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Message no. 1
From: Barbie <barbie@**********.COM>
Subject: [STUFF] Cyber animals
Date: Wed, 10 Sep 1997 00:13:22 -0500
As requested, I have made a text from the original html file.


Original author: Pierre-Alexandre Garneau
email: paganator@*********.com
Text conversion: Barbie
email: barbie@**********.com


Android animals

DO CYBERZOMBIES DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP?

Due to the rarity of natural animals
and their tremendous cost a corporation, Cyberanimals led by Miss
Samantha Gates, has developped the first android animals. These animals
look like they're true, act like they're true, but are not true; they're
simply bolts and wires built to make the dream of so many come true: owning
an animal. Even though they cost a lot to buy they are still very popular,
since even with their high cost they cost less than their natural counterparts
and they can be programmed to act following a certain behaviour, making
them more attractive to some people than real animals (who never wanted
to have an "off" switch on his dog?).

(>) Samantha Gates? The microsoft-family has separated into a lot
of different matter since old grand'pa Bill died...
(>) McIntosh@****.been.bought

(>) His money sure started a lot of corporations... Which all went better
than Microsoft after Bill's death (Remember that buyout by Renraku?
Microsoft's CEO was pathetic at the time...)
(>) MaryJane@**.CAS.3434556

The technology used to make the animals is quite similar to cyberware,
but without any kind of neural interface that is present in every piece
of cyberware (this is the part that connects, diectly or remotely, to your
brain so you can control the cyberware). That neural interface is what
is most high cost in cyberware: connecting an electric device to nerves,
especially for cyberware that is directly related to nerves (you now know
why wired reflexes cost a lot :) or for cyberware that does things you
aren't supposed to be able to do (there is no part in your nerves used
by your body to "pop out an SMG out of your arm"). So essentially, these
androids are composed 100% of cyberware but don't cost too much since they
connect to an electric brain.

(>) 100% Cyberware? Don't they have any essence problems?
(>) MaryJane@**.CAS.3434556

(>) Essence is what separates man from machine, and these are totally
machines...
(>) MacBeth@*****.with.death

The brain is the most complex part of the whole body of the animal and
therefore the part with the highest cost. It is simply a powerful computer
(for its size, anyway) programmed with a very sophisticated Artificial
Life algorithm to control the animal. (Artificial Life is a subvariant
of Artificial Intelligence that enables a computer to learn from past
experience, therefore acting more like real
whatever-they're-supposed-to-act-like). In its first weeks after creation,
the animal pass through an express course on how to act like a real animal
and is then sold to individuals. The android-animals can be constructed
and programmed to look and act like an existing animal
(to replace a lost dog, for example) for a cost. Since true artificial
intelligence doesn't exist (or if it does it is kept secret) it is for
now impossible to make any human android.

(>) If true AI does exist, this means that something bad is coming...
I don't like the idea of having androids walk into the streets, undetected.
(>) MacBeth@*****.with.death

(>) This remember's me an old movie (with some good insight on the future
though)... Blade Runner it was called...
(>) MaryJane@**.CAS.34343556

These animal-androids act exactly like their natural counterparts (if
they don't get broke): they eat, sleep, need care like any other animal,
even though some functions can be eliminated (if your dog don't drink he
won't pee on your pant). This option is rarely used since people buying
artificial animals usually want them to look like "ordinnary" animals,
they don't want their neighbours to know they don't have a real animal
but a cheap fake. The option is more useful with corporation who can have
watch dogs that don't sleep, breath, eat or drink. Combine this with the
fact that these dogs can accept as much cyberware as they want without
any essence problem and you get some pretty good watch dog (hell, it can
even have its brain in its left foot if they want to!).

(>) Cyber dogs were already bad enough! We don't need Dog-droid! Those
bastards could all the neat cyberware, and still cost less than cyber dogs
with less equipment... The old trick of "drug-meat-and-throw-itto-the-dogs"
won't even work! In fact a squirt wouldn't have any effect on those metal
beasts!
(>) Crimsom@*****.philadelphia

Regarding their appearance, android-animals look like normal animals
exept for a hard-to-find trap for repairs. The lowest level of these animals
can be easilly spotted since they all look the same, they're constructed
by robots. Of course, for guard dogs it isn't too important if they all
look the same... When they get broken, the android can do two things: look
like a broken mechanic or look like a sick animal. The later one comes
from the inclusion of "sickness-circuitry" on the animal, which make the
animal look sick instead of broken, but this costs more.

