Rambling about AI sentience and cyborg hardware

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Rambling about AI sentience and cyborg hardware

Post Oct 6th '14, 09:42

What follows is ridiculous and Durandal would laugh at me for asking such silly things.

If the cyborg uses a shield (presumably along the lines of Halo's energy shield), then why does he bleed when hit? And if they really are shields, does that mean that he's weak as hell under it given that even a mosquito bite would kill him as soon as the shields are depleted (or worse, that he can't even survive without it at all regardless of being hit)?

And as for pattern buffers; the cyborg can create backups of himself, but then why is it that when you respawn that everything is exactly as you left it when the backup was made? Does this mean that the entire area has been backed up? If so, why didn't Leela immediately create pattern buffer updates of all areas of the ship not yet infiltrated by the Pfhor, in order to quite easily fend them off when/if they do enter? And regardless of gameplay mechanics in practice; if the narrative implication is that the cyborg is simply backing himself and nothing else up in order to continually "resurrect" himself to finish his mission, then why can't he or the AIs just spit multiple cyborgs out for a larger and more efficient workforce? I suppose you could argue co-op mode covers this base, however.

How does consciousness work, both organic and mechanical? In being a completely stupid and superstitious bastard, I feel that (at least regarding organics) it is some intangible energy that latches on to a brain (or any physical matter) and passively experiences its physical and chemical reactions (in traditional physics, not taking quantum into account) that have inevitable operational output based on given physical input of itself and its surrounding environment (arguably one and the same) processed through static laws of cause and effect.

So, if this retarded idea is actually true, what patterns constitute something that a stream of consciousness "latches onto"? What am I even going on about?
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Blastfrog

Post Oct 6th '14, 15:20

Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily... Electric sheep.
ChristTrekker

Post Oct 6th '14, 23:51

Thoth is an asshole that will always aid the losing side.
Its a story framework that leads to perpetual war.

At the end of Marathon Infinity you activate Thoth and he summons the Spht'Kr and rapes Durandal until they become one, but that means that in all likelyhood any attempt at final human victory will be impeded by Thoth & Durandal.

So its Durandal's intelligence gimped by an insatiable desire to betray and f*** everything up.

Thoth is garbage.
Shocktart

Post Oct 7th '14, 00:18

There's no real canon answer to any of this, so here's the bullshit handwaving I made up a long time ago for a long-since-removed terminal in the Eternal prologue.

Reality is fundamentally informational in nature, and worlds are like simulated environments in a computer. There's nothing beyond the computer, it's not like a world within a world, but there's more to the computer than just the environments it simulates, and programs outside a given simulated environment are not bound to its internal notions of space and time.

The Jjaro Cybernetic Junction, one of which our player-character has, is a device in the "simulated environment" of his world which allows certain programs (e.g. minds) within the "simulated environment" to transfer themselves outside of the "simulation" (not outside the computer — there is no "outside the computer", there is no actual computer even, no hardware, there's just an informational, computational memory-space which is the fundamental layer of reality — but into the part of memory which is not occupied with modeling space and time), and from there to continue interacting with the "simulation". The Cybernetic Junction has its own low-level AI which identifies what exactly in the "simulation" is the "body" of the mind outside the "simulation", and provides a bridge between the two.

This interacts oddly with pattern buffers, as the Cybernetic Junction continues to think of the you at the moment in time you buffered your pattern, and that buffered copy of you, as a part of your "body", even when the rest of you moves onward in time. If the rest of your body dies in that future, the Cybernetic Junction tries to figure out what exactly your mind (outside the "simulation") is supposed to be interacting with, and the next best thing is that copy of you made earlier in time. So from your subjective perspective, you buff your pattern, go on with your life into the future, die, and then find yourself back at the moment you buffed your pattern again. The rest of the world has no idea anything happened, except that you seem to have a certain prescience about things you witnessed between when you buffed your pattern and when you died in that other timeline.

