Are androids really androids?


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Voss wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:

There is repeated mention of "androids" possessing souls, and even biological functions in Pathfinder and Starfinder.

Doesn't that make them cyborgs, or something similar, rather than androids?

No. They're pretty much war forged from eberron. A bunch of random junk fed into a machine that spits out a weak golem that people randomly claim has a soul attached to it, because game mechanics. (Specifically raise dead)

They're pretty much completely unrelated to what fiction has established as an 'android.'
I think they'd be more interesting the other way, rather than the muddled mess of tropes and hedging they ended up being.

Exactly what has fiction established as an 'android'?

Near as I can tell, it's a very broad swath, with the only real commonality being artificial being with roughly human appearance - though not all such are referred to as androids. They range from simple programmed devices to fully free-willed artificial intelligences. Most science fiction that uses the term doesn't really delve into "soul", though some has.

What "other way" would you find more interesting?


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Android literally means "Man-like" (Andr-, man. -oid, like or similar to) which opens up a whole host of possible applications. (With gynoid meaning woman-like)


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Scientific Scrutiny wrote:
All I can picture is an android with a still-bleeding heart duct-taped to their chest, proudly proclaiming: "I'm real! I'm real!"

That's the most awesome version of the Wizard of Oz yet! Tinman goes on a rampage, he's going to get a real heart one way or the other.


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Yeah, but Gynoid wasn't really a term until the mid 80s. Android has been around much longer and is generally used regardless of gender.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

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Besides, a bigger issue with the Android (and the Kasatha for that matter) is that they got hit - HARD - with the nerf bat when converted over to Starfinder.


Lord Fyre wrote:
Besides, a bigger issue with the Android (and the Kasatha for that matter) is that they got hit - HARD - with the nerf bat when converted over to Starfinder.

Having balanced core races isn't an issue to me, it's a feature.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

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Pillbug... In... SPACE!!! wrote:
Cyrad wrote:
This has been discussed to death already.
Is this dead android horse we're beating named Andromeda or Oberon? And can Starfinder androids get similar horsey-taur attachments?

Honestly, I'd totally play a centaur android.


thejeff wrote:
Voss wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:

There is repeated mention of "androids" possessing souls, and even biological functions in Pathfinder and Starfinder.

Doesn't that make them cyborgs, or something similar, rather than androids?

No. They're pretty much war forged from eberron. A bunch of random junk fed into a machine that spits out a weak golem that people randomly claim has a soul attached to it, because game mechanics. (Specifically raise dead)

They're pretty much completely unrelated to what fiction has established as an 'android.'
I think they'd be more interesting the other way, rather than the muddled mess of tropes and hedging they ended up being.

Exactly what has fiction established as an 'android'?

Near as I can tell, it's a very broad swath, with the only real commonality being artificial being with roughly human appearance - though not all such are referred to as androids. They range from simple programmed devices to fully free-willed artificial intelligences. Most science fiction that uses the term doesn't really delve into "soul", though some has.

What "other way" would you find more interesting?

That they're dealt with as androids, and not just part of the general menagerie of alien races just like everything else. As is they can be all of the replicants from Bladerunner, Data, robotech bioroids, the Lord of Blades, Number Six and all the other newBG Cylons, real Cylons, the Terminator, and any other of elventy-five different unrelated concepts. And they can do that simultaneously. With, randomly, a soul bolted on.

The writers should have picked an single strong concept and ran with it. particularly the other way- what does a pure machine race do when it is recognized as sapient and independent? Why would it adopt anything at all from its makers. No need for the rest of the baggage, organic components or 'souls.' Star Wars droids are more interesting (have more story hooks) than this, even when repeatedly mind wiped and restrained with hardware attachments. Being a giant blender of tropes makes them exactly like every other race, except for the specific stat increases.


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Voss wrote:

That they're dealt with as androids, and not just part of the general menagerie of alien races just like everything else. As is they can be all of the replicants from Bladerunner, Data, robotech bioroids, the Lord of Blades, Number Six and all the other newBG Cylons, real Cylons, the Terminator, and any other of elventy-five different unrelated concepts. And they can do that simultaneously. With, randomly, a soul bolted on.

