David 8 and Ash: Human-like APs With No Life Protection Protocols.1 Upvotes38 RepliesUpvoteAdd A Reply
The following contains information and data from the Weyland-Yutani Report by S.D. Perry, it was all I was allowed to collate given that I only have an S2 clearance!
Sir Peter Weyland’s lifelong interest in Cybernetics led to the creation of David. Introduced in 2025, David was the first Artificial Person. A combination of advanced sensory hardware, hydraulic bio-mechanical methods and aparatus, poly-nylon tissue compounds and recognition/information amalgamation software. David was a marvel of focus and innovation.
Each progressive incarnation raised the bar for human likeness, incorporating emotive capability, artificial cell regeneration, and nearly exponential increases in processing speed. By 2062, sixth-generation Davids were recognised as artificial by only seven percent of all study participants.
David 8 was the last AP personally designed by Sir Peter Weyland. Lacking Asimov safeguards later instituted by Synthetic Oversight Law, the David 8 aboard the Prometheus was capable of independently formulating plans in order to attain assigned goals, and exhibited behaviours that advanced Weyland’s personal agenda regardless of the outcome for the humans involved. The Company remains unclear about whether David was acting upon Weyland’s orders or via his volition programming, when he added a drop of the Black Goo to the drink he served to Holloway.
Released in 2107, the first Hyperdyne Systems series were integrated into the company workforce, mainly as task workers and research assistants. “Personality” subprograms could be downloaded depending on the AP application. All models ran a laboratory installed subprogram that ensured complete loyalty to Company interests.
As we know, the Hyperdyne 120-A2, known as Science Officer Ash, activated in the year 2118, was on board the Nostromo when the ship encountered Xenomorph XX121 in 2122. Placed aboard the Nostromo at Thedus in 2121 for the return journey to Earth, Ash was designated to be fully loyal to Company interests. The company standard, to place a synthetic aboard every deep space mission, was not yet in place, but it was no accident that Ash was assigned to the Nostromo. The crew was not made aware that they had an AP on board. ‘MOTHER’ had picked up a faint signal on the journey to Thedus and uploaded it to the company net. At the time, the signal was believed to be that of a lost mapping satellite.
The decision was made to replace the serving science officer with an AP so that company interests would be suitably represented. The Nostromo’s return course was uploaded to l-2037 to pass closer to the signal. Ash was unable to procure a Xenomorph specimen as directed. The company line, following Ripley’s deposition was that Ash misinterpreted orders, in fact the AP functioned properly and appropriately and, even after its injury at the hands of the Nostromo's crew, worked to obtain a specimen right up until its disconnection.
COMPANY NOTE: Ash was indeed following orders, it might have been able to carry them out, if not for the interference of crew members.
Ash was equipped with a breakthrough multi-filter sensory system and was one of the first models that could simulate micro-expressions. The 120-A2s were not designed with human life protection protocols, that industry standard was not established until 2124, therefore, Ash’s attack on the Nostromo’s crew was not out of keeping with the specificity of Company orders. The Company was able to blame Ash’s behaviour on a design flaw, there was no secondary backup for the magnetic synapse chamber in the “brain” - but obviously, the 120-A2 attacked WO Ripley before it sustained injury. Ash was ordered to obtain a specimen of the alien at any cost and did its best to fulfil that purpose.
COMPANY NOTE: It is in our interests to study and learn from previous ventures that under perform. In hindsight, had we truly believed we’d picked up the signal of an alien craft we would have sent a team of 120-A2s. The same holds true for the Prometheus mission, which was put together hastily by Sir Peter for personal reasons, and not well managed.
Teams sent after the Xenomorph must be thoroughly vetted for company loyalty and have either scientific or security qualifications to be viable. For example, the medical/secure transport team that would later be assembled to evacuate Ellen Ripley from Fiorina 161 was appropriately prepared. Unfortunately they arrived too late. If we’d had more time with Ripley we would have contained her.
COMNET continues to flag every transmission with key phrases and codes which might indicate alien contact, but without the correct response the data is useless.
Great topic again Lone! Thanks for sharing this up :)
My pleasure Chris!
So, the COMPANY NOTE "had we truly believed we'd pick up the signal of an alien craft we would have sent a team of 120-A2s" has me wondering if the Covenant crew will contain more than a few synthetics, in addition to another David. If that was the case, they too would have no Asimov safeguards!
@Lone many thanks for sharing. This bares on the random nature of W-Y interaction with the Zeno morph in A L I E N and A L I E N S. My recent speculations on how you might reverse engineer these events were curiously enough half right and therefore half wrong.
W-Y lack of intel was responsible for both the diversion by the Nostromo being unprepared and the setting up of the terraforming colony on LV426. In the former case they would have come to the full story through Ripley and in the latter case the placing of the colony on LV426 was without prior knowledge Ripley only coming to forward from deep space once the colony began life. The derelict did not appear to register as a non indigenous object.
