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Old Jul 15 2008, 07:13 PM   #1
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<snip> I also have a personal, unpopular idea that the AI...AIV...I don't recall the spelling, but of Pern, you know him...might have been a shellperson.

Last edited by Cheryl; Jul 16 2008 at 11:34 AM. Reason: Post copied from another topic, and snipped down to relevant part for this topic
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Old Jul 15 2008, 10:23 PM   #2
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Well, that's an idea I'd never considered! It seems unlikely though, because he/she couldn't possibly have survived all that time between being burried and excavated.
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Old Jul 16 2008, 01:53 AM   #3
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I am not familiar with the shells, but doesn't AIVAS by nature have to be inorganic? and of course we are dealing with ARTIFICIAL intelligence. I though the shell were REAL brains? Groomed, to be sure, but still real?
AIVAS= Artificial Intelligence Voice Address System. Just as a point for clarification, D. M.
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Old Jul 16 2008, 06:53 AM   #4
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The name AIVAS indicates Artificial Intelligence, so not a shell person. It would have been interesting but nope, it was a machine.
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Old Jul 16 2008, 11:15 AM   #5
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Indeed. Although I severely doubt even a shellperson could survive for over two millennia.
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Old Jul 16 2008, 11:31 AM   #6
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Even if a shellperson could, he/she'd have gone insane during the long time without human contact, buried under volcanic ash.
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Old Jul 16 2008, 12:52 PM   #7
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Even if a shellperson could, he/she'd have gone insane during the long time without human contact, buried under volcanic ash.
Now there's a thought for a spin-off type fanfic: AVIS as a shell person, who turns out to be a bigger threat than Thread, because s/he has gone totally bonkers since being left behind...
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Old Jul 16 2008, 02:36 PM   #8
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Now there's a thought for a spin-off type fanfic: AVIS as a shell person, who turns out to be a bigger threat than Thread, because s/he has gone totally bonkers since being left behind...
Oh dear
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Old Jul 16 2008, 02:47 PM   #9
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Hmmmmm. And whose job will it be to fight against this new menace?! Maybe the WatchWhers will finally get their chance to shine? I second that, Hans! Aieeeeeee!
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Old Jul 16 2008, 02:59 PM   #10
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Re: AIVAS - a shellperson?

Hahaha, didn't realize that offhand comment would spawn its own thread...mostly because I could have sworn I mentioned it before and nobody thought it was likely. (Thus my "unpopular" comment.)

Given the general tenor of the books and the fact that we've never known AMC to throw out red herrings to the degree that would be needed in this case...no, AIVAS is not a shellperson. But, it would be pretty trivial to make "him" one, if you take the following steps as an author:

- AIVAS supposedly stands for "Artificial Intelligence", but what's stopping him, if he were a shellperson, from lying?
- Shellpeople live for hundreds of years on one nutrient charge. Sure, AIVAS has been on Pern for thousands of years, but if the Pernese colonists could deep sleep themselves to Pern, why couldn't a shellperson go into hibernation, extending their lives even longer?
- AIVAS being a Shellperson would easily account for "his" humanity. And, if he were once a Ship or a City, why wouldn't he devote his resources to stopping thread, out of a sense of duty? But, on the same note, he'd have good reason for shutting himself again (going back into hibernation) if the current Pernese society was not yet on a level that would accept Shellpeople (imagine Lessa wigging out over a brain in a jar...it'd be an Abomination far worse than a talking machine). He could just "wake up" once Pernese society had progressed to the level where they could maybe replenish his nutrients.
- Of course, you'd wonder why none of the original colonists knew about him...surely they wouldn't leave even a Shelled person behind on the Southern continent. Unless, due to the genetic screening, or something, Shellpeople weren't allowed. Then there'd be a motive for him to sneak in as an AIVAS rather than as an actual Shellperson colonist. His actual purpose there could be anything from retirement, to being a plant to watch over Kitti Ping, she being one of thew few knowledgeable about very powerful Erdani (sp) genetic manipulation techniques. Or heck, Boll or Benden, given how much classified information they must have in their skulls.

Of course, now I'm getting into conspiracy theories. But, even without a good answer for that last point, it wouldn't be hard to shoehorn AIVAS in as a Shellperson, if the author wanted to.