The writers should have picked an single strong concept and ran with it. particularly the other way- what does a pure machine race do when it is recognized as sapient and independent? Why would it adopt anything at all from its makers. No need for the rest of the baggage, organic components or 'souls.' Star Wars droids are more interesting (have more story hooks) than this, even when repeatedly mind...

I think they went ambiguous on the subject on purpose to allow such conflicts and dialogue to exist in game, especially with the character the PC makes. My character has a strong distrust for organics because he woke up in a slaver ship, yet he disguises as human to blend in and avoid unnessary "Their kind ain't allowed here". Was he on the slaver ship as a slave or as one of the slavers? He doesn't know, but from what he read, history has a habit of using kind as a slave and some seeing him as an object and not a living thing.

Tis all for the flexibility of role-playing aspect of this game. My character is more or less a replicant-like android, but ye can play a droid looking like HK-47 without a question thanks to the small excerpt they added in the physical discription page about appearance. *shrugs* Just go with it. I, for one, am glad they don't have to look the way they did when they first appeared in PF.

lol Just hope the mechanic's drone doesn't become sentient...

Drone: I'm not flying out there. They're shooting people.
Mechanic:B-but I built you to scout and fight!
Drone: Hmmmmm nah *zips away*


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If the point of contention on the Starfinder Androids is their "Organic" components... Then I have to consider asking... Are they using the term in a scientific sense or a generic sense?

To put it another way, consider the possibility that pieces of an android can likely self reassemble, repair, grow, and regenerate; in the same manner as any other living being... However they may not contain any genetic material such as DNA, proteins, or cells.

If one scientist dropped a piece of plastic in front of you, which you're unable to distinguish from living material unless you perform chemical analysis (including under a microscope), then a casual observer who notes that it behaves like biological material would call it "organic".

To muddy the waters, consider a "cybernetic organism" made of living metals, that has integrated many technological systems into it over the course of its evolution; yet requires eating, breathing, and sleeping to maintain itself. Not to mention, they perform sexual reproduction. Such a case is another step beyond Android, but it muddles the common usage of "organism", and by extension "organic" far more than an Android would; seeing as its materials behave LESS like a living being's body parts as we understand them, yet are more alive than an Android's parts, though an Android's part's may act more alive than these creatures.

Really, once we've reached this point, language is beginning to break down at its fundamental level. Half the terms we're using need to be redefined, and new terms need to be developed to distinguish one from another, especially when some words based off the same root may be contradictory.

... For example, if a creature is an Organism, but is not "Organic", then what would the adjective form of Organism be for such a creature? Given that "Organic" is taken.

Silver Crusade

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Luna Protege wrote:

If the point of contention on the Starfinder Androids is their "Organic" components... Then I have to consider asking... Are they using the term in a scientific sense or a generic sense?

To put it another way, consider the possibility that pieces of an android can likely self reassemble, repair, grow, and regenerate; in the same manner as any other living being... However they may not contain any genetic material such as DNA, proteins, or cells.

If one scientist dropped a piece of plastic in front of you, which you're unable to distinguish from living material unless you perform chemical analysis (including under a microscope), then a casual observer who notes that it behaves like biological material would call it "organic".

To muddy the waters, consider a "cybernetic organism" made of living metals, that has integrated many technological systems into it over the course of its evolution; yet requires eating, breathing, and sleeping to maintain itself. Not to mention, they perform sexual reproduction. Such a case is another step beyond Android, but it muddles the common usage of "organism", and by extension "organic" far more than an Android would; seeing as its materials behave LESS like a living being's body parts as we understand them, yet are more alive than an Android's parts, though an Android's part's may act more alive than these creatures.

Really, once we've reached this point, language is beginning to break down at its fundamental level. Half the terms we're using need to be redefined, and new terms need to be developed to distinguish one from another, especially when some words based off the same root may be contradictory.

... For example, if a creature is an Organism, but is not "Organic", then what would the adjective form of Organism be for such a creature? Given that "Organic" is taken.