Timey-wimey wibbly-wobbly....
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Pfhorrest
California

Post Oct 7th '14, 10:10

It's fun to spitball. [MSmile]

Blastfrog wrote:If the cyborg uses a shield (presumably along the lines of Halo's energy shield), then why does he bleed when hit? And if they really are shields, does that mean that he's weak as hell under it given that even a mosquito bite would kill him as soon as the shields are depleted (or worse, that he can't even survive without it at all regardless of being hit)?


The shield questions seem like... well not necessarily the easiest, but at least the answers needn't involve quantum mechanics and whatnot.

There would seem to be two possibilities. First, what looks like blood splattering may actually be the shield working. That is, when something impacts the shield the interaction produces a small red splash that's easily mistaken for blood. That's why if you look closely when a marine is shot, you'll see the splatter even if the bullet doesn't hit flesh, like between the legs. There are no mosquitos in Marathon - even the weakest enemy could gravely wound an unarmored man, conceivably - so the game doesn't necessarily present the marine as a weakling without his shield.

I don't think any canon text explicitly precludes this possibility, but it's not very satisfying.

The second possibility is that the shield isn't a projected bubble around the player, but works closer to the surface. The marine could be a Terminator-style cyborg, in the sense of having living tissue over a metal endoskeleton or, in this case, over subdermal armor. The shield is part of that armor, under the skin, only protecting the vital machinery and/or organs underneath. Hence every shot the marine takes that doesn't overwhelm the shield is literally just a flesh wound. He bleeds without his performance degrading. Only the "super shield" (invincibility powerup) is powerful enough to extend protection over the surface of the marine's skin and clothing.

In this latter scenario, it could be that the shield is so tightly integrated with the cyborg's systems that he can't survive without it.
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Crater Creator

Post Oct 7th '14, 15:33

My theory is that the red shield is not really a full shield, what i'm trying to say is that the red bar indicating the shield's strength is actually half your own armor and body and the other half is really shield. 2 times shield and 3X shield is then really a strong shield though it doesn't explain why he bleeds when hit whith those shield strengths.

Also something interresting is that there are extremely much shield rechargers on the marathon and other installations, while the Marathon was a colony ship and wasn't fitted for battle. So I think those rechargers are merely outlets for any kind of device that needs more power, like for example a terminal, science equipment, etc. that also explainse their abundance on other vessels and installations. But then there's one thing that doesn't seem right to me: the Pfhor would have more advanced technology which would require more power, yet there rechargers are the same as those of the Humans. And i presume their rechargers could also be used by their hunters to charge their suits, as i guess they have some kind of powered armor. Just a theory.
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Qtekly
Belgium

Post Oct 9th '14, 15:22

Pfhor Troopers wear additional armor, and Pfhor Hunters wear a form of powered armor (given that it shoots out electricity when it explodes, on top of the explosion blast radius, if the animation itself is anything to go by.) By the way, it's non-sequitur to claim that more advanced technology must use more power. It doesn't follow. What about energy efficiency? Designing technology to be functional, yet using less power to allow it to be more useful for longer periods of time without needing a recharge, or without being a huge drain on energy resources? Energy efficiency is itself a form of high technology. And a practical one at that.

Setting-wise, the pattern buffers are probably intended to be like the resurrection chambers in System Shock. I.E. it saves a "back-up" of the player character to respawn the player at death. As for the environment being as it was when the player saved, I suppose that this could be due to a game engine limitation that no one wanted to bother changing.
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FlawedIntellect

Post Oct 9th '14, 18:50

So the Pfhor use less energy to power up more advanced technology. Then they really are very advanced. Which is weird since they never ever won any battle in a scenario i know against humans wearing almost no armor firing a pistol. Is the Mjolnir Recon cyborg then like humanity's most advanced invention?
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Qtekly
Belgium

Post Oct 10th '14, 00:11

I'd more argue that the Zeus Class Fusion Pistol is humanity's most advanced weapon, given how effective it is against technology such as switches, juggernauts, and so on. Also, keep in mind that the Pfhor on L'howon didn't have high morale, not to mention that the invasion of the Marathon was rather impromptu, and hence rather disorganized. It was rather potent for collecting the BoBs that were too dumb to hide and arm themselves.