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Now there's a thought for a spin-off type fanfic: AVIS as a shell person, who turns out to be a bigger threat than Thread, because s/he has gone totally bonkers since being left behind...
Shush. I've enough on my plate.
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Old Jul 16 2008, 03:00 PM   #11
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Nothing wrong with your imagination
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Old Jul 16 2008, 08:42 PM   #12
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Default Re: AIVAS - a shellperson?

This is going to be very unpopular. . . but, you know, I'm really kind of glad AIVAS "died" when he did. To me the whole "artificial intelligence" idea has always been sort of frightening, on some level. I kept imagining the"2001:Space Odessey" thing happening, with the machine rebelling- I am so glad my computer doesn't talk back to me!

On the other paw, I'm really glad that AIVAS was around to get the Pernese's minds' going in a positive direction. Personally, I found it fascinating to watch them but a new society from the ground up.

Do I think AIVAS was a shellperson? (What's a shellperson?) Not really. . . but what about a cyborg(like Darth Vader)?
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Old Jul 16 2008, 09:05 PM   #13
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Default Re: AIVAS - a shellperson?

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This is going to be very unpopular. . . but, you know, I'm really kind of glad AIVAS "died" when he did. To me the whole "artificial intelligence" idea has always been sort of frightening, on some level. I kept imagining the"2001:Space Odessey" thing happening, with the machine rebelling- I am so glad my computer doesn't talk back to me!

On the other paw, I'm really glad that AIVAS was around to get the Pernese's minds' going in a positive direction. Personally, I found it fascinating to watch them but a new society from the ground up.

Do I think AIVAS was a shellperson? (What's a shellperson?) Not really. . . but what about a cyborg(like Darth Vader)?
Well pending some sort of masterful solution to the dilemma in After Fall Is Over, I'm definitely not a fan of the whole AIVAS/End of Thread arc. It makes dragons and dragonriders pointless. I'd have preferred that they find the remnants of Landing and AIVAS, and many wonderful mechanisms in the Catherine Caves and use them to improve their lot to better predict and protect against Thread and live more comfortably and at a higher level. If AIVAS had been at all functional, I wouldn't have had AIVAS provide a "solution" to Thread, only an understanding, a more clear idea of exactly what the menace was.

I would view this as a way of opening up an arc in which the Southern Continent is gradually resettled in spite of Thread. Of course, I'd also have made the grubs less effective, essentially able to retard the spread of Thread and eventually destroy it, but not prior to significant damage (as in, you might lose some fields, but not an entire valley), so there would still be a need for aerial protection. I'd have used a functional AIVAS to provide this level of intervention (and a mechanism to reestablish the relationship with dolphins). I'd also have used AIVAS as the means of clearing away the cobwebs of history to reveal how much was true of old legends (at least up to the point of AIVAS' deactivation). So AIVAS might reveal the truth about Faranth, but not Moreta.

Unless the author has something stupendous up her sleeve (and I frankly doubt it) I see post-Thread Pern being pretty boring, over-populated and eventually relatively dragon-unfriendly. These critters take a lot of space and feeding and folks will eventually resent the land and resources devoted to the effort. Even if the land is "dragonrider land" folks in overcrowded holds will see a lot of land used by few people and resent it.

Thread kept Pern in balance. AIVAS upset that balance. So I'm not an AIVAS fan.

Last edited by ElectricDragon; Jul 16 2008 at 09:08 PM. Reason: typo
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Old Jul 16 2008, 10:02 PM   #14
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So AIVAS might reveal the truth about Faranth, but not Moreta.

??? There weren't any secrets about Faranth, were there???
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Old Jul 16 2008, 11:37 PM   #15
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??? There weren't any secrets about Faranth, were there???
More a misconception. By the 9th Pass it is believed that Faranth was the first--and mother of all--dragons, when in fact she wasn't hatched first, and was the sibling of 17 other dragons in the first hatching. She was, however, the mount of the first Weyrwoman (Sorka). Over 2500 turns, those details got lost.
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Old Jul 17 2008, 11:12 AM   #16
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Oh Lord...I really hate any thoughts of a *Brain* going insane, its just to sad a thought for me since I love those stories so much.