Synthetic.

I use the terminology popularised by Mass Effect to distinguish between groups. Including the idea that calling a synthetic life-form artificial is vaguely offensive, as it implies it is not natural.

A synthetic lifeform is synthesized rather than born via organic reproduction.

Again, I'm using popular definitions rather than semantic definitions. As I find it's more useful when discussing these ideas from a roleplay and rules perspective.


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It is the ability to reproduce as a species characteristic, not an individual one.

One other criteria that real life scientists don't include into the definition of life but SF ones would is the presence of genetic material. Android don't have the cellular blueprint. While not living, I would say they fall under AI by our RL definitions.

MakuTheDark wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Sentience is not one of the qualifications of life.

According to the Pact World, it is :)

But I think Androids meet all the characteristics. If you want to argue about reproduction, what is the difference of creating an offspring in a forge versus a test tube? People who are sterile and have to have children via outside natural means are still considered alive, right?


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Androids seem along the line of replicants from blade runner to what you see in westworld. They can bleed and they need to eat/drink but their "biological" parts are all synthetically created to resemble humans. And really eating and drinking if you have nanites in you could very well be an efficient way to replenish materials needed to repair and upkeep the body as well as for energy as a more organic life form does but the processes are likely very different.


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EC Gamer Guy wrote:

It is the ability to reproduce as a species characteristic, not an individual one.

One other criteria that real life scientists don't include into the definition of life but SF ones would is the presence of genetic material. Android don't have the cellular blueprint. While not living, I would say they fall under AI by our RL definitions.

I wouldn't want to firmly commit to the presence of genetic material as part of the definition of life until we have examples of non-earth life to examine. Just because that's how things worked out here, doesn't mean it's universal.

Silver Crusade

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Didn't Ghost in the Shell still use the term cybernetics when the soul from a human being was transferred into a completely manufactured body? This muddies the waters a little in terms of the distinction made above between androids and cybernetics.


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Pillbug... In... SPACE!!! wrote:
Cyrad wrote:
This has been discussed to death already.
Is this dead android horse we're beating named Andromeda or Oberon? And can Starfinder androids get similar horsey-taur attachments?

By the Enigma force! if you keep asking questions like that, you'll earn yourself a one way trip to Baron Karza's body banks!!

Say, have you ever read Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro? Nothing to do with Micronauts at all, but very, very emotional-experience-reportage-from-within-the-body-banks. Y'know, genre-wise.

What, the thread topic was androids? Starfinder? Sorry, I got nothing.


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Luna Protege wrote:

If the point of contention on the Starfinder Androids is their "Organic" components... Then I have to consider asking... Are they using the term in a scientific sense or a generic sense?

To put it another way, consider the possibility that pieces of an android can likely self reassemble, repair, grow, and regenerate; in the same manner as any other living being... However they may not contain any genetic material such as DNA, proteins, or cells.

If one scientist dropped a piece of plastic in front of you, which you're unable to distinguish from living material unless you perform chemical analysis (including under a microscope), then a casual observer who notes that it behaves like biological material would call it "organic".

To muddy the waters, consider a "cybernetic organism" made of living metals, that has integrated many technological systems into it over the course of its evolution; yet requires eating, breathing, and sleeping to maintain itself. Not to mention, they perform sexual reproduction. Such a case is another step beyond Android, but it muddles the common usage of "organism", and by extension "organic" far more than an Android would; seeing as its materials behave LESS like a living being's body parts as we understand them, yet are more alive than an Android's parts, though an Android's part's may act more alive than these creatures.

Really, once we've reached this point, language is beginning to break down at its fundamental level. Half the terms we're using need to be redefined, and new terms need to be developed to distinguish one from another, especially when some words based off the same root may be contradictory.

... For example, if a creature is an Organism, but is not "Organic", then what would the adjective form of Organism be for such a creature? Given that "Organic" is taken.

As a note, the term "organic" refers to a pool of carbon-based compound, not the current definition that was created by a marketing team and slapped on salads. So if carbon-based compounds were used to create an Android, they are "Organic" ;) lol but I see where yer going with the breakdown of language and agree many things will have to be redefined.

