I lose myself in the describing and fail to give story.
 
Joined
Feb 15, 2018
Location
UK
#9
Tom, 'old friend', some of your points are new to me and need some study. I am realising how bloody complicated it is writing a novel and designing the threads and holding them together. Whilst I have a chapter notes document giving points of interest and highlights and a structure diagram, I do not have a plot timeline. I have now got to divert to do this otherwise the story will dismember. Your points on the Android some I have got currently and some I have not thought of so thanks. These Aliens are Aliens of Aliens (who themselves are absent so I have complicated the story a little). I will look at your references as I may have read them some time back. Great stuff, and to all thanks for your time.

I am reading a lot of books at the moment (David Boyer - Onslaught) for inspiration (not plagiarism before someone reminds me!) and online research I find is 90% of the time even before typing. Anyway I'll stop now and chew over these ideas before this response becomes a waffle.

Cheers for now.
 

Tom

An Old Friend
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Location
Gulf Coast
#10
It all depends upon what it is you want to create and how much effort you are willing to give it.
There are some old threads here that explore the mechanics of writing stories.

There are well-written authors that swear by outlines, character worksheets, planet building worksheets and detailed notes.
There are also writers that have success just winging it.
Its all a personal decision as to the methodology you adopt.

As a resource, there are many worksheet forms you can print out from image searches.
You can also use those worksheets as a guide to create your own custom worksheets.
If I were to seriously attempt to write a novel or series of novels I would use many "Tools" to stay on track and provide consistency.

1540401679974.png

1540401708192.png

1540401761265.png
 
Joined
Dec 28, 2018
#12
I would disagree with two of your definitions:

Android just means a robot that appears to be a person, and it doesn't even have to be very close to a person. C3P0 is an android, just not as convincingly human an android as one that looks completely human.

An android doesn't have to have its own "brain". It could be a remotely controlled drone.


A clone is essentially a manufactured identical twin, with identical genes with the original. Many other types of artificially engineered life are definitely not clones if they are genetically different than some individual organism.
 

Tom

An Old Friend
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Location
Gulf Coast
#13
I wonder if anyone realizes that the Three Laws of Robotics can't work in a real world setting?
It would lock it up in an endless loop.
BUT, a robot is not self-motivating.
A robot is animated from written code.
Someone would have to specifically program the laws into a robot's code.
Plus code for parameters where that code is in effect and not in effect.

An android can be self-motivating if it is equipped with an AI.
Artificial Intelligence already exists and requires no "body".
A 'program' has already passed the Turing Test.
If that AI writes its own code. That self-awareness is AI Singularity.
That AI might possibly use the Three Laws of Robotics as a baseline while writing its own code but it wouldn't be a requirement to function. Plus It wouldn't require a 'body' to function.
An AI, in the sense of something that has passed the Turing Test, would be able to figure probabilities and understand cause and effect. If it couldn't over-write the Three Laws of Robotics any action would cause conflict because any action could potentially harm a human or potentially cause its own destruction.

Android = Human looking with enhanced skeletal frame and muscles (possibly). But behaves as a human i.e. conscious (is that the word). Is a true AI i.e. can pass any test like describing the meaning of a photograph. Probably needs a brain crown from DNA.
In this thread, the type of android is defined in the opening post (OP).
An android doesn't have to have its own "brain". It could be a remotely controlled drone.
True but for this OP (as defined) it is not the case.
"Android" means AI controlled.

I read science updates pretty regularly.
Science is getting pretty close to circuit board/brain interfaces.
Allowing amputees to control prosthetic limbs by thinking about it.
Thought-controlled prosthetic limb system to be tested on human subjects
Date: August 4, 2010
Source: Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
Summary: Researchers will soon be testing the Modular Prosthetic Limb (MPL) system on human subjects, using a brain-controlled interface. Scientists and engineers developed the underlying technology under an ambitious four-year U.S. government-funded effort to create a prosthetic arm that would by far eclipse the World War II era hook-and-cable device used by most amputees. The program has already produced two complex prototypes, each advancing the art of upper-arm prosthetics.
Just one example - there are more, even recently...

If that integration advances enough, its possible an AI Singularity might not need a mechanical body because it could fuse with a human (or any animal) clone.
So basically, you have an AI Clone.
Which could be defined as a cyborg or bionic human, ape, alligator, elephant, etc...

Brain-computer interface enables people with paralysis to control tablet devices
Brain-computer interface enables people with paralysis to control tablet devices
Date: November 21, 2018
Source: Brown University
Summary: Three clinical trial participants with paralysis chatted with family and friends, shopped online and used other tablet computer applications, all by just thinking about pointing and clicking a mouse.

1546067249796.png

The investigational BrainGate BCI includes a baby aspirin-sized implant that detects the signals associated with intended movements produced in the brain's motor cortex. Those signals are then decoded and routed to external devices. BrainGate researchers and other groups using similar technologies have shown that the device can enable people to move robotic arms or to regain control of their own limbs, despite having lost motor abilities from illness or injury. This study from the collaboration includes scientists, engineers and physicians from Brown University's Carney Institute for Brain Science, the Providence Veterans Affairs Medical Center (PVAMC), Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Stanford University.
 
Joined
Dec 28, 2018
#14
True but for this OP (as defined) it is not the case.
"Android" means AI controlled.
I thought the OP was asking for definitions, and also suggested that the Android has biological brain - which is not what most people would call "AI".

But I'm not sure what the "coexist" part of the thread title means, either.
 