(>) Sick androids? This is ridiculous!
(>) Crimsom@*****.philadelphia

(>) Not that much. Some people buy android animals bacause they can't
afford real ones, but their reputation would get bad if other people learned
that their pet is just a robot. To avoid looking ridiculous they buy these
"sickness-circuitry" so their animals will always look like real ones,
even when they get broke.
(>) McIntosh@****.been.bought


Rules

These false animals have, basically,
the same stats as their "normal" cousins and the same look. These attributes
can be enhanced by adding cyberware, which cost 70% of the price of normal
cyberware (normal cyberware for animals that is... Corps don't sell those
at low cost...) without any problem of essence. This includes the side
effect of the agresivness of normal cybered animals.

The price of non-enhanced, not personnalized animals is around 60% to
70% of the price of the normal animal. For rarer ones (tigers, elephants,
whatever) the cost is usually like the natural animal's, but the android
version is much easier to find. Personnalized versions cost twice the price
of non-personnalized animals. The "sickness-circuitry" ups the price of
the animal by 20%.

--
Barbie


One lived hour is still living.
Message no. 2
From: Glenn Robb <GLENNROBB@*******.NET>
Subject: Re: [STUFF] Cyber animals
Date: Tue, 9 Sep 1997 20:19:08 -0600
Barbie wrote:

> As requested, I have made a text from the original html file.
>
> Original author: Pierre-Alexandre Garneau
> email: paganator@*********.com
> Text conversion: Barbie
> email: barbie@**********.com
>
> Android animals
>
> DO CYBERZOMBIES DREAM OF ELECTRIC SHEEP?
>
> Due to the rarity of natural animals
> and their tremendous cost a corporation, Cyberanimals led by Miss
> Samantha Gates, has developped the first android animals. These animals
> look like they're true, act like they're true, but are not true; they're
> simply bolts and wires built to make the dream of so many come true: owning
> an animal. Even though they cost a lot to buy they are still very popular,
> since even with their high cost they cost less than their natural counterparts
> and they can be programmed to act following a certain behaviour, making
> them more attractive to some people than real animals (who never wanted
> to have an "off" switch on his dog?).
>
> (>) Samantha Gates? The microsoft-family has separated into a lot
> of different matter since old grand'pa Bill died...
> (>) McIntosh@****.been.bought
>
> (>) His money sure started a lot of corporations... Which all went better
> than Microsoft after Bill's death (Remember that buyout by Renraku?
> Microsoft's CEO was pathetic at the time...)
> (>) MaryJane@**.CAS.3434556
>

(>) How quaint.(>) The Neo-Iconoclast

> The technology used to make the animals is quite similar to cyberware,
> but without any kind of neural interface that is present in every piece
> of cyberware (this is the part that connects, diectly or remotely, to your
> brain so you can control the cyberware). That neural interface is what
> is most high cost in cyberware: connecting an electric device to nerves,
> especially for cyberware that is directly related to nerves (you now know
> why wired reflexes cost a lot :) or for cyberware that does things you
> aren't supposed to be able to do (there is no part in your nerves used
> by your body to "pop out an SMG out of your arm"). So essentially, these
> androids are composed 100% of cyberware but don't cost too much since they
> connect to an electric brain.
>
> (>) 100% Cyberware? Don't they have any essence problems?
> (>) MaryJane@**.CAS.3434556
>
> (>) Essence is what separates man from machine, and these are totally
> machines...
> (>) MacBeth@*****.with.death
>

(>) How weird.(>) The Neo-Iconoclast

> The brain is the most complex part of the whole body of the animal and
> therefore the part with the highest cost. It is simply a powerful computer
> (for its size, anyway) programmed with a very sophisticated Artificial
> Life algorithm to control the animal. (Artificial Life is a subvariant
> of Artificial Intelligence that enables a computer to learn from past
> experience, therefore acting more like real
> whatever-they're-supposed-to-act-like). In its first weeks after creation,
> the animal pass through an express course on how to act like a real animal
> and is then sold to individuals. The android-animals can be constructed
> and programmed to look and act like an existing animal
> (to replace a lost dog, for example) for a cost. Since true artificial
> intelligence doesn't exist (or if it does it is kept secret) it is for
> now impossible to make any human android.
>
> (>) If true AI does exist, this means that something bad is coming...
> I don't like the idea of having androids walk into the streets, undetected.
> (>) MacBeth@*****.with.death
>
> (>) This remember's me an old movie (with some good insight on the future
> though)... Blade Runner it was called...
> (>) MaryJane@**.CAS.34343556
>