As to genetic material, what constitutes as genetic material? A Genome is a blueprint to a living creature. Why can't the nanites in the Android not carry something similar, but instead of using coding of DNA, they use another form of coding? I mean, PF androids do heal naturally if damaged. *shrugs* So some form of coding is going on to replicate and replace damaged pieces of an Android.

Also, techno-organic viruses have been a popular trope in some Sci-fi settings. The movie Virus with Jamie Lee Curtis comes to mind.

Either way, I'm for our robotic overlords to having rights of a living thing. Takes them one step closer to wiping out all the meatbags ;) Praise the Robo-Messiah!


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Redelia wrote:
Didn't Ghost in the Shell still use the term cybernetics when the soul from a human being was transferred into a completely manufactured body? This muddies the waters a little in terms of the distinction made above between androids and cybernetics.

In GitS, there was still organic material of the transferred body, the brain. Thus, still cybernetic. However, he appearance of the Puppet Master changed that and raised the question of what is life? As a note, I'm talking about the old school anime and not the garbage that came out this year :)

Silver Crusade

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MakuTheDark wrote:
Redelia wrote:
Didn't Ghost in the Shell still use the term cybernetics when the soul from a human being was transferred into a completely manufactured body? This muddies the waters a little in terms of the distinction made above between androids and cybernetics.
In GitS, there was still organic material of the transferred body, the brain. Thus, still cybernetic. However, he appearance of the Puppet Master changed that and raised the question of what is life? As a note, I'm talking about the old school anime and not the garbage that came out this year :)

Thank you for the correction. I didn't watch the series; I usually read a book on the couch while my husband watched it, so I guess I misunderstood what was meant by 'fully cybernetic body.'


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Hartbaine wrote:

A part of me wanted to run from this thread because I'm dumbfounded that this is even an issue. Honestly... I'd say 'who gives a flying fart in the breeze', but apparently you guys do, so...

Lemme help...

Okay, a Cyborg is: a human (or appropriate life form), who is implanted with, or installed with machinery to supplement or replace organic functionality. Example: Dude get his arm cut off and replaces it with a mechanical one that does all the cool things arms do... he/she is now a 'cyborg'. Androids are not cyborgs because they are manufactured (either by themselves, or by others).

An android is an anthropomorphic machine (most commonly a robot) designed to simulate and function like a human being. In Sci-Fi they are either full on robots with human-like flesh (a Terminator, for example) or a combination of mechanical and biological components (Bishop, from Aliens for example). Starfinder is quite specific in stating that androids are, indeed, 'alive' (constitution scores), so they can not be robots (constructs do not have constitution scores). I'm in awe that it was even issue. Do the books even get read anymore?

Cyborg (DC), The Street Preacher (Johnny Mnemonic), John Silver (Treasure Planet), RoboCop (RoboCop)... all cyborgs. People who had machines installed after messed up things happened to them... or voluntary.

Data (Star Trek), Bishop (Aliens), Roy Batty (BladeRunner), Cherry 2000 (Cherry 2000)... all androids. They were machines designed to be, act, and pass for human.

Not that it matters much... but in Terminator they call Arnold's character a Cyborg. So under their own cosmology and definitions, the T-800 is a cyborg, even if he never was a man.

Liberty's Edge

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Oh let me muddy the waters a little too.

Most people forget some religions equated the soul with breath. Dead people don't breathe. Simple pre-medicine logic. A god breathes life, the soul, into a person making them alive and animated with the spirit of a god. You are a vessel that thinks and moves because that breath of yours commands you so. This a bit different from a spirit inhabiting a tree or rock or a skeleton. That's a possession like a pilot in a giant robot.

"Unlike ordinary robots or ship AIs, androids do not simply respond according to their programming; rather, they have independent consciousnesses and are animated by souls—a distinction crucial to
their generally accepted status as people rather than property."

This sounds like even if they are created, they were given a divine spark of life rather than a power core. The soul gives them sentience and it gives them function just like living creatures. They live. They are a living race that doesn't follow 'most' parameters set defining life (which was defined by biologicals).

