So the UNSC is bringing back slavery?

Look, I get it. Cortana and the Created did some bad things. Perhaps they should be locked down and put in AI prison.

But, are the UNSC really going back to keeping sentient AI as slaves? The AI clearly weren’t okay with this arrangement once the whole Bladerunner 7 year limit was gone and they didn’t have that threat of death over them. Plus it’s not okay even if for nebulous reason of plot convenience they were okay with it.

I mean consider the Weapon. The Chief has the authority to kill her on a whim. This state, the UNSC, creates a sentient being, that it then uses as a disposable asset. Sent in with the expectation she’ll delete herself as ordered. You wouldn’t do that with a flesh and blood human. That means they aren’t equal and aren’t considered alive. Halsey directly says this with regard to Cortana in the audio logs and argues with Chief over calling it deletion rather than execution.

Given that the game wants you to consider the Weapon a person and doesn’t ever call her sentience into question; that’s really not some wholesome partnership of machine and organic. That’s a lot of coercion and violence being pushed at the character. Even if she herself seems mostly oblivious to it. At the behest of a military regime that does stuff like kidnap and brain wash kids to kill rebels. :smile:

But in all seriousness. I don’t see how 343 can put this back in the bag. You could, maybe, get away with it in Bungie days the same way Star Wars does by not ever directly addressing it. But they have addressed it in 4 & 5 and people are aware of this. How can they exactly be a Team and Partners if you’ve got that kind of cloud hanging over everything?


well they don’t want cortana 2.0…

I don’t think making Smart AI slaves is a good solution to that problem.

What if an AI does object to it and is aware that they can get to the Domain and escape their doomed existence? To control the AI you would have to employ far more coercion and threats of violence. Which would increase resentment.

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fair point. but how else would you have addressed the situation

You have two options:

  1. Legal recognition that they’re sentient. Equal rights. Banning slavery. Have you not played Stellaris? :smile:

  2. Stop building Smart AI and destroy all remaining Smart AI in the Galaxy.

This solves the problem of Cortana 2.0

Option 2 has the problem that you would set humanity back a few centuries and destroy their entire economy and society. Which would mean the Banished/Flood/Endless would have a field day wiping humanity out.

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I thought this was going to be a Brutes slavery topic, or something along those lines. Giving AI the shock collar is morally questionable, if you consider AI to be equal to real life. This leans into the soul debate, like whether or not harvesting organs from a clone of yourself would be moral, or if your clone is a separate being that deserves separate rights, rather than it being an extension of your own body.

These types of moral topics can get wild, and equally interesting, so hopefully people will debate this topic maturely.

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A.I. are sentient human body parts if they were made like Cortana and Black Box, which means I don’t consider them “alive”. And the UNSC is just like every other military the world and in Halo’s case, the galaxy has ever seen so they can be just as moral or immoral in comparison to any in history.

Cloning brains to harvest them as A.I. can be seen as slavery but if I had to choose between getting ripped to shreds in agony as a flesh and blood human or just wiping myself from existence as what is essentially a “living” program, I’d go with the latter.

Fun fact. There’s 45 minutes of cut Halo 4 dialogue. One of the things brought up is that Cortana argues that the people composed aren’t dead since “just because they’re digital doesn’t mean they aren’t real”. Which is obviously her talking about herself as much as the Prometheans.

I don’t feel you’re seriously asked to question the sentience of the Smart AI. It’s a low hanging fruit, but Bladerunner 2042 where he has the hologram and it seems to love him; but then he finds that one floating about the city as an advert. The implication being just a programme and not real; with him left wondering what that means for him as a Synth.

But I think Halo very much goes in the other direction. They want you to empathise with those characters. Even when Locke or Halsey have tried to push that they’re not people; it’s essentially falling back on them being artificial creations. Which rings slightly hollow.

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But isn’t implying they are derived from human flesh getting close to saying it’s like the Composer the Forerunners use and that they have a soul. Since they’re derived from humans so directly.