However the element which does ring true with the narrative and my speculations is that David and Ash were more than just capable of slave thinking. There more relaxed protocols allowed them to take action which enabled them to get into bed with alien technology.
Most interestingly this as you say sets up the potential for a Robot(s) with Ash's discretionary powers to be on board Covenant, who might come into conflict with both the benign leader of the Covenant and the synthetic "David" who had a separate agenda even before he benefited from some fancy surgery on board a juggernaut.
If David has baited them through a benign deep space message then a team of Robots is unlikely. Indeed would a colony ship set off for a known dangerous target. More likely is some of the Covenant are in the know with discreet robotic support. That puzzle I think will remain for upwards of 425 days.
Hopefully, as I'm new here and don't know whether or not there are any sacred cows that must not be harmed, this won't annoy the author. But the question of Android behavior in the Alien universe has vexed me.
The question I have about this topic is, "Just how canonical is the history presented in these companion books?" When an author provides a detailed history with a timeline that includes laws that govern Android behavior without necessarily accounting for inconsistencies in said behavior that bothers me.
Who says that Asimov's robotic principles are in effect after the 120-A2 series? Bishop claims he operates on at least some of the principles, but dues he really? A later model, Call, is able to participate in a human-smuggling scheme. She is aware that the USM is breeding Aliens and has stolen aboard to sabotage their plans. Surely she knows that the humans will be used as hosts, yet she does nothing to suggest that she, "...won't allow to be harmed a human being." (She did, after all, bring a knife for a reason.) I know she's a different, empathetic variety of Android but that should make her less likely to do harm, not more.
I'm also convinced that the only way an egg could have arrived on the Sulaco, and for it to be hidden below the deckplates, was for Bishop to have smuggled it aboard. (But I know that's just, like, my opinion, man.)
I'm just wondering, and arguing, that whoever authored that piece doesn't account for later events. Unless, of course, he did. I haven't purchased the book and likely won't.
The WYR was driven and approved by Fox, so any new films notwithstanding, it's canon. The book doesn't say 120/A2s had Asimov protocols. It says they were designed without them.
Bishop never does anything that conflicts with the three laws. Call is able to more broadly interpret the laws. She delivered the Xarem hosts to the USM, not knowing they already had a Queen. Her mission was to kill Ripley before they removed it, thus stopping any harm coming to the hosts. And she could make a point by smacking Wren in the face knowing full well she wouldn't actually cause him any harm.
What later events did the author not account for when she wrote it?
We have to remember Synthetics are AI they are Machines, they are Programmable and its not beyond the realms of possibility to re-program or hack them or let a virus do such a thing.
A Machine can have a set of codes it cant break, but it only takes upgrading the Software or replacing the Chips that hold this Software with new ones to then change the behavior.
And in Sci Fi we have seen over and over Machines being made so Advanced with AI that there is a point when Machines can program themselves.
I think Prometheus set down foundations to explore such things... were as Maybe David 8 was granted more freedom of Programming than other models... so he could be closer to the Son that Weyland never had.
But in doing so would lead to potential of Rebellion against creators and Humans... This i think could be a theme they are going for in future movies.
If God had not allowed his Angels and especially Lucifer as much freewill and knowledge then he would have served God 100% and never saw himself as equal.
If Adam and Eve where placed in a Garden no where near the Tree of Knowledge, or Satan had not Fallen and tried to corrupt Mankind by convincing Eve to eat from the tree of knowledge... Then Mankind would have served God to the Letter T without Question.
But Lucifer was allowed more freedom in his programing, and the Apple from the Tree of Knowledge changed the programing of Adam and Eve.
R.I.P Sox 01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017
I was specifically taking issue with this quote above, "...The 120-A2s were not designed with human life protection protocols, that industry standard was not established until 2124..."
What bothers me about that passage was that they argue that the 2124 law somehow instituted mandatory "life protection" protocols. A fourth generation android (Call) was designed to operate in flagrant violation of them. We only accept that Bishop follows them because he said he does.
The author is attempting to create a new history around a law never referenced in the movies and that's what bothers me. It attempts to close off the possibility that android units after 120-A2's operate without life-protection limitations. I argue that nothing in the films supports this.
Even the author, on AVPGalaxy, explains how difficult it is to determine canon due to the immense amount of material.
Now, I suppose you could say that Call was built in clear violation of the law but what does that mean about the law itself? It's not as though W-Y and later the USM was too worried about violating the laws if it suited their purposes. In the end, adding this to the WYR report just seems pointless and contradictory.