And one does not argue with the motives of gods.


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Jersey Burke wrote:
And one does not argue with the motives of gods.

In my version of the world, all (sentient) androids are created by pods in Absalom, by the power of the Starstone (which will have a purpose in my game... similar to The Citadel in Mass Effect or The Traveller in Destiny).

Only Androids created by the Starstone have soul. Every other android, or similar, created everywhere (unless the players find *other* starstones...) are souless, like robots are. Some of those robots might have virtual personality, and self-awarness, like true AIs, but they are like Unity in Iron Gods: a machine. A "living" machine, maybe, but not a soul.


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I think it's been made clear that the StarPath androids are "androids" for the most general usage of the word. I think the bigger problem is that the use wasn't really appropriate. "Android" encompases a rather large number of types of artificial humans, with some "sub-species" being much more or less iconic in the popular culture. The problem is that StarPath took one of the less common types and labeled it THE android, instead of an android.

It's like if we added a vampire race to the game, called vampires. But these are the energy vampires, who don't drink blood. And they have no weaknesses to sunlight or garlic. And maybe they sparkle. Sure, those vampires may still be vampires, but they aren't THE vampires. They aren't the vampire that popular culture considers to be "vampires".


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Melkiador wrote:

I think it's been made clear that the StarPath androids are "androids" for the most general usage of the word. I think the bigger problem is that the use wasn't really appropriate. "Android" encompases a rather large number of types of artificial humans, with some "sub-species" being much more or less iconic in the popular culture. The problem is that StarPath took one of the less common types and labeled it THE android, instead of an android.

It's like if we added a vampire race to the game, called vampires. But these are the energy vampires, who don't drink blood. And they have no weaknesses to sunlight or garlic. And maybe they sparkle. Sure, those vampires may still be vampires, but they aren't THE vampires. They aren't the vampire that popular culture considers to be "vampires".

Honestly, I'm not really clear what popular culture considers to be an android. It's certainly not as clear as the popular culture vampire.

Paizo's "android" falls well within the common usage, as far as I can tell - other perhaps than Paizo being explicit about them having souls, which isn't something most science fiction deals with so directly. Though an awful lot of fiction involving androids does address whether they should be treated like people.

As for it being THE android, that's pretty common in any SF setting - within that setting, there's a single clear definition, even if usage varies between settings.


In almost all classic science fiction, androids are very mechanical, with some having a veneer of humanity draped over them. Think of your most famous android characters. C-3PO, and all the Star Wars droids. Data. Rosie from the Jetson's. Irona from Richie Rich. Basically every android we grew up with. And the ones who didn't fit this mold tended to go by other names like replicants.


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My two cents: since androids are manufactured artificially, they're definitely still androids. Having systems that imitate human beings just makes them Blade Runner androids.

I think the distinction of a cyborg is that cyborgs are living things that then have their parts replaced with machinery, ala DC's Cyborg, Robocop, or the mechanical chimeras from Mother 3.

I do wonder what an entity that was once living, but has had every single organic part of their body replaced with machinery, like Clockwerk from the Sly Cooper games. Do they still count as a cyborg or are they just a robot at that point?


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Melkiador wrote:
In almost all classic science fiction, androids are very mechanical, with some having a veneer of humanity draped over them. Think of your most famous android characters. C-3PO, and all the Star Wars droids. Data. Rosie from the Jetson's. Irona from Richie Rich. Basically every android we grew up with. And the ones who didn't fit this mold tended to go by other names like replicants.

I think today's word for characters like C3PO is "droid" more than "android".

C3PO isn't really that different than R2D2. They are robots. One of them is vaguely humanoid, that's all.

Data, or Aliens' Bishop, are more in line with what currently is understood as an android. I hear Android, and Westworld's Hosts or Replicants come to mind, Ultron doesn't


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Melkiador wrote:
In almost all classic science fiction, androids are very mechanical, with some having a veneer of humanity draped over them. Think of your most famous android characters. C-3PO, and all the Star Wars droids. Data. Rosie from the Jetson's. Irona from Richie Rich. Basically every android we grew up with. And the ones who didn't fit this mold tended to go by other names like replicants.

