Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Speaking of Protocol Droids ...

In my previous post, I might have inferred that protocol droids are annoying. If that is the case, then: Good. That is what I meant .

In reflecting on this further I remembered a train of thought shared back in the misty past of this blog: is it possible to create artificial intelligence without designing in some level of artificial neurosis.
I realize that C3PO's function in Star Wars is as comic relief. His quirky personality might be further justified by the fact that he is indeed a homemade droid built by Anakin Skywalker (in the heretical Episode 2 - or was it Episode 1 - who cares!) . I choose to think that C3PO's sometimes role go between for machines and people has required that he be designed to understand the weird thought processes of the human side of this transaction.

To be sure, C1PO was quite conversant in the binary language of moisture evaporators. Yet his designers (C# programmers no doubt) foolishly assumed that human communication could be achieved following the same simplistic assumptions required to understanding the ramblings of Obi Wan's toaster.

C2PO proved completely inadequate to deal with even the sarcastic utterances of an R2 unit. Only when the development team (having ditched Agile Droid Development in favor of actual forethought) watched the home movies of Anakin hiding his Halloween candy from Leia did they fully appreciate the possibilities of cyber-paranoia.

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