Does Star Wars have Artificial Intelligence?


Movies


I've always thought Droids in Star Wars were artificial intelligence running on future computer technology, mixed with robotics.
But, my Dad just told me Droids are a mix of magic (kind of like the force) woven into hydraulically powered mechanisms (like steampunk).
Now, I don't know.

Do you think Star Wars Droids are:
1. Artificially intelligent robots designed with future computer science
OR
2. Magically powered mechanisms mixed with spirits/ghosts?


Mostly sapient AI, usually pretty dependant on programming.

It sounds like your dad may be thinking about Skippy the force sensative astromech or something, which is something you should never ever do.

Liberty's Edge

Highly sophisticated AI - so sophisticated that each has its own personality and is nothing to marvel at anymore for people inhabiting the world.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace Spoilers:
If Anakin could build one before knowing how to use the force, then they would have to be pure robotics, he wouldn't know how to soulbind for the other answer.


Pygon is probably right in the long run, actually. I just like a Star Wars where the lack of wonder towards droids is from how common they are and most of them aren't nearly as unique as the ones we see as characters in the movies, or as PCs.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

There's definitely some messed-up attitudes towards droids in the Star Wars universe—such as the evident custom of wiping their memories to "kill" budding personalities.

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

There's a lot of scary stuff in the Star Wars universe that seems to go unnoticed by its occupants, like the fact the galactic government has a powerful religious order with magic powers as its military might.


Well, I mean, when your galaxy has been largely stagnant for tens of thousands of years, it kinda makes sense. "That's the way it's always been" being he handwave for everything very much applies here.

Unless the Old Republic stuff being wiped from canon changed that.


Look at this way, a person can build a gaming computer with off the shelf parts. The people who built ENIAC about 70 years ago would have found that amazing. So someone builds an AI computer from off the shelf parts, in a movie, that shouldn't be so amazing by comparison.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

The droids are artificially intelligent, and a distinct slave caste. My Star Wars trilogy would be all about the Droid Wars.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

Didn't Darths and Droids explore this a little? Between Grievous's cyborg superiority and C-3PO's mission of rebellion, there's a lot of anti-organic sentiment in that comic. ;D


I'm leaning towards Driods being a religious mix of spirit-force and steampunk technology.
That makes more sense and why Anakin could build C3PO at such a young age. Anakin was full of midichlorians and able to embue "life" into C3PO's mechanical skeleton using the Force.

Scarab Sages

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

The bigger problem is not the existence of AI, which there clearly is (any plot relevant droid could pass the Turing test), but the fact that there is no internet. This AI, though shackled behind 'programming' in most cases, is advanced enough to have emotions in astromechs (the simplest 'computer on wheels' droid), fear in mousers, and malice in the catacombs of Jabba's Palace.

Perhaps the reason that the AI hasn't become a problem like it did in Dune is the fact that they aren't able to network together. The fact that C3PO and R2D2 have to physically goto Tattooine to give Kenobi the email message rather than sending across a galactic network pretty much keeps the AI down.

The closest thing we've seen in seven movies of a networking of droids was in the nearly no AI battle droids, and then the network was just a direct command link to the command ships and facilities. And that turned out horribly for the droids (See Ep 1 and 2).


Maybe they don't know about radio waves. No one ever watched TV in the movies.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Well, in the novel Tarkin, they have a 'holo-net', which is obviously a retconned in thing because the internet didn't used to exist, which is taken over to 100% military use by the time ANH rolls around. I think that's one of the more glaring anachronistic features of the series, particularly with how advanced our global communications are now. Extrapolating out to hyperdrive tech era would make galactic communication much more than what we see.


archmagi1 wrote:
Well, in the novel Tarkin, they have a 'holo-net', which is obviously a retconned in thing because the internet didn't used to exist, which is taken over to 100% military use by the time ANH rolls around. I think that's one of the more glaring anachronistic features of the series, particularly with how advanced our global communications are now. Extrapolating out to hyperdrive tech era would make galactic communication much more than what we see.

How close are the novels to the movies, because I've only seen the movies?

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Tarkin is part of the Disney canon for it. Much like everything that came after the original trilogy, it has a more sci-fi flavor than space opera. Only star wars novel I've read though.

Sovereign Court

Is it good though?

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

Tarkin? Yeah its a good book.

Sovereign Court

Electric Wizard wrote:

I'm leaning towards Driods being a religious mix of spirit-force and steampunk technology.

That makes more sense and why Anakin could build C3PO at such a young age. Anakin was full of midichlorians and able to embue "life" into C3PO's mechanical skeleton using the Force.

Um, no. Pure electronics. Probably not true AI even. Just very good programming.


Hama wrote:
Electric Wizard wrote:

I'm leaning towards Driods being a religious mix of spirit-force and steampunk technology.

That makes more sense and why Anakin could build C3PO at such a young age. Anakin was full of midichlorians and able to embue "life" into C3PO's mechanical skeleton using the Force.
Um, no. Pure electronics. Probably not true AI even. Just very good programming.

Honestly, if they're not AI, they're really lousy programming.

Why would anyone program in all the little quirks and flaws if they weren't a part of giving them actual intelligence?
More importantly, the droids have always been shown as characters with personalities, whatever the in-world tech behind them is. That pretty much makes them AI, for any practical purposes.
At least as far as space opera pays attention to such theoretical details.

Sovereign Court

You can make a robot with a "personality" and it can still not be true AI.


Hama wrote:
You can make a robot with a "personality" and it can still not be true AI.

I suppose you could. I suppose you could deliberately program a protocol droid to behave tactlessly and cowardly like C3PO often does, but it would be far harder and more complex than just programming him to do his job.

Of course, technically it depends on what definition you're using for "true AI". Seems to me like any of the droids we see anything of would easily pass the Turing test.

But even that doesn't really matter. If they're not supposed to be AI, the movies at least do a very poor job of portraying them as not AI.

Is it ever explicitly stated in canon?

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I think I read somewhere about everyone fearing droid uprisings so they made them obedient and not very self reliant. But as time goes they tend to accumulate quirks and that is why they do periodic memory wipes.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Well, IG-88 is still a thing even if most of his backstory is Legends now.


archmagi1 wrote:
Well, in the novel Tarkin, they have a 'holo-net', which is obviously a retconned in thing because the internet didn't used to exist, which is taken over to 100% military use by the time ANH rolls around. I think that's one of the more glaring anachronistic features of the series, particularly with how advanced our global communications are now. Extrapolating out to hyperdrive tech era would make galactic communication much more than what we see.

Why? Two way radio by itself did not make the Internet, it was constant on the fly reroutable communications that did. There is no accessible network of instantaneous communication, only point to point calls.

The invention of the internet was a highly idiosyncratic process. It's quite conceivable that a civilisation could achieve high technology and never discover it, just as the Incas had wheels but never used them for anything other than children's toys.


Kobold Cleaver wrote:
There's definitely some messed-up attitudes towards droids in the Star Wars universe—such as the evident custom of wiping their memories to "kill" budding personalities.

Droids aren't people. They may get clever imitative AI routines running on them, but they don't have the soul or feelings that even a cat has.

In the context of the Star Wars universe, Droids aren't truly alive, as they do not have the Force within them that all living beings do. Luke might get attached to R2D2, but if it comes to saving him or a living stranger, it's the short straw for the droid.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

How typically biocentric. Crap like that is why our future AI overlords are not going to be nice.

Community / Forums / Gamer Life / Entertainment / Movies / Does Star Wars have Artificial Intelligence? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in Movies