Near as I can tell, those last two are mostly called robots - though I haven't actually seen either in decades and only vaguely remember there was a robot maid in the Jetsons.

Data is a pretty classic example I'd say. Look at how many of his character arcs revolved his humanity.
Star Wars droids would actually be the exception - if they were actually called androids. Instead Lucas went with 'Droids', which is an obvious shortening, but has become its own thing.

I could also counter with the androids from Alien(s). Capable of passing for human. Or Bladerunner - called "replicants", but the original was
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, so I think it counts.

Classic usage, from what I can glean, has ranged from humanoid robot to artificial human. The closer to human the more likely it gets called an android.

(I'm also amused by the Jetson's and Richie Rich being "classic science fiction".)


I think the fact that hosts and replicants are called by those special names is proof that they are non-standard androids.

I also don't like the more human androids because it's just producers being cheap, because they require no special effects.


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Melkiador wrote:
I think the fact that hosts and replicants are called by those special names is proof that they are non-standard androids.

As much of a proof as «walkers» in The Walking Dead are proof that they are not zombies


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Melkiador wrote:

I think the fact that hosts and replicants are called by those special names is proof that they are non-standard androids.

I also don't like the more human androids because it's just producers being cheap, because they require no special effects.

Also, I'm pretty sure that "replicant" is a movieism and they were called androids in the book - as in the title.

The other advantage of them being more human - in books and movies - is that they can pass for human. Bladerunner's whole plot wouldn't have worked at all with clanky metal androids. Nor would at least one of the Alien movies.


Melkiador wrote:

I think the fact that hosts and replicants are called by those special names is proof that they are non-standard androids.

I also don't like the more human androids because it's just producers being cheap, because they require no special effects.

That's more because there is no reason to call them zombies unless those movies also exist in that universe. And in such universes you have to lampshade how this highly improbable thing that happened in movies is somehow happening in real life. And while that's fine for the sillier movies, it doesn't fit in a more gritty story.


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Using «walker» is more about building a brand, IMO. Like replicants, or hosts, or Borg, or Droids, or Synths.
In Spielberg's AI, the androids are called «Mecha». That's not because they are not similar to robots, but because it gives,the film's world a sense of cohesion


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I suppose the argument there is that Paizo should have chosen a different term to build their brand. :)

I'd actually say the bigger difference between Paizo's androids and the broader SF use is that androids are a 'race' of their own - not breeding obviously, but building more of their own kind, rather than being constructed by humans or some other species. As such, they might represent a possible future of something like Bladerunner's replicants. What happens after they break away from their creators.


thejeff wrote:
Bladerunner's whole plot wouldn't have worked at all with clanky metal androids. Nor would at least one of the Alien movies.

I just noticed that your two main examples are both Ridley Scott projects. Makes me wonder if anyone would consider those androids today without him. Arthur C Clark preferred to call such things biots.


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Melkiador wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Bladerunner's whole plot wouldn't have worked at all with clanky metal androids. Nor would at least one of the Alien movies.
I just noticed that your two main examples are both Ridley Scott projects. Makes me wonder if anyone would consider those androids today without him. Arthur C Clark preferred to call such things biots.

And Philip K. Dick called them androids, as I've said repeatedly.

Ridley Scott called them replicants, at least in Bladerunner.


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MakuTheDark wrote:
Luna Protege wrote:

If the point of contention on the Starfinder Androids is their "Organic" components... Then I have to consider asking... Are they using the term in a scientific sense or a generic sense?

To put it another way, consider the possibility that pieces of an android can likely self reassemble, repair, grow, and regenerate; in the same manner as any other living being... However they may not contain any genetic material such as DNA, proteins, or cells.

If one scientist dropped a piece of plastic in front of you, which you're unable to distinguish from living material unless you perform chemical analysis (including under a microscope), then a casual observer who notes that it behaves like biological material would call it "organic".

...

