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Author Topic: How old are the humanoid AI chassis?  (Read 1523 times)

keithcurtis

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How old are the humanoid AI chassis?
« on: 01 Jun 2018, 21:54 »

I was binging some older strips and had totally forgotten that Winslow's current body is not his first experience with a humaniform chassis. He briefly inhabited a prototype that debuted in this strip (1010). I'm not sure how much in-universe time passes in QC, but it seems like the world has moved awfully quickly from a model that surprised and shocked the entire cast as something hitherto unprecedented, to a world in which humanoid model chassis are fairly commonplace. Even May has one, third rate as it is, and Bubbles certainly has had one long enough to have a history with it in addition to it being extremely advanced. Was this addressed anywhere in a story line or post from Jeph? Or is this just a matter of authorial revision of the concept?

Apologies if this has been discussed before. I'm still learning the forum.
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Mr_Rose

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Re: How old are the humanoid AI chassis?
« Reply #1 on: 02 Jun 2018, 03:23 »

Apart from anything else there have been several unmarked time-skips since that model was introduced so your idea of how long it’s been may need adjusting if you haven’t already accounted for them.

Other things to consider:
Bubbles is explicitly a prototype created with military funding (i.e. throw money at the problem until it goes away or Congress objects) and probably represents the grandparent of several technologies now in consumer hands and such projects are typically several years ahead of what is state-of-the-art even for early adopters.
Just how common are humanoid bodies anyway? Yes we occasionally see them in street views in more recent strips but they simply weren’t there before the fight club arc – it’s possible they were only developed commercially after the AI rights act created both a market for them and a whole bevy of new consumers wanting to buy them for personal use. History is littered with technologies that existed long before anyone thought to put them in a mass market device.
The other thing to consider is that the robot boyfriend was explicitly exactly that – something to help Hannelore with her issues created by a well-meaning but completely daft father who lives on a space station with the rest of his mad-scientist buddies – there is an interpretation of the cast’s reactions that is more ‘whoa that’s weird/messed-up/dumb’ rather than ‘whoa that’s new/amazing’ and, having gone back and re-read that arc I’m pretty sure I know which one I favour.
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Undrneath

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Re: How old are the humanoid AI chassis?
« Reply #2 on: 02 Jun 2018, 03:31 »

Since the early comics Jeph has retconed things that that Gordon and an early human chassis were around when Marten got Pintsize.
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Castlerook

Re: How old are the humanoid AI chassis?
« Reply #3 on: 02 Jun 2018, 08:15 »

Bear in mind that what first appears commercially could be appearing several years or even decades after what was first produced in research.

In robotics, the humanoid form is considered to be one of the holy grails of development because of the many, many, many challenges the form presents, not least that its not a particularly stable form to move about it. Combine that with years of research, development and refinement, the oldest humanoid chassis could be quite old, even by AI standards.
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Mr_Rose

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Re: How old are the humanoid AI chassis?
« Reply #4 on: 02 Jun 2018, 12:24 »

Also, what are you defining as humanoid? The generically human-shaped ‘tin man’ type chassis like Punchbot, or the much more humaniform ones like Momo or Winslow?
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Castlerook

Re: How old are the humanoid AI chassis?
« Reply #5 on: 02 Jun 2018, 13:04 »

Humanoid is defined as having an appearance resembling a human without actually being one.

Consider this, ASIMO is the most recognisably humanoid robot in our world, though there are others more advanced or more human looking, but ASIMO is still recognisably human.