It certainly would have been a much different story if there would have been a *Brain* traveling with the colonist, like the one that was in *The Ship Errant*. It would be very interesting to see what anyone of our many, very good *Fanfic* writers could do with a change in the original story like that...very interesting indeed.
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Old Jul 17 2008, 03:04 PM   #17
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Default Re: AIVAS - a shellperson?

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Do I think AIVAS was a shellperson? (What's a shellperson?) Not really. . . but what about a cyborg(like Darth Vader)?
Didn't see anyone answer this yet, so...Shellpeople are from AMC's Ship books--the Ship Who Sang, etc. They are humans that were born with severe birth defects affecting their physical form, but with a good brain. Basically they put these babies that have brains that test to be within human norms beyond the crippled physical form into a robotic "shell", and hook up mechanical sensors of eyes/ears/voice/arms/etc. to the person's brain. This is done in infancy (typically) so the person grows up with their mechanical body. Then, after they finish their schooling, they're installed as the "brain" of spaceships, or as the "brain" of a city, etc. Shellpeople/Brains can live hundreds of years normally.

To me, it's not a far reach to think that perhaps instead of an artificial mind behind AIVAS's sensors, there might be a shellperson's pod. Either way, we're never going to see a physical body.
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Old Jul 17 2008, 03:46 PM   #18
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Oh Lord...I really hate any thoughts of a *Brain* going insane, its just to sad a thought for me since I love those stories so much.

It certainly would have been a much different story if there would have been a *Brain* traveling with the colonist, like the one that was in *The Ship Errant*. It would be very interesting to see what anyone of our many, very good *Fanfic* writers could do with a change in the original story like that...very interesting indeed.
Isn't there an insane brain in The Ship Who Killed though?
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Old Jul 17 2008, 10:06 PM   #19
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Hmmmmm. And whose job will it be to fight against this new menace?! Maybe the WatchWhers will finally get their chance to shine? I second that, Hans! Aieeeeeee!
What about the Watch-Wher? They maybe not as pretty as fire-lizards or dragons. But they do have their place. Maybe they have some other abilties the current 9 Pass people have not yet had time to find out.

AVIAS a shellperson? No I don't think so. It did know that reaching goal it was todo, was good. Also knowing that someone who had attact it, would not have a second time to harm it as a watch system, is good.

I can understand it was in its own way glad to see people and finsh the work programed for it.
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Old Jul 18 2008, 03:01 AM   #20
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Edi...yes there is. Lia, she's the Brain ship that crashed into one of the main volcano's on Alioth, and drove the whole planet insane with her grief over her dead brawn Seber. Helva and Kira [Helva's brawn at the time] had to kill Lia, to try and save the planet's people.
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Old Jul 18 2008, 03:24 AM   #21
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Also, there was something about a gas effect them too? Along with the contact buttons?
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Old Jul 20 2008, 06:45 PM   #22
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I haven't read any of the Ship series yet, but I'm thinking that maybe I should start! What a fascinating concept shellpeople are! I just so happen to be familiar with the idea of good brains with differently-abled bodies.

I have heard of ideas that are currently being worked on of prothesis' that are controlled by a person's brain so that the prothesis look and act like 'real' bodyparts, and therefore enable them to live as if the part was never lost(like Luke Skywalker lost his hand in Star Wars, and it was replaced with a lifelike, mechanized hand). I've also heard of wheelchairs for people who are unable to walk, that are controlled the same way- giving independent mobility back to those who are unable to move any other way- like Stephen Hawking. I really hope that these ideas come to fruition in the future, for everybody's sake!!

What's all this to do with AIVAS?? Hmmm. . . not alot. . . unless the info in 'his' files could help the Pernese help their disabled population.
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Old Jul 21 2008, 12:29 PM   #23
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Well pending some sort of masterful solution to the dilemma in After Fall Is Over, I'm definitely not a fan of the whole AIVAS/End of Thread arc. It makes dragons and dragonriders pointless. I'd have preferred that they find the remnants of Landing and AIVAS, and many wonderful mechanisms in the Catherine Caves and use them to improve their lot to better predict and protect against Thread and live more comfortably and at a higher level. If AIVAS had been at all functional, I wouldn't have had AIVAS provide a "solution" to Thread, only an understanding, a more clear idea of exactly what the menace was.