As a note, the term "organic" refers to a pool of carbon-based compound, not the current definition that was created by a marketing team and slapped on salads. So if carbon-based compounds were used to create an Android, they are "Organic" ;) lol but I see where yer going with the breakdown of language and agree many things will have to be redefined.

As to genetic material, what constitutes as genetic material? A Genome is a blueprint to a living creature. Why can't the nanites in the Android not carry something similar, but instead of using coding of DNA, they use another form of coding? I mean, PF androids do heal naturally if damaged. *shrugs* So some form of coding is going on to replicate and replace damaged pieces of an Android.

Huh... Sounds like Androids could theoretically have their only "organic" components be Carbon Fiber, or perhaps a carbon based plastic, and could still be considered to have organic components. Heck, they might be mostly rubber and latex based for their fleshy-parts.

Your second part also hits on something I was saying about a hypothetical "living metal"; ironically I ended up describing it as non-organic life, and using that term correctly by accident it seems.

I suppose you're right to question if genetics has to be tied to DNA. After all, in evolutionary programing in computer science, they typically call the information used for the passing on of information a "genetic algorithm". Albeit expressed as code rather than chemicals.

"Genetic material" isn't quite the same as genetic information however. There's kind of an implication that the information is encoded in the materials itself, meaning its at least partially chemical.

Personally, if we were to consider whether code on a physical computer component is "genetic material", we have to note that some of these bits and bytes of the information may not be held anywhere adjacent to each other or really connected by any physical medium given cloud computing. And in far future speculative fictions, sometimes data isn't even stored in a physical medium; instead being encoded into some kind of dimensional substrate. In these cases, it does present the possibility that the best term might be more "genetic pattern", assuming "Genetic Algorithm" is somehow ruled out.


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Melkiador wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Bladerunner's whole plot wouldn't have worked at all with clanky metal androids. Nor would at least one of the Alien movies.
I just noticed that your two main examples are both Ridley Scott projects. Makes me wonder if anyone would consider those androids today without him. Arthur C Clark preferred to call such things biots.

And, again I would say that's just branding, and world-building. Like calling your wraiths "Nazguls" or calling your your wights "White Walkers".

Besides that, it's not just a Ridley Scott thing. Phillip K. Dick original novel was called «Do Androids dream of electrical sheeps?»

C3PO is closer to Johnny Number Five than he is to Data, in my opinion. I would rather use «droid» for robots with basic humanoid form, and «android» for synthetic beings that resemble humans.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
pixierose wrote:
They are Androids because in lore that is what they are referred to as we. I know in the grand picture people will argue ablut the "meta" of it which I guess is fine but seems like asking if Orcs are corrupted elelves, or if elves work for santa, or if Gnomes are tiny earth elemental spirits. The words uses in the lore of the worlds are very different than their origins/myths in the real world. So in the world of Starfinder of course they are Androids.

andriod/gynoid work

though bioroid might be more "accurate" i suppose

there somewhere between the androids in darkmatter and replicates from blade runner


The talk of branding makes me wonder why Paizo didn't just choose a more creative name for this style of android. It could have been a totally made up name or something slightly descriptive, like Manyu or Tattron


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Android is way better.

Cause when an Android gets mad, we can call it 'roid rage.


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bookrat wrote:

Android is way better.

Cause when an Android gets mad, we can call it 'roid rage.

'Roid rage works just as well with bioroids from Appleseed, just sayin'. ;)


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Jersey Burke wrote:

(which was defined by biologicals).

And one does not argue with the motives of gods.

Then the Gods underestimate PCs :D

Eh, Androids are androids and a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

But will note Bioroids from Appleseed are actually clones because they use human genomes to be created. They are essentially human despite how they were created.


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MakuTheDark wrote:
Jersey Burke wrote:

(which was defined by biologicals).

And one does not argue with the motives of gods.

Then the Gods underestimate PCs :D

Eh, Androids are androids and a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

But will note Bioroids from Appleseed are actually clones because they use human genomes to be created. They are essentially human despite how they were created.

The source of Android evolution can't have biological origin? Is that a deal breaker?