But yeah, I guess you could say that the cyborg security officer is one of humanity's greatest creations. Granted, some of its construction is said to feature technology that its maker could not understand.

Another of humanity's most advanced creations is Artificial Intelligence, which the Pfhor did not originally have. (Aside from a rather rudimentary form for flight and aiming accuracy, which the drones have.) It wasn't until the S'pht Compilers were tinkering with remnants of Tycho that the Pfhor had any AI system working for them. The only other race that I can think of that the series indicates to be able to create AIs (aside from the S'pht to some capacity) would be the Jjaro.
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FlawedIntellect

Post Oct 12th '14, 06:29

I figure that the red splatter is the bullets being melted by your shielding.

The thing that has always bugged me, though, is how bullets do damage on the same order of magnitude as your explosives. Having done the math, the energy delivered by the player's kinetic weapons puts his shield's total capacity (at triple health) at somewhere between 500 kilojoules to 1 megajoule. Grenades, on the other hand, deliver much more energy than that per shot.

My best explanations:

a) As is visually consistent with the impact sprites, your guns fire high explosive ammunition.

b) As is consistent with your being slapped to death by drinniols, shields are much less effective when dealing with kinetic energy

c) As above, your shields must disintegrate/melt bullets in order to stop them, resulting in a great loss of energy.
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General Tacticus

Post Oct 14th '14, 01:43

(More theories about the shield system. I'm glad I wasn't the only one who felt weird about it.)
Two more theories about the shields to add to this list:
1. The shields only reduce impact and damage and doesn't completely block out damage, akin to shock absorbers.
2. The red "shield" is an auto-repair system, preventing performance from degrading but using a lot of energy.
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Poems don't always make sense
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Dan
California

Post Oct 15th '14, 18:01

The shield part never made sense to me, given how when compared to other, explicitly shielded characters in game (such as the S'pht'Kr) the player bled when hit. Since the Security Officer clearly appeared to be wearing body armor, I figured the health bar in game was actually the player's health. The power rechargers in game provided power for armor repairs and medical facilities provided by the armor (painkiller and coagulant injections, defibrillation, first aid, etc.). I'm thinking the SO's body armor had some sort of powered ablative plating that helped protect against energy weaponry, also covered by it needing to recharge.

If I remember right the pattern buffers were supposed to record your molecular/atomic pattern for reconstruction. Perhaps this has something to do with Jjaro implants. I'd imagine for most people it's a way to quickly recover from major injuries, but perhaps cyborgs can use it to resurrect themselves as Pfhorrest suggested.
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Alric

Post Oct 24th '14, 04:19

Alric wrote:The shield part never made sense to me, given how when compared to other, explicitly shielded characters in game (such as the S'pht'Kr) the player bled when hit. Since the Security Officer clearly appeared to be wearing body armor, I figured the health bar in game was actually the player's health. The power rechargers in game provided power for armor repairs and medical facilities provided by the armor (painkiller and coagulant injections, defibrillation, first aid, etc.). I'm thinking the SO's body armor had some sort of powered ablative plating that helped protect against energy weaponry, also covered by it needing to recharge.

If I remember right the pattern buffers were supposed to record your molecular/atomic pattern for reconstruction. Perhaps this has something to do with Jjaro implants. I'd imagine for most people it's a way to quickly recover from major injuries, but perhaps cyborgs can use it to resurrect themselves as Pfhorrest suggested.


Adding on to the Jjaro implants being related to the pattern buffers: perhaps the Jjaro tech serves a some sort of skeleton from which the body of a cyborg can be remade. Begs the question of where the material for the new body comes from. Maybe taken from the dead remains, or maybe made onboard the ship and transferred to the pattern buffers.
Roses are rose red
Poems don't always make sense
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Dan
California

Post Nov 9th '14, 13:30

FlawedIntellect wrote:But yeah, I guess you could say that the cyborg security officer is one of humanity's greatest creations.


Ehhm... I don't exactly remember, but wasn't the Cborg Security Officer one of the Jjarro's inventions/creations?
I do remember clearly that the SO had Jjarro tech implemented in him.