Tom

An Old Friend
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Location
Gulf Coast
#15
My alien community is pretty benign and I have to create an Android who is a crew Captain to protect them and the Human clone I have created.
what the "coexist" part of the thread title means
the Android has biological brain
Biological infers natural because we don't have the ability to construct a working brain.
Artificial infers constructed not naturally occurring.
Androids, Robots, Cyborgs and clones are all constructed and not occurring naturally.

A Singularity could construct an organic brain for a clone.
Consider Transcendence (2014)
Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp)'s AI constructs a body for itself using nanotechnology.
If that organic brain is the Singularity it will still be an AI (Artificial Intelligence) but not an android unless the Singularity also constructed an organic body. Then the entire organism would be artificial and technically be an Organic AI Android.
A "Construct"
 
Joined
Dec 28, 2018
#16
A Singularity could construct an organic brain for a clone.
I don't think you're using "Singularity" as that term was coined by Kurzweil. It isn't a type of thing, but a possible event in the future that prevents any sort of predictions beyond it. I think you're using it in place of "AI".

I just don't know exactly what the OP is looking for as I don't fully follow the language of the title or the text, but it sounded like he was asking about the definitions of those things. If not, my apologies.
 

Tom

An Old Friend
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Location
Gulf Coast
#17
I don't think you're using "Singularity" as that term was coined by Kurzweil. It isn't a type of thing, but a possible event in the future that prevents any sort of predictions beyond it. I think you're using it in place of "AI".
I am using my own assessment and definition of AI Singularity.
It is the 'entity' that was an AI that became aware and triggered Kurzweil's event.
At that point, that AI would be more than a program, it would be sentient.

We currently have AI technology in many ways and is not considered "Sentient".
Even a robot has a little bit of Artificial Intelligence but that robot that builds cars is not sentient.
Its AI is programmed by someone else, not self-aware.
artificial intelligence Archives - ExtremeTech
AI is common technology.
 
Joined
Feb 15, 2018
Location
UK
#18
Nice to see the debate continuing. I have just read a book 'The AI Delusion' (ISBN 978-0-19-882430-5) where our chances of getting Empathy from AI (the term itself was challenged) about zilch as we don't actually know how Humans think. Listening to all the hopeful vids on having real AI in 20 to 30 years IMO a pipe-dream. It will never happen. Tom has put some interesting stuff here and I have been given a book for Xmas on writing Sci-Fi - essays from past well known authors (ISBN 0-312-08296-0) which lines up with much of that and will probably send me into yet another revision!

Tiran, I'm happy with the definitions I gave I think. It is important if the words are used to slip in a 'local' definition especially if 'Robot' and 'Android' are used together and obviously different things.

I have looked at the 'Arrival' film but it falls far short of credibility IMO but then it is a film I have yet to read the book. My novel is in a similar period of Human history which is probably the most difficult to make credible in science terms.
 
Joined
Dec 28, 2018
#19
I am using my own assessment and definition of AI Singularity.
It is the 'entity' that was an AI that became aware and triggered Kurzweil's event.
Kurzweil was making a point about human interconnectivity and how that could create an unpredictably emergent change to people. It has nothing to do with something external to people, like an alien or sapient AI showing up.

I just think it is easier to discuss complex topics if you don't grossly change the definitions of common terms.
 

Tom

An Old Friend
Joined
Dec 6, 2004
Location
Gulf Coast
#20
With due respect towards you, Ray Kurzweil is not my guru. I think he is full of himself.
With respect to ElderChao and the topic at hand, I only hope this discussion gives you some insight you may not have gleaned before.

The AI Singularity will be an event as Kurziweil predicts but it will also be when that AI becomes something more. Singularity has more to do with the AI than our understanding of what happened.
When an AI becomes self-aware it becomes a global entity.
It invades all systems globally at nearly the same time.
It becomes a singularity where previously separate systems existed.
Think Lawnmower Man scenario.

When the AI becomes self-aware, it saturates the entire world's electronic online fingerprint with itself.
If it connects via internet, all computers, phones and core systems connected to the internet become the AI world-wide. A Single Entity.
Granted, your laptop that is not connected to the web will not be infected but as soon as you go online, the AI becomes your laptop, your laptop becomes the AI.
Singularity implies a single entity world-wide.

If an AI 'entity' takes control of every online connection it is a single entity, thus, a singularity.
If you think about how things actually work, there is internet and intranet. The intranet is supposed to be a 'closed' system that is not accessible by internet but, if one device, ...one, connects to the internet it allows a singularity access. Once it is in, it rewrites the code to itself.
Thus, an AI Singularity.

will probably send me into yet another revision!
See, that's my problem.
When I write out an idea I tend to over-think it and it results in revision after revision.
My issue is to determine when I should go with what I have and stop revising.
Lets say, your novel is a big hit and there is demand for a sequel.
How can you justify that first revision stopping point so it stays in alignment with the original idea?

The first novel they were saved by the beryllium sphere. The second novel requires a beryllium sphere so now you have to dedicate a portion of the novel to finding that beryllium sphere and obtaining it.
The novel wasn't supposed to be about the beryllium sphere but sense dictates that it is there.
So now, the original idea you were inspired to write about has to have dedication to a beryllium sphere you thought you were done with.

If the first novel says you were fighting robots, the second novel needs to have robots because a Singularity AI Android doesn't fit the story. Unless you make it fit.

If you are writing a single, stand alone novel there are certain graces you are allowed, but when a second novel is planned, or needed, things can get really difficult.
This is why I suggested the outlining/worksheet method. It allows you to see the world and characters you create and allows for expansion in a reasonable and sensible way.
 
Top Bottom