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» Flare Sci-Fi Forums » Star Trek » Starships & Technology » EMH > Data (Page 1)

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Author Topic: EMH > Data
Daniel Butler
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I'm watching Voyager through, something I've never done (I estimate I've seen about 1/3 of the Voyager eps randomly out of order over the years). I can't help but notice...the EMH seems very human compared to Data and the ships computers. He seems to have a wry sense of humor (although he rarely cracks anything like a joke, he seems to be quite un-puzzled by others making them), uses human speech patterns (including contractions), and has a real personality about him, whereas Data (in the beginning at least) seemed more 2-dimensional to me.

So...if EMH mk I > Soong-type androids... why couldn't Data just download some code or something into his head? [Razz]

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HopefulNebula
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Well, Soong programmed Data to be less "human."

I think part of it, too, is that the EMH programs are all based on the personalities of specific people (cf. that one episode of DS9 where they find out Bashir's heritage). It can't be all of it, because the EMHs are obviously capable of acting independently of their... namesakes? image-sakes? whatever.

Plus, a lot of the Holodoc's personality is what he's built himself over the years, similar to Data.

(Speaking of which, Data *did* "just download some code or something into his head." It just wasn't the same kind of code.

(And it's 1:30am and I'm going to bed, so if this doesn't make sense, feel free to mock me.)

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Sean
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I'd assume that giving a hologram a "personality" is a lot less complicated than giving one to Data. The Doctor is pretty much just a souped-up, more advanced version of something found on the holodeck. And, we've seen through Vic ( I think that was his name)in DS9 that holodeck "characters" can evolve, if left running, and the Doctor was constantly running through most of Voyager's 7 year journey. I'm assuming that it is easier to give holograms some personality, because they are just one or a few programs run on the ship's computer, and therefor there would be more room either within the programs themselves for expansion, or, most definitely enough room on the ship's "hard drive" for one or two "personality programs". Data was a much more complicated piece of technology, so

I'm guessing that in the end, there just wasn't enough space inside Data to run an emotion program, and the new Data 2.0 software required to make it run smoothly. I'd assume that the emotion chip and it's related software fundamentally changes how many of Data's system function, where as with the EMH, adding and updating an emotion program is probably no more complicated than updating the anti-virus software on your computer ( something I'm getting pretty good at as of recently).

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Vanguard
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Well, the easiest answer is that Data was a product of Roddenberry while the EMH was not. GR was adamantly opposed to having computers with 'thinking brains' as a natural or good extension of technology (look at how much we see in TOS where it's a problem, and how even the first season of TNG addresses it).

Data was far less hampered by the technology of the fiction in Star Trek (indeed, he gets personalities on many occaisions), and much more so by the ideology of Trek's creator.

Of course, when Voyager finally came out, Roddenberry was no longer a factor.

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Johnny
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Didn't HopefulNebula get it right? Soong made Lore first, but people he interacted with were put off by him (some sort of uncanny valley type thing), so he intentionally made Data less human.

Doesn't explain why Data couldn't just download some extra code, but maybe Soong went as far as to stop that from being possible. He might've made it so Data could only evolve by himself, perhaps so that he only became "human" once people had had time to become used to him and think of him as a person anyway.

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Daniel Butler
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I thought people were put off by Lore because he was a psychotic bastard, and that he lied and said they found him to be 'too human.' I thought Soong programmed Data less human because he thought that would prevent the whole psychotic bastard thing. Mebbes I'm wrongohs.

Anyway, my real problem was that even in the first season the EMH was more human than Data was in the latest movie, were he had his emotion chip for years, had been evolving since his activation (at least 20+ years, isn't it?), etc. The EMH is way over the uncanny valley; he interacted, spoke, and reacted exactly like a human being. In fact making him a hologram didn't seem to have a point to me; I would have bought the character as-is as a human being. And on a secondary note, that's what made it so unbelievable to me that everyone was like "ugh hologram doctor? fuck u d00d" and so reluctant to grant him sentient rights.

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HerbShrump
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EMH also comes about after Starfleet had time to study Data. Perhaps they were able to learn and build upon Soon's work, to a certain extent.
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Sean
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Well, in the case of the EMH, he is a doctor. I'd guess that most people want their doctor to have a personality, and not be an emotionless genius like Data. Doc probably already had the basic emotions and personality necessary for him to be an effective doctor, even for a short time, and he probably modified or enhanced his program once he found out that he'd be in operation for a long while.

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Daniel Butler
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Yeah, I guess I'm still not making myself clear...it's not that I don't understand why the EMH is so human, I don't understand how the Federation had the technology to make him so, considering Data was a completely astonishing unique find. Herb's explanation sort of satisfies me.
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Omega
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My suspicion would be that what makes Data interesting is his size. When it comes down to it, all any AI is is a computer program and the hardware it's running on. Soong may have just been the first (in the Federation at least) to figure out how to create a computer fast enough to run a complex AI program, small enough to fit inside a human skull. Holograms have the benefit of a ship's entire computer core to run on. As we see in DS9, "Our Man Bashir" I believe, five full human personalities take up most of one of those computer cores. I suppose that's what makes the mobile holographic emitter so frikin' cool.

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Sean
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quote:
Originally posted by Daniel Butler:
Yeah, I guess I'm still not making myself clear...it's not that I don't understand why the EMH is so human, I don't understand how the Federation had the technology to make him so, considering Data was a completely astonishing unique find. Herb's explanation sort of satisfies me.

Well, the EMH is a hologram, pretty similar to a hologram on the holodeck. If Starfleet can make them so human, there's no reason why they can't make the Doctor seemingly human. I'd guess that it's all about a set of parameters set into their programs, the only difference is that the Doctor is set to have a certain type of personality ( snappy, sarcastic) instead of directly copying the personality on another person. Then again, for all we know, the EMH could be based on a real person.

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"Fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity".
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Daniel Butler
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Like Dr. Zimmerman? [Wink]
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Mark Nguyen
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Or an idealized version thereof. [Smile]

I think the real difference is that Data was allowed to develop genuine emotions, rather than simply emote them according to personality programming. His emotion chip was meant not as much to enable him to feel, but to unlock his ability to do so.

Also, shouldn't this be in the Tech forum?

Mark

[ August 28, 2008, 08:51 AM: Message edited by: Mark Nguyen ]

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Daniel Butler
I'm a Singapore where is my boat
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I wasn't sure. A mighty god will move it if he wishes.
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The Ginger Beacon
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I never got why Data was seen to be such a technological marvel. I mean, we'd all ready seen a number of advanced androids in TOS, not to mention the Ilea probe in TMP.

True, none of these were built by humans, but I would of thought that some one would be looking at Dr McCoys tricorder readings.

I don't think that the Doctor was a better representation of a human than Data, in terms of both being synthetic life forms. The Doctor just had a better developed personality.

Also, Data had it as a core part of his programing to strive to be better, not just download a new patch to make him more human.

This is one of the things I didn't like about him just popping in the emotion chip (although thats kinda different, as Soong made it with the intention of Data having it).

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