I would view this as a way of opening up an arc in which the Southern Continent is gradually resettled in spite of Thread. Of course, I'd also have made the grubs less effective, essentially able to retard the spread of Thread and eventually destroy it, but not prior to significant damage (as in, you might lose some fields, but not an entire valley), so there would still be a need for aerial protection. I'd have used a functional AIVAS to provide this level of intervention (and a mechanism to reestablish the relationship with dolphins). I'd also have used AIVAS as the means of clearing away the cobwebs of history to reveal how much was true of old legends (at least up to the point of AIVAS' deactivation). So AIVAS might reveal the truth about Faranth, but not Moreta.

Unless the author has something stupendous up her sleeve (and I frankly doubt it) I see post-Thread Pern being pretty boring, over-populated and eventually relatively dragon-unfriendly. These critters take a lot of space and feeding and folks will eventually resent the land and resources devoted to the effort. Even if the land is "dragonrider land" folks in overcrowded holds will see a lot of land used by few people and resent it.

Thread kept Pern in balance. AIVAS upset that balance. So I'm not an AIVAS fan.
I definitely agree that Aivas was a huge use of Deus Ex Machina, but I`m not entirely opposed to it. AtWoP is actually one of my favorites. Even though Thread offered a balance, and was the centerpiece of Pernese culture, Dragonriders ALWAYS wanted to be rid of the menace, and to me, the accomplishment of their goal to destroy Thread completely was immensely satisfying.
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Old Jul 21 2008, 10:33 PM   #24
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It seems to me that AIVAS knew when to exit the stage gracefully. I am glad that he shut down, but I'm also glad that existed, for when he left he did so leaving the ernese all the knowledge that he had taught them, and as he pointed out, they had just gotten to the point where they could argue with him. His job was to be a tool, not to take over the world. Fortunately, and I have yet to figure out how except to hypothesize that in the future, AI systems have gotten really good, he\it seemed to know that.

I don't think that dragons and riders will be pointless in the future. Dragons and their riders have very unique talents, as well as the eternal sense to always be helpful and useful. There are many other ways to be helpful, as only a dragon can be. After all, they don't have all the fancy technology on Pern.

I just started The Ship Who Searched today, and all I have to say is- Wow! It's made me cry already, but for a good reason! I'm a modified shellperson, too, aren't I?
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Old Jul 22 2008, 09:47 PM   #25
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That one is a definite tearjerker, particularly the section at the beginning.
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Old Jul 27 2008, 04:09 PM   #26
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Now there's a thought for a spin-off type fanfic: AVIS as a shell person, who turns out to be a bigger threat than Thread, because s/he has gone totally bonkers since being left behind...
[Evil Thought] AIVAS actually caused the Red Star to go into an orbit that would stay away from Pern until after the time Jaxom hopped ahead to check on whether Thread was gone, then it comes back...forEVER!!! AIVAS's revenge for being buried for 2 millenia. [/Evil Thought]
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Old Jul 28 2008, 07:37 PM   #27
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Noooo!!!
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Old Jul 28 2008, 08:30 PM   #28
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Old Jul 31 2008, 12:37 PM   #29
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Weyrlady...Oh yes *The Ship Who Searched* is a wonderful book...[reading it myself right now] and the start of it is fantastic...Anne at her best for evoking real emotion from her readers...not a dry eye in the house when Tia makes her heart wrenching comments to Theodore Edward Bear....especially when the professor from the shell school arrives...thats a double hanky affair....sobs!!!

Shayln, Shayln, Shayln...my dear, you do have an evil mind....


Bluerider...pat, pat, pat...its ok...its only one of Shalyn's evil dreams...
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Old Jul 31 2008, 01:46 PM   #30
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Okay. I'm all better now.
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Old Aug 7 2008, 04:58 AM   #31
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Default Re: AIVAS - a shellperson?

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Isn't there an insane brain in The Ship Who Killed though?
I never read that one, but there ws at least one in The ship who sang.

I don't think a shellperson Aivas would have been left behind when landing was evacuated, considering how much the Pernese valued life.
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Old Aug 7 2008, 02:12 PM   #32
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Default Re: AIVAS - a shellperson?