Not to mention, if the CSO was a human creation/invention, couldn't they just create an army of
them and obliterate/crush the Pfhor?
Frog blast the vent core!

$lave wrote:Damnit bridgit, you are forgetting how fucking serious business the internet is.
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Tycho X
Aenna Prime

Post Nov 9th '14, 16:50

The security officer is definetly a human creation, M1 has a few terminals describing mjolnir cyborgs and the massacre at Thermopylae and Icarus, colonies in the Sol system, IIRC. The UESC probably doesn't want to make lots of them, because of what happenned whit them in the past, meaning Thermopylae and Icarus. They made strict rules for the appropriate use of the battleroids.
And too many battleroids would probably be very hard to control.
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Qtekly
Belgium

Post Nov 9th '14, 17:28

Still, I somehow remember something about Jjarro tech and the marine.. maybe I'm just thinking of Eternal's
Cybernetic Junction Thingy (whatever it was called-).
Frog blast the vent core!

$lave wrote:Damnit bridgit, you are forgetting how fucking serious business the internet is.
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Tycho X
Aenna Prime

Post Nov 9th '14, 23:11

Tycho X wrote:Still, I somehow remember something about Jjarro tech and the marine.. maybe I'm just thinking of Eternal's
Cybernetic Junction Thingy (whatever it was called-).

Yeah, the humans used Jjaro tech, you can go to the Story forums to read all about it ;P
Roses are rose red
Poems don't always make sense
Refridgerator
Dan
California

Post Nov 10th '14, 03:02

Tycho X wrote:Still, I somehow remember something about Jjarro tech and the marine.. maybe I'm just thinking of Eternal's
Cybernetic Junction Thingy (whatever it was called-).

Eternal is not canon to the Marathon story! XD

Well, I recall that Infinity's ending mentions something of the Cyborg Security Officer being put together with technology that his "creators did not understand", which could very well be Jjaro technology. :3
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FlawedIntellect

Post Nov 10th '14, 06:33

Tycho X wrote:Ehhm... I don't exactly remember, but wasn't the Cborg Security Officer one of the Jjarro's inventions/creations?
I do remember clearly that the SO had Jjarro tech implemented in him.


You can make a case for a link between the cyborg Battleroids and Jjaro technology, but it's only inferred. What we know canonically about Battleroids comes mostly from a single excerpt:
Beware of Low-Flying Defense Drones wrote:
In 2194, a war was fought between the Independent Asteroid
Government of Icarus and its neighbor, the Republic of
Thermopylae on the asteroid of Onicis 492. These two small
governments soon became the testing grounds for new weapons.
Dead soldiers were recycled in makeshift battleroid factories.
Easy to manufacture chips enhanced the fragile human brain,
and genetically enhanced muscles and titanium bones replaced
the fragile human form. The modern battleroid was born. Of
course, the war was short. Battleroids got onto both
asteroids and killed almost everyone.

The rampage of the Battleroid was short lived.

Twenty years later, the United Interplanetary League set up
rules for the appropriate use and storage of Battleroids. Of
course, any nation that used them for the allowed purpose,
also had them lying about in stasis chambers in case of war.


Unless I've missed something, the Jjaro are never even mentioned by name in Marathon 1, and the Battleroids are only mentioned in Marathon 1. So while arguably plausible, the games themselves don't connect the two.

Not to mention, if the CSO was a human creation/invention, couldn't they just create an army of
them and obliterate/crush the Pfhor?


Not necessarily. The Battleroids were created in 2194, centuries before the Marathon even left Mars. The Marathon was a colony ship, not a warship, so it may not have been equipped to churn out an army of cybernetic soldiers. It was a surprise attack, after all, and manufacturing and installing a mere 3 defense circuits was kind of a big deal.
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Crater Creator

Post Nov 10th '14, 12:47

Oh okay... like I said, don't really remember since I haven't played the storyline in a while. Thanks for clearing it up though! I swear I must've accidentally thought of Eternal's storyline.
Frog blast the vent core!

$lave wrote:Damnit bridgit, you are forgetting how fucking serious business the internet is.
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Tycho X
Aenna Prime


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