Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis

TagIsaac (robot in Orvilles 3)

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The Orville Episode 2: Bacterial Assimilation? — It Gets Messy

A ship that crew members investigate turns out to be a deadly mixture of mechanical — and organic — material

Episode 2 of Season 3 opens with the Orville crew beginning its negotiations with the Krill, an aggressive reptilian species that has joined a temporary alliance with the Planetary Union of flight-capable species to counter the new threat from the Kaylon, an artificially intelligent species. A Krill moment: The Orville group begin by discussing routes through the Krill territory, so the Union can explore the regions of space on the other side. The discussion grows tense when the admiral who has boarded the Orville for the negotiations, Admiral Paul Christie, mentions exploring the Kalarr Expanse (the “Shadow Realm”). The Krill become nervous about this request, telling Ed Mercer and Kelly Grayson, and Christie that demons dwell there. And that they Read More ›

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Mechanized industry robot and human worker working together in future factory . Concept of artificial intelligence for industrial revolution and automation manufacturing process .

Orville Episode 1: We Witness — a Robotic Resurrection!

In this final look at Episode 1 of Season Three, we see how love for a robot, unexamined, entails a loss of sense and meaning

After I rolled my eyes for what felt like twenty minutes, waiting for the writers to quit wasting time with the whole “Isaac is really dead! We mean it!” routine, somebody finally realizes that there is a way to save the poor robot’s life. Apparently, the robot has a backup, of a backup, of a backup file buried deep inside his brain. The engineer, LaMarr, is fairly certain he can reconstruct Isaac’s programming using this secret backup file. If this sounds lazy and contrived to you, you’ll love this next part. Remember Charly, the girl who was super hateful to the robot at the beginning of the episode? Well, apparently, she is the newest high-ranking member in the crew, despite Read More ›

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White futuristic robot, crossed arms, unhappy face

When a Robot Commits Suicide — an Elegy for What?

What’s frustrating about Episode 1 of Orville, Season Three is that robot Isaac’s claim to personhood is not ambiguous so much as confused and contradictory

Last time, we began our review of The Orville, Season Three, by discussing the unorthodox relationship between Isaac, the ship’s token robot, and Dr. Claire Finn. The bottom line is that they were romantically involved until Isaac turned out to be a sleeper cell for his race of robots, the Kaylon, who controlled an entire planet. In a climactic moment, Isaac — because of his attachment to Dr. Finn’s son Ty — defeats his programming and saves the Orville. Unfortunately, however, in the battle between the Kaylon and the Union fleet, many Union soldiers were killed defeating the Kaylon — and most in the Orville’s crew have not forgotten it. Dr. Finn and Isaac’s relationship remains somewhat ambiguous. What feels Read More ›

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Thinking robot

Should We Love or Hate an Intelligent Robot? Or Care at All?

In Season 3 of Orville that becomes a serious question

The Orville Season 3 was recommended to me by a reader. I recall seeing a large portion of the first season and enjoying it. I had not watched the second season until preparing for this series of reviews. Unfortunately, I must say at the outset that I found myself very disappointed in Season Three, ironically called New Horizons because it only retreads about half of Season Two. This latest season fell far short of my expectations which were based on my memories of the first season. Still, we’re going to take a look at each episode and see where the problems lie. Before beginning our review of the first episode, a little prologue is required. During the midpoint of the Read More ›