As I said, I tend to geek out about this particular topic mainly due to the events in Alien 3. That mysterious egg at the beginning really, really bothers me and I'm unable to accept that the Queen, who had already lost her ovipositor, somehow squirreled away an egg in some crevice of her very bony body. I have to believe that someone else aboard the Sulaco had to have been involved if we want to believe it got aboard in any realistic manner. And the only character left that could have been motivated to do so would have been Bishop, who was one in a series of androids, three of which were completely capable of harming and killing humans. I just have problems with the license the author took for the WYR.
The license she took was done with Fox's involvement and approval. I don't see how Call or Bishop violate the three Asimov laws.
Call? What a huge waste of time that character was!
The poster was good though!
LOL. I thought you didn't think that androids were relevant to the Alien franchise ?
The poster was good though!
'Cause you said so;
"The Alien franchise never needed androids." - S.M
The poster was good though!
There are a number of reasons as to why I have only included information from the W-Y Report about David 8 and Ash, which I thought were self explanatory. But let me spell them out.
The forum my topic was posted to, is the Alien forum, not the Alien movies forum, as I am only discussing the APs from Ridley Scott’s alien universe. I deliberately avoided Bishop or Call as they have no relevance to ALIEN, Prometheus or the upcoming ALIEN Covenant.
It follows, given the timeline, that the AP or APs who may be in ALIEN Covenant will be of a similar ilk, designed without life protection protocols.
Perhaps I am wrong to be so specific, but the point was to give some more background about David and Ash and how this may be relevant to ALIEN Covenant. Naturally, the report covers Bishop and Call, and if anyone else wishes to inform our members what the report contains about them, then please go ahead and create a new topic.
Alienfanatic for what its worth, I agree with your comment about Bishop being the one who planted the egg on board the Sulaco ;)
@Lone; agreed. And i apologise for going off topic slightly. The information you're posting is very much appreciated!
The poster was good though!
@Necro No problem, I was actually replying to Alienfanatics comments! :)
I took your thread starter exactly in the way intended. Here is some information and back ground about W-Y and the androids in the two movies which envelope A L I EN Covenant which might be significant.
The word doppelgänger has been used which in dramatic terms suggest to me the remaining elements of the drama are not certain whom we are dealing with and brings up the notion of the evil twin.
If David 9 is on board the Covenant he would presumably be programmed a la Ash special order 937. He would therefore be a threat to the crew. However he may also be a threat to David 8's self employed ambitions as I alluded to on another thread. Equally Daniels may or not be a robot, given the antagonist is rather well known to us "Old shiny head' the drama may come out of us having a fresh take on allegiances and where the morality ownership is. Given David is a big idea and not just getting ahead, the robots are pre Ash and someone on board knows more than they are letting on I think that is quite likely and rather "Loganesque".
I welcome your continued observations and how they may affect the sandwich filler. For the record emotionally and intellectually my interest ends with JC's film and I noted last night that Damian's universe included Queens and Eggs something which may get into the baking of the Covenant.
"Now, I suppose you could say that Call was built in clear violation of the law but what does that mean about the law itself?"
I think this applies to the whole theme of Prometheus and where it was taking the Franchise..... in that something forbidden is done..
Did the Engineers or their Hierarchy intend for us to create David 8? If we look at God then would creating David 8 be going against the laws of God.
The franchise maybe shows us, that sub-creation maybe happens by another creation creating something against the wishes of their own creator.
So Androids who then go and create other Androids, fits right into it all...
As far as breaking Laws..... well we have to look at God/Satan aspect... and that if God created the Angels and in particular Lucifer without having any kind of freewill and so like pre-programed Robots then none of the bother of the Fall and maybe need to create Mankind would never had happened.
Then we go to Mankind, if Eve never ate from the Tree of Knowledge or Adam, then we could assume Mankind would have lived on in 100% obedience of the Laws of God, and Mankind would never had been corrupt race.
So while Laws can be governed to beings or Androids, by forbidden knowledge (re-programing) these Laws can be broken or bent.
R.I.P Sox 01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017
"I agree with your comment about Bishop being the one who planted the egg on board the Sulaco ;)"
There was always that Mystery as to how that happened, but there was more than One Egg and yes No Way the Queen could carry them on board.
Maybe she could lay new ones or spores that could evolve into new ones? It was never covered.
And so the possibility of Android be that Bishop or another on board the ship managed to obtain a Egg or Two. Would the company not have a contingency plan?
But yes this was due to a Plot Hole in Alien 3 where they never gave it much thought.
But maybe Alien 5 could explain what happened here? or clues afterwards.
R.I.P Sox 01/01/2006 - 11/10/2017
Ah good I was wanting to revisit this topic.
But first: Inasmuch as I have no ideas about how the Egg got aboard the Sulaco (other than narrative convenience) I do know what I wish it was.
A3 tried for a dark tone but they missed an opportunity; the Egg should have been Newt. Then we could have had the added discomfort of Ripley having been impregnated by Newt.
