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 Post subject: New RP Idea (ROBOTS!~~)
PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2006 2:46 pm 
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(The following is pretty rambling, and I apologize. I just wanted to get my thoughts out.)


Okay, so I had this idea for an RP to do here that would be something like Planet of the Apes with robots instead of monkeys. It would be set way after the extinction of the human race. Although humanity and all organic life on Earth has been destroyed, human technology has survived, including advanced AI. The story may also involve extraterrestrial AI, but little to no organic life, the idea being that once any society of biological beings reaches a certain technological level, they either transfer their intelligence to mechanical forms, or wind up destroying themselves, leaving their technology to carry on their cultural heritage.

The different technologies of Earth society would have varying degrees of intelligence, but the ruling class of robots (and the only truly sentient ones) would be the most humanlike -- the idea being that the original humans would have only given humanlike mental qualities (self-interest, sentience, emotions, etc.) to robots designed to act as companions, diplomats, etc. and thus such robots would also have a human appearance.

I'm not sure of more specific details, but this society may have somehow forgotten its early history and might even be unaware of the previous existence of the human race and organic life in general. Exactly how mechanical life developed would be a major question for them, with theories ranging from a sort of mechanistic version of evolution, to a more religious idea of some robot-god creating all technology ex nihilo.

As I said, the only sentient, emotional, self-interested beings on Earth would be the humanlike androids, who would act almost indistinguishably from real humans, as they were designed to. Psychological and physical modification away from humanlike personality/appearance is looked down upon, as the androids figure that the human form is the natural, god-given ideal for all technology to aspire to. (Non-humanoid sentients have a similar status to modern-day homosexuals.) The highest-ranking, most distinguished of the androids even have humanlike skin, making them superficially indistinguishable from a human being. Earning the right to wear humanlike skin is considered a great priviledge among the androids.


The androids may have some record of human culture, but believe that the beings described in, say, Plato's Republic or Shakespeare's plays are mechanical creatures like themselves; they are quite puzzled by references to blood, internal organs, etc.

Anyway, what I've just described is a rough outline of the ideas that have been swimming around my head -- I just came up with this concept, and these are all sort of preliminary ideas. Some of it's a bit ridiculous, I know, but ideally this will all be heavily modified before the RP actually starts. Does this sound interesting? Does anyone want to help me develop this or make changes?


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 11:05 am 
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I actually think I had a dream last night where I found myself in an android body in the future. I don't really retain memories of my dreams that well but the feelings were like I didn't quite know how it happened and wasn't really happy or sad... just kind of a surreal acceptance.

Random thought after reading your skin idea: Could there be somewhat in-between levels? Like an accomplished tinkerer/master crafter of sorts having 'realistic' hands (maybe even with an advanced sense of touch?) or other partial skin coverings like high enough classes having face only/bust upwards like that of a statue... and so on. I imagine individuals like royalty, cultural figures, and super leader types have the whole shebang or something.

Anyway, I think it sounds neato and has potential for lots of stuff :D

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 21, 2006 1:41 pm 
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I call dibs on the name "Bender"

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 30, 2006 9:50 pm 
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SquaredBowl wrote:
I don't really retain memories of my dreams that well but the feelings were like I didn't quite know how it happened and wasn't really happy or sad... just kind of a surreal acceptance.

I get that a lot. I'll be in the dream, thinking "well I'm driving a giant whale-mobile and dinosaurs are attacking. This seems a little odd, but ok." And then wake up and be like "what the hell?" I've always found it odd that our brains, presumably using many of the same structures that we rely on in everyday life, are able to accept the reality of dreams so easily. I suppose it could be taken as a sign that our brain functions are more autonomous than we think, and we're capable of reacting in more-or-less normal ways without actual self-consciousness. Which bring to mind Julian Jayne's probably incorrect but interesting ideas about the bicameral mind, and now I'm getting way off-topic...


To me it sounds like it might make for a better short story universe than an RP, but who knows? If you start it I'll probably join in. As a rogue disembodied sentient AI, since if you have sentient AI it seems like bullshits to confine it to human-like forms for any reasons other than (as you imply) "cultural" ones.

What are the practical differences between the humanoid robots and actual humans? Even though they look like us, do they have extra strength/durability, the ability to jack into the global communication network Ghost in the Shell-style, etc? I would assume that they also have increased processing power/intelligence, which makes their rather primitive ideas about physical forms all the more puzzling. Could this just be taking place within a semi-isolated sect of the larger machine society; a future version of the Amish, if you will?


EDIT: I call dibs on "Xerxes" if I do this. :)

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Last edited by Wandering Idiot on Sun Jun 17, 2007 8:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2006 6:44 pm 
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thing about artificial/mechanical life that interests me is the possibility for specialisation. the 'bodies' and be specifically suited to tasks to such a degree that they are exclusively so.

Now, this may present some measure of a problem, except that the actual 'consciousness' part of the robots, the AI, could move from body to body. Data transfer would be wireless, and near-instantaneous.

What this machine culture would need would be a pourpose or a goal. they would need something to work towards or they would either cease to evolve or simply shut down. (even if this goal was fabricated by the ruling mehanisim in order to give the mechanical/artificial society diretion) this goal could take the form of impending disaster. An impending solar flare of such magnitude that it's magnetic pulse threatens to wipe out the 'minds' of the citizens of the techocracy perhaps. or depleted resources - the techocracy's expansion into the solar system, or beyond... perhaps the thread could take the form of a 'mad scientist' AI that is trying to reconstruct the biological machine, and this is seen as a threat to the mechanical culture.

The tricky part is what would this future society be like? How much of humanity has been written into the programs, and how much is progressive logic? most communication would be wireless, and it would be the transfer of data, not in word format, but every sensory record available to the AI's, since this is what computers are capable of now, sharing their direct input to other systems.

Perhaps, as WI suggested, there are 'luddite' machines that have seperated themselves from the Machine Mind in order to protect themselves from viruses and such. They inhabit metal bodies and are forced to comunicate through what we would consider mor conventional means.

Perhaps there is a model of machine that has been developed as a 'replacement' for humans. They think they have jobs they have to go to, that they have to get married and 'have children' etc and carry on with 'lives' in order to give the Machine Mind something to 'serve' or 'babysit'. Seperate colonies of these 'replacements' could be set in different eras of human history in order to give variation to the settings etc.

i could go on,

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2006 11:34 am 
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I'de like it better without AI
you are a robot built to do one thing, you do that one thing
would also make for awesome role playing

Quote:
Powerplant Operator Robot: *operates power plant*

Maintenance Robot: *Maintains Powerplant Operator Robot*

Child Care Robot: *Plugs into outlet to recharge for another day of doing nothing*



Role playing gold!


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