Unless it was a secret kept from everyone. Then no one would think about evacuating Aivas. (That said, I doubt Aivas is a shellperson. He would have had to live for 2500 years, plus a few decades. Also, AM has said often enough that there's no relation between her series).
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Old Aug 7 2008, 11:10 PM   #33
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"The Ship Who Killed" is one of the novellas that makes up "The Ship Who Sang" and yes, there is an insane brain in it. Helva kills it to stop it from killing others with the death cult it had created.
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Old Aug 9 2008, 02:56 AM   #34
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Default Re: AIVAS - a shellperson?

there was another story in there when Helva was removed from her ship and the abductor kept turning on and off her "senses" there were a few catatonic shells there as well if I recall ( not quite bonkers, but another form of mental breakdown) as a result of sensory deprivation.
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Old Aug 9 2008, 02:44 PM   #35
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Default Re: AIVAS - a shellperson?

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Weyrlady...Oh yes *The Ship Who Searched* is a wonderful book...[reading it myself right now] and the start of it is fantastic...Anne at her best for evoking real emotion from her readers...not a dry eye in the house when Tia makes her heart wrenching comments to Theodore Edward Bear....especially when the professor from the shell school arrives...thats a double hanky affair....sobs!!!

Shayln, Shayln, Shayln...my dear, you do have an evil mind....


Bluerider...pat, pat, pat...its ok...its only one of Shalyn's evil dreams...


Thanks, Lady Maelin! I finished The Ship Who Searched and have to admit that I kinda miss hanging out with Tia and Alex already.
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Old Feb 5 2009, 06:03 AM   #36
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This is going to be very unpopular. . . but, you know, I'm really kind of glad AIVAS "died" when he did.[...]
AIVAS is dead?!?
I may have forgotten a perfectly clear mention of this in ATWOP, but... There is no way it can be, come on! It was just a highly intelligent machine, how can it decide to shut down definitively? At the worst, it is just silent. It may not interact any more for Pernese's sake and because it would be considered dangerous to help too much and be considered indispensable. But there must be a possibility it can be awaken when needed! After all, living on Pern for humans is not risk-free yet

And I can't imagine AIVAS destroying its own AI programs. AIVAS is no Terminator II! Any good AI should have a survival instinct program
Unless this was something it was programed for... But then, I can't see what parameters lead it to take this final decision
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Old Feb 5 2009, 04:16 PM   #37
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Fully agree with Maleus. Remember, AIVAS killed that abominator in SoP
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Old Feb 5 2009, 11:47 PM   #38
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Default Re: AIVAS - a shellperson?

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Thanks, Lady Maelin! I finished The Ship Who Searched and have to admit that I kinda miss hanging out with Tia and Alex already.

Oh Weyrlady... sorry I just found this....I am so very glad that you decided to read the ship books, and that you enjoyed *The Ship Who Searched* with tia and ALex...they were so wonderful together. Give the others a try as well...Anne put together quite a few incredible teams, on her ship adventures.
Naturally the *Ship Who Sang* is my favorite...but I also love all the other wonderful *Ship* stories that Anne wrote.
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Old Feb 6 2009, 12:21 AM   #39
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Default Re: AIVAS - a shellperson?

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Fully agree with Maleus. Remember, AIVAS killed that abominator in SoP
Possibly. It'd certainly be easy enough for an AI to "play possum" with the occassional "automatic" alerts popping up for real emergencies--like big rocks falling or aliens infiltrating the colonists
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Old Feb 6 2009, 12:35 AM   #40
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Default Re: Re : Re: AIVAS - a shellperson?

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AIVAS is dead?!?
I may have forgotten a perfectly clear mention of this in ATWOP, but... There is no way it can be, come on! It was just a highly intelligent machine, how can it decide to shut down definitively? At the worst, it is just silent. It may not interact any more for Pernese's sake and because it would be considered dangerous to help too much and be considered indispensable. But there must be a possibility it can be awaken when needed! After all, living on Pern for humans is not risk-free yet

And I can't imagine AIVAS destroying its own AI programs. AIVAS is no Terminator II! Any good AI should have a survival instinct program
Unless this was something it was programed for... But then, I can't see what parameters lead it to take this final decision
I never thought about it...but reading this it does seem possible that Aivas might only be in a hibernating state...one where he might be programed to awaken at a much later date. Perhaps to check on the colonist progress and their present situation....could be, might could happen...interesting to think of all the possibilities.
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