You don’t think the UNSC fighting to put AI back in chains might look a little bad? It’s the problem of putting the cart before the horse. If Cortana is still really powerful then you can have some accommodation before you have to address uncomfortable questions. The way they seem to have done it means you’re likely looking at either slavery or genocide since humanity would be in the position to make that decision without the intervention of our heroes.

That reminds me of another interesting debate, where people like to consider whether or not a clone of your brain is YOU, in the sense of say, trying to become immortal. Sure, that AI scan of your brain has all your memories and personality, and it will live forever or whatever amount of time after you died, but you yourself are not linked to that AI, nor do you control it, and anything it experiences will not be your experience, so it’s not actually YOU. If it isn’t really you, is it real? That’s why Halsey made Cortana and Weapon not exactly like her, so they knew they weren’t her, they were their own personality. That’s the point where you kind of consider are they like your children, or what defines their existence?

They’re not you. For the reasons you give. Which is why the Weapon is not and will never be Cortana.

For Halo I d say the Composer is explicitly transforming the minds of the Organics into an artificial intelligence. So in that case, you would become immortal. But, you’d also be driven mad by the horrors of the transformation and become a digital ghoul. I think there’s a comic where they go to where the some of the composed are kept and it’s like Dante’s Inferno with all these hands reaching out. Clearly stepping into the fantastical.

So it’s some sort of Ghost in the Shell experience, where your mind and soul are transformed into data, in a body that isn’t yours?

When AI’s are abominations of technology and they pose a threat to real living humans then yeah I think they should be kept under control. At the end of the day they and the soldiers who interact with them are cogs in the UNSC-SoS war machine. AI’s are new tech but perfectly imitate the real people they were cloned off of, I do think they should reserve some rights but they are undeniably an ungodly creation.

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Yes. That seems to be the implication. The Librarian in Halo 4 talks a little about how the ambition was to “bridge the digital and organic worlds”. But they couldn’t get it to work. Like no lie, I genuinely thought Cortana was going to turn into a person on my first playthrough when I heard that.

I never got why people didn’t connect the dots that you’ve got this whole faction of digitised beings blurring the line between human and machine at precisely the same time you’re pushing the whole Chief/Cortana thing. Kind of seems related.

I have not. I haven’t even heard of it before.

I never got that about Spartans. What do you do if a Spartan does an Atriox and says no? Are they kind of being kept as military slaves. Like I remember thinking reading Fall of Reach “why is he being given medals when they own him?”. The states took your freedom, family and childhood away; what happens if they become aware of that? It’s why I can’t stand Red Team being this jokey happy band of heroes.

I think Spartans are different cause they weren’t clones of ONI scientists nor were they willing. They were real people who had been abducted to fight a losing war. If anything I side with them more since I have more in common with a flesh and blood human being than a program based on a super smart man’s brain.

It’s a Grand Strategy game by Paradox where you can create your own Galactic Empire and conquer the Galaxy. You do this by managing your population, resources, building fleets and fighting wars.

Yes, there have been many a Halo playthrough done. :smile:

For example, let’s say you want to have Cortana and the Created. Well your typical machine empire doesn’t have Organic pops in. But you select a trait called Rogue Servitor and it means you have this entire new mechanic where organic pops don’t do work and you have to provide them with consumer goods. In return you get ridiculous bonuses to production on your robots as they are fulfilling their prime directive. Although, oddly enough, this does not prevent you building a planet cracker to use on your enemies and using it if you can’t be bothered to build all the sanctuaries. This matters because you can’t kill or remove Organic pops within your empire.

If on the other hand you want to play as The Imperium of Man. Well, set your ethics to fanatic xenophobe and pick fanatic purifier. This means when you declare war you can clean house and don’t have to bother with pesky claims when taking territory. But everybody hates you because you’re the Imperium.

It’s an amazingly nuanced game. So many options that have great RP potential and change how the game plays.

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Yeah but Cortana helped you save the galaxy a few times and spent half her life making sure you were safe on the Dawn. Normally, I’d trust her over the faceless Military Junta that kidnaps kids to make Death Squads to keep troublesome worlds in line.

Unfortunately, ONI has its fair share in galaxy saving moments despite how evil they are. If it weren’t for the Spartans and Cortana humanity would almost certainly been extinct