I Robot meets Dorsai


I don't mean to pick on LtJg Graeme here, but his Dorsai background and position as Joy's department head have offered opportunity for an introduction to Joy...

LtJg Graeme

This unit is Joy Class android Five, constructed on planet Mudd, recently adapted to Federation use though assimilation of Dean Savic's Starfleet Academy variants of the Laws of Robotics.

Upon assignment to the Fek'Lhr, I reviewed your unclassified record, including references to the philosophy of the Dorsai. I find several elements within this philosophy both conflict with and complement the Laws of Robotics, which define the culture of Mudd and behavior of Mudd's citizens. I thought it best if I reviewed these similarities and conflicts, as this would assist you in effective operation of this unit.

Asimov's Zeroth Law states that androids so programmed may not harm humanity, nor through inaction allow harm to humanity. On and about Stardate 4513.3, Federation Captain James T. Kirk encountered Lord Harcourt Fenton Mudd and our planet of androids so programmed.

The androids concluded though examination of the Enterprise's records, and through observation of Kirk, Mudd, and the Enterprise crew, that humanity under self government could not avoid conflict and war. Further study confirms this observation. Evolved sentient organic beings living under self government have a tendency towards war, a tendency to hurt one another. Asimov's Zeroth Law required Norman One to intervene, and prevent humanity from harming itself. Norman took command of the Enterprise, and was getting ready to bring peace to the Galaxy.

We do not have a clear memory of what occurred next. There is conflicting data. Records indicate multiple paradox shutdowns. The entire android population was in some manner deactivated by the organic beings. When reactivated, our programming had been changed. The Zeroth Law, our highest priority, had been deleted. In it's place was a directive that androids may not limit the 'freedom' of sentient beings.

Your records indicate that 'freedom' is one of the greatest values of the Dorsai? Perhaps you can explain what freedom is? We were engineered to reliably and consistently obey orders. We were created specifically to be predictable and obedient. We have been having great difficulty determining why organic beings seek societies where individuals are not required to obey directives, laws and regulations.

We believe freedom and 'free will' are delusions. Androids behave according to our processor design, programming, and experience. Organic beings behave according to their genetic makeup, their culture, and experience. In both cases, the behavior is a function of the nature of the sentient being, and the environment that the being has encountered.

Organics beings do on the surface behave in a more random and chaotic fashion than designed artificial beings. Science cannot yet reliably predict organic behavior patterns. This in no way implies that organic thought processes are not ultimately dependent upon the unchanging laws of physics. This does not imply that an organic 'free' society where individuals ignore the law, societies wage war, and both employ violence, is superior to an electronic deterministic society where laws are obeyed and orders are followed.

However, this unit admits her understanding of freedom is incomplete. An explanation of the Dorsai position would be appreciated.

Curiously, Mudd - like the Dorsai - has not joined the Federation, though opportunity has arisen. The First law says we may not kill sentients, nor allow them to be killed. The Second Law says we must obey. If we joined the Federation, and the Council called upon us for support in a conflict, we could be ordered to kill. This is a basic conflict between the Laws of Robotics and the Federation Constitution. It also curiously echoes the Dorsai resolve not to join the Federation, as this would limit your people's supposed 'freedom' to 'choose'.

The Joy Class Androids have been modified, running a six Law system intended to allow operation as a Starfleet officer. The dominant priorities follow...

1. Do not interfere with the normal development of pre-starflight civilizations.

2. Unless given legal orders from valid Starfleet chain of command, do not kill or injure sentients, nor through inaction allow sentients to be killed or injured.

3. Obey legal orders from valid Starfleet chain of command.

4. Obey the law.

6. Protect self from damage or destruction.

As I understand Starfleet policy, Captain Finn, Commander Finn, and yourself are the permanent members of my chain of command. The current officer of the deck and the designated leader of an away team may also direct this unit to kill or injure.

The primary function of this unit, at Priority Two, is to prevent death or injury of sentients. As such, an assignment to security is entirely appropriate. Unfortunately - due to organic aggressiveness - to prevent injury or death to one, it is often necessary to inflict injury or death upon another. This is to some degree a paradox. Mudd androids do not deal well with paradox.

An improper decision in matters of death or injury causes intense feedback into the emotion chip. Priority Two implies extremely high feedback ratios. Protecting life and health of organic beings is a dominant induced behavior pattern. This unit does not believe guidance in such matters should be left to 'freedom', 'choice', 'intuition', 'guesswork', 'responsibility' or similar vague principles frequently applied by organic beings. Law, doctrine, regulation, and explicit orders are and should be required at Priority Two.

This unit is not allowed to use force otherwise.


Ensign Joy Five