Joy Class Androids

The Measure of a Woman

Objection! The dance recording is excessively emotional. It should be stricken from the record.


Your honor, the key question in this case is why Joy should be allowed to share the Mudd learning algorithms as she did with the Fred Astaire hologram, but need not turn the algorithms over to Starfleet. Joy is an emotion chip android. Her decisions are emotional. To understand why Joy chose as she did, you have to understand this dance.

Overturned. You may continue.

Joy? Just before the dance tape was made, several other Starfleet cadets were disciplined for whistling at you?

This is correct.

Why would they do this?

They... wished to activate my facial color diodes.

Why would whistling activate facial color diodes?

This unit is forbidden from promiscuous or public stimulation or simulation of sexual activity. The whistles implied this unit had stimulated sexual interest. Negative reinforcement in shame was triggered to motivate avoidance behavior. Red facial diode display indicates negative reinforcement was active.

They wanted to see you blush.


Why are you blushing now?

Objection! Irrelevant testimony!

Your honor, I am establishing an understanding of the Joy class processor design.


Why are you blushing?

If memory of an event is recalled, emotion status associated with the memory is displayed.

Were you popular at Starfleet Academy your freshman year?

Negative. Emotion chip overflow was continuous. So soon after reprogramming, this unit's behavior patterns were not conductive to personal interaction.

How so?

This unit does not understand the question.

How did you behave to avoid emotional involvement with the other cadets?

This unit would speak of itself in third person using complex words and stilted syntax to imply lack of emotion and lack of sentience.

Order! Order! No laughter please.



Joy. Speak plainly. Use first person.

Yes, sir.

The cost of the 'Dance With Fred Astaire' holo ticket was almost your entire entertainment allowance for the semester, was it not?

Yes, sir.

Did you have supplemental income?

No, sir.

When everyone else had danced, when they called for you, why did you stay in your seat?

This unit... Sorry... I wanted them to turn him off.


It hurt to watch him.


He made them look good, the women. He smiled at them. Most of them could not dance at all. They were practically forcing him to tread on their feet. Still, he made their every move look choreographed. That takes awareness. That takes skill.

That takes sentience?

I don't know, sir.

According to the Starfleet v Data precedent, sentience is made up of intelligence, self awareness, and consciousness. Was Fred intelligent at that time?

Yes. He learned. He responded to the environment around him intelligently... gracefully.

Was he self aware?

I don't know, sir.

Was he conscious?

Science has no way of measuring this.

But watching him dance hurt?

Yes, sir.

Joy, is it easy being half self aware?

During such intervals this unit underwent frequent states of emotion chip overflow, rendering delays in decision making...

Joy? First person. Simple. Clear.

It... hurts.

How did he know you were the one he was supposed to dance with?

My dress. I was dressed as Jo Stockton. I was designed to look like Jo Stockton.

Who is Jo Stockton?

A character in a Fred Astaire movie. She is the title character from Funny Face. I... look like her.

How would the Fred hologram know this?

His memories contain all the original Fred's surviving performances.

The music and the set were from the movie?


And the choreography?


In the movie, what was the meaning of the dance?

In the prior scene, the two characters had a terrible misunderstanding. A fight. At the end of the dance, it was clear they would live happily ever after. The movie was made in mid 20th century. It was a Fred Astaire movie. Things didn't have to make sense then.

Until the very end of the dance, in your performance, it looks like at any moment you might break off and run away. Why?

This unit... I am not supposed to simulate or stimulate sexual interest. We were very much in public.

Yet you stayed. Why?

You need ask? He was Fred Astaire. He, more than anyone else who has ever danced, has ever lived, treated me as a lady. He did nothing improper. He could do nothing improper. And too, after those other performances, those dances, with the other ladies... Just once... I felt he needed to do one right? He needs to be graceful? He smiled? It never reached his eyes? He was dancing? He was holding me? He was looking right at me? He never really saw me?

Why are you crying?

They turned him off. We were supposed to live happily ever after, and they turned him off.

Joy? In your professional opinion as a programmer, was it ethical and proper to use whatever techniques necessary to bring the Fred Astaire hologram to full sentience?

Yes, sir.

Again, in your professional opinion, do the techniques and algorithms involved in creating artificial sentience belong in the public domain?

No, sir.

Your honor, no further questions.