So basically Punchbot.
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specter177

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Re: How old are the humanoid AI chassis?
« Reply #6 on: 03 Jun 2018, 03:47 »

So I've been going through a binge re-read and saw this one way back in 2005 (I assume, based on the copyright).

http://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=855
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Castlerook

Re: How old are the humanoid AI chassis?
« Reply #7 on: 03 Jun 2018, 04:51 »

Would it count though, considering that Eve was a one-shot crossover from another comic, one that has been on hiatus since 2010?
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specter177

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Re: How old are the humanoid AI chassis?
« Reply #8 on: 03 Jun 2018, 04:56 »

Didn't know the background of it.
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specter177

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Re: How old are the humanoid AI chassis?
« Reply #9 on: 03 Jun 2018, 05:00 »

But sure, why not? It wasn't a guest comic, and other than strip 666 I think they're all canon. Especially since Jeph as shown human looking AIs in flashbacks now, and we know Bubbles started out around the same time Pintsize got his laser chassis.
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specter177

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Re: How old are the humanoid AI chassis?
« Reply #10 on: 03 Jun 2018, 05:30 »

 Though re-reading 1011 it appears they were at least very rare. I'd guess they didn't become popular until they became cheap enough for normal people to afford, around when Momo got her new body.
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Re: How old are the humanoid AI chassis?
« Reply #11 on: 03 Jun 2018, 08:27 »

Even then only marginally affordable.
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keithcurtis

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Re: How old are the humanoid AI chassis?
« Reply #12 on: 03 Jun 2018, 09:36 »

After reading the answers, it still feels like a soft retcon. Kind of like the strip where Jeph panned right to show that Cosette and Penelope* were still working in the CoD, but just "off-camera". In other words, the humaniforms (which I don't include Punchbot in**) could certainly have been there all along. They just weren't vital to any storyline.

Still it's odd that When Winslow finally got his new chassis, there was no reference at all to the previous experience.

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*I think...

**He mimics the human shape, but doesn't have hair, a human shaped head, humanly-tapered limbs, etc. My thread, my (arbitrary) rules. :D
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Castlerook

Re: How old are the humanoid AI chassis?
« Reply #13 on: 03 Jun 2018, 10:12 »

I wouldn't say it was a soft retcon, more like the technology advancing.

AnthroPCs were common enough, but you never saw them outside of the homes of their companions or specialised cafes. But with the advances in technology, beginning with the prototype Hanners' father sent down, we're simply seeing more, especially when AI are probably helping to design the next generation of chassis or reducing the cost of their creation.
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awgiedawgie

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Re: How old are the humanoid AI chassis?
« Reply #14 on: 03 Jun 2018, 12:04 »

Though re-reading 1011 it appears they were at least very rare. I'd guess they didn't become popular until they became cheap enough for normal people to afford, around when Momo got her new body.
Even then only marginally affordable.
When you consider the chassis Momo was originally looking at was $30,000 and the price of the one she ended up with was still high enough that the sales girl wouldn’t even say it out loud.
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specter177

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Re: How old are the humanoid AI chassis?
« Reply #15 on: 06 Jun 2018, 08:21 »

Affordable in the sense that a car is affordable.
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cybersmurf

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Re: How old are the humanoid AI chassis?
« Reply #16 on: 18 Jun 2018, 04:19 »

Given that Momo is paying for her own chassis, and it's definetly been a good amount of months and she's still paying q good amount of her paycheck (i assume, since she doesn't need food) you can make a guesstimate.
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hedgie

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Re: How old are the humanoid AI chassis?
« Reply #17 on: 18 Jun 2018, 10:29 »

She isn't paying for it any more.  Marigold forgave the debt so that Momo would have enough money to pay rent after Angus moved out.
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awgiedawgie

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Re: How old are the humanoid AI chassis?
« Reply #18 on: 23 Jun 2018, 18:56 »

Given that Momo is paying for her own chassis, and it's definetly been a good amount of months and she's still paying q good amount of her paycheck (i assume, since she doesn't need food) you can make a guesstimate.
She isn't paying for it any more.  Marigold forgave the debt so that Momo would have enough money to pay rent after Angus moved out.
And we have no idea how much Momo actually makes at her job, so even when she was using that to pay Marigold back, we don't really know how much she might have been paying, and how much of it Marigold was paying. Not much to go on.
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