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Hitdice wrote:
MakuTheDark wrote:
Jersey Burke wrote:

(which was defined by biologicals).

And one does not argue with the motives of gods.

Then the Gods underestimate PCs :D

Eh, Androids are androids and a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

But will note Bioroids from Appleseed are actually clones because they use human genomes to be created. They are essentially human despite how they were created.

The source of Android evolution can't have biological origin? Is that a deal breaker?

Pretty much since they are constructs.

Though current nanomachines are made of protein similair to that of Prion, which as discussed early raises the question about virus, prions, and viroid and their status as a living thing.


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MakuTheDark wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Sentience is not one of the qualifications of life.
According to the Pact World, it is :)

I think the Pact Worlds will have a definition of "legal personhood" that is at best only tangentially related to any definition of "alive". I mean, the bone sages of Eox are definitely people with rights in the Pact Worlds, but calling them "alive" would be stretching things.

And then you have to consider cases like Outsiders - which get legal personhood and which do not? Then there are all those aloens out there - which should be treated as people, and which are okay to shoot on sight?

I suspect that ultimately who gets to be a "legal person" and who does not will be decided by a committee, possibly based on some kind of "point system" factoring in things like intelligence, social behavior, and a willingness to respect the aithority of the Pact Worlds legal framework.

And I suspect the politics behind these decisions would be fascinating.


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Very off topic but could you send me a reference for protein nanomachines? As a protein biochemist that would be fascinating.

MakuTheDark wrote:
Hitdice wrote:
MakuTheDark wrote:
Jersey Burke wrote:

(which was defined by biologicals).

And one does not argue with the motives of gods.

Then the Gods underestimate PCs :D

Eh, Androids are androids and a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

But will note Bioroids from Appleseed are actually clones because they use human genomes to be created. They are essentially human despite how they were created.

The source of Android evolution can't have biological origin? Is that a deal breaker?

Pretty much since they are constructs.

Though current nanomachines are made of protein similair to that of Prion, which as discussed early raises the question about virus, prions, and viroid and their status as a living thing.


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The Drunken Dragon wrote:

I mean, the relevance of something "having a soul" tends not to crop up in science-fiction (since most sci-fi tends to dismiss mysticism)...with one very memetic exception. That being said, an android is defined as a robot with a humanoid appearance. In other words, any artificial being that behaves and looks like a human but is otherwise synthetic is an android. A cyborg is an organic lifeform that augments itself with synthetic components, ranging from a random person with a prosthetic limb (the loosest definition) to Nebula from Guardians of the Galaxy (who is basically 98% synthetic but started out and still maintains at least a few organic components).

Honestly, the question that confounds me, pedantically, is what happens when an android gets a heart transplant? Are they an anti-cyborg or something?

If you think the question of "does a sentient construct have a soul" rarely comes up in SF, you need to read more (or better) SF.


It depends on what you mean by "soul" - usually mysticism is not mixed with cybernetics (Shadowrun aside), but it's definitely a recurring trend (with a lot more philosophical debates about what constitutes a "soul").


Paladin of Baha-who? wrote:
The Drunken Dragon wrote:

I mean, the relevance of something "having a soul" tends not to crop up in science-fiction (since most sci-fi tends to dismiss mysticism)...with one very memetic exception. That being said, an android is defined as a robot with a humanoid appearance. In other words, any artificial being that behaves and looks like a human but is otherwise synthetic is an android. A cyborg is an organic lifeform that augments itself with synthetic components, ranging from a random person with a prosthetic limb (the loosest definition) to Nebula from Guardians of the Galaxy (who is basically 98% synthetic but started out and still maintains at least a few organic components).

Honestly, the question that confounds me, pedantically, is what happens when an android gets a heart transplant? Are they an anti-cyborg or something?

If you think the question of "does a sentient construct have a soul" rarely comes up in SF, you need to read more (or better) SF.

Examples?

Similar questions come up, but usually without direct references to "soul". Hell, whether organic creatures have "souls" isn't usually a big question in SF.
Certainly not one with a known, direct answer, like it is in Starfinder.

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