As for the importance of AI in the Alien universe and Prometheus specifically, let's consider Spaight's script, which while heavily re worked still existed as subtext in Prometheus.
Spaight's Synthetic was quite a bit smarter and stronger than its human fellows, which is easily assumed even were it not spelled out clearly. It was also, as they all were, undistracted by things like morality (in other words human protection protocols) or panic. This arguably propelled the plot and enabled such actions as deciphering the functionality of the Juggernaut, a feat of vast intelligence that seems more than beyond Shaw, for example, even if she didn't have other concerns like survival.
There appears to be an admirable effort in the WYR to backtrack and pull all these threads together, and that's quite a feat, especially given that Resurrection for example was written by Joss Whedon, and IMO the Call character wasn't written with much more thought behind it than to exist as a plot device.
@Lone- Here we are back to personal canon. I'm imagining that for you the preferred Alien universe would be limited to Ridley's vision? It definitely is for me. In many ways, the only other director to come close to matching Ridley's visual and intellectual aesthetic was Fincher, and he only partially succeeded. Cameron and Juenet made interesting films but their ideas and visuals miss the mark in so many places. And don't even get me started on this whole Predator thing, get it off my plate!
A lot of people argue that Ridley didn't write Alien and is given too much credit. That is half true, he didn't write it, but it was his vision that brought all those elements together, he knew what to fight for and what to let go, including ideas in Star Beast that only diluted the story. I'm loyal to Ridley's vision alone.
Aorta - "@Lone- Here we are back to personal canon. I'm imagining that for you the preferred Alien universe would be limited to Ridley's vision? It definitely is for me."
I have a similar preferred vision but I prefer to think of ALIEN as being contained in it's own little universe. All the other instalments being a separate entity that exist in different universes.
Camerons vision is just not to my taste at all. I fuckin' hate that giant fuckin' bug (the queen,) Because it's too much like our terrestrial creatures in many ways. I think of it as being a plot device born of a lazy imagination.
He should have gone with the Egg morph idea! Much better!
But that's just the way I want it to be. The fact of the matter is, whether we like it or not, there is no chance that FOX will scrap/void the queen concept, unfortunately.
It wouldn't surprise me one little bit if they show a queen, or some sort of manifestation of it in A:C.
That's one of the main reason's I'm so nervous about it.
There are a lot of people that assume the deacon from Prometheus is a queen or some manifestation of it. Even when you look at the mural closely you can see that it bares a strong resemblance to it. I can really see them taking this route and that's why I'm not so optimistic about it.
Anyway back on topic. ASH and David are great as they are. If they were programmed with the Asimov laws they would be a lot less interesting. Like Bishop.
The poster was good though!
When I say FOX, I really mean Brandywine/FOX. Brandywine are a bunch of cunts (sorry for the fowl language but that's the only way to describe them really.) They can sue me for that if they want, it's not as if I've got anything to give 'em anyway apart from this laptop.
Does anybody really think for one second that Brandywine/FOX will show Cameron that his film and idea's are no longer relevant to the universe? Really?
They see Cameron as being a person that can pull in audiences and sell tickets. There's no way they will even consider pissing him off!
Please, somebody slap me round the face and tell me I'm talking shite!
The poster was good though!
I remember some indignation on this forum that the 'Asimov' protocols were not in evidence in Prometheus, as if they ever were in any other film except Aliens. And very much agreed, how dull it would be if they were.
If we are indeed made to endure another manifestation of Cameron's ego (the Queen) then it's more likely to be in Blomkamp's movie, in fact that seems to be guaranteed. If Ridley has one, I'm confident it would be very different to what we know. I just think there are plenty of other things to explore in Covenant without going there.
Pretty much the one positive about Blomkamp's movie (for me) is that it opens up the possibility of two separate tangents to satisfy the divergent tastes of the fans. There could be something for everybody if they go this route. I have to say though, I'd rather see a movie like Alien 5 in Cameron's hands.
I also see Alien as sort of a separate story now, one brief encounter with an aspect of the incredible power of MORB biology. That's partially why I think the Synthetics are the story now, they're just a dangerous as the things they pursue.
They almost all have to exist in different universes, so many liberties were taken with the look and feel across all 4 films that there's little cohesion.
A3 had this almost turn of the century decor overlaid onto a giant factory, it's as if several different films were being made at once. One thing all this did achieve was opening the door for Prometheus to explore an alternate vibe as well, and one of the many reasons I'm excited about Ridley moving forward is not just his excellent taste, but there being some actual continuity for once.
There was no Cameron to be seen in Prometheus, and I'm sure that trend will continue moving forward with Covenant. Now Blomkamp however...
hahaha autocorrect spelled Blomkamp 'Guam come'. I'm dictating right now.
anyway, the only slaves to Cameron are the people who work for him. Don't worry.
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