(>) Artificial Intelligence? Hmm. Let me see. Ah yes, I have a file in which
Renaku was involved in a Scandal. It seems that United Oil was implicated in
planting something in their programming department. When United Oil was facing a
Chapter 11, it stated that Renraku had constructed a viable AI. Of course Renraku
denied it. I believe the correct term used by their Security is "plausible
deniability." Of course the entire trial was idiotic since Standard Oil bought up
United Oil.(>) The Neo-Iconoclast

> These animal-androids act exactly like their natural counterparts (if
> they don't get broke): they eat, sleep, need care like any other animal,
> even though some functions can be eliminated (if your dog don't drink he
> won't pee on your pant). This option is rarely used since people buying
> artificial animals usually want them to look like "ordinnary" animals,
> they don't want their neighbours to know they don't have a real animal
> but a cheap fake. The option is more useful with corporation who can have
> watch dogs that don't sleep, breath, eat or drink. Combine this with the
> fact that these dogs can accept as much cyberware as they want without
> any essence problem and you get some pretty good watch dog (hell, it can
> even have its brain in its left foot if they want to!).
>
> (>) Cyber dogs were already bad enough! We don't need Dog-droid! Those
> bastards could all the neat cyberware, and still cost less than cyber dogs
> with less equipment... The old trick of "drug-meat-and-throw-itto-the-dogs"
> won't even work! In fact a squirt wouldn't have any effect on those metal
> beasts!
> (>) Crimsom@*****.philadelphia
>

(>) Kill the Android Animal project!(>) The Animal Rights Activist.

(>) AWE SHADDUP!
(>) The Neo-Iconoclast

> Regarding their appearance, android-animals look like normal animals
> exept for a hard-to-find trap for repairs. The lowest level of these animals
> can be easilly spotted since they all look the same, they're constructed
> by robots. Of course, for guard dogs it isn't too important if they all
> look the same... When they get broken, the android can do two things: look
> like a broken mechanic or look like a sick animal. The later one comes
> from the inclusion of "sickness-circuitry" on the animal, which make the
> animal look sick instead of broken, but this costs more.
>
> (>) Sick androids? This is ridiculous!
> (>) Crimsom@*****.philadelphia
>
> (>) Not that much. Some people buy android animals bacause they can't
> afford real ones, but their reputation would get bad if other people learned
> that their pet is just a robot. To avoid looking ridiculous they buy these
> "sickness-circuitry" so their animals will always look like real ones,
> even when they get broke.
> (>) McIntosh@****.been.bought

(>) Sick! Sick! Sick! Who needs sick androids? What happens when they get sick?
Do they get computer viruses? Android viruses? What?(>) The Neo-Iconoclast

> Rules
>
> These false animals have, basically,
> the same stats as their "normal" cousins and the same look. These
attributes
> can be enhanced by adding cyberware, which cost 70% of the price of normal
> cyberware (normal cyberware for animals that is... Corps don't sell those
> at low cost...) without any problem of essence. This includes the side
> effect of the agresivness of normal cybered animals.
>
> The price of non-enhanced, not personnalized animals is around 60% to
> 70% of the price of the normal animal. For rarer ones (tigers, elephants,
> whatever) the cost is usually like the natural animal's, but the android
> version is much easier to find. Personnalized versions cost twice the price
> of non-personnalized animals. The "sickness-circuitry" ups the price of
> the animal by 20%.
>

Comment: I like these rules, Barbie. But I don't like the whole idea of AI. It
really could spell trouble.

Elton Robb
Message no. 3
From: Barbie <barbie@**********.COM>
Subject: Re: [STUFF] Cyber animals
Date: Wed, 10 Sep 1997 05:58:13 -0500
At 09-Sep-97 wrote Glenn Robb:




>Comment: I like these rules, Barbie. But I don't like the whole idea of AI.

>It
>really could spell trouble.

Don`t sue me, I have made only the convesion:)
And I see the AI in these "pets" not as an AI, its more of a expertsystem
which reflectes the animals behavior.
I belive like you that a true AI would do no good to the SR world and
stetting.

--
Barbie


One lived hour is still living.
Message no. 4
From: Bull <chaos@*****.COM>
Subject: Re: [STUFF] Cyber animals
Date: Wed, 10 Sep 1997 00:19:44 -0400
At 05:58 AM 9/10/97 -0500, Barbie wrote these timeless words:
>At 09-Sep-97 wrote Glenn Robb:
>>Comment: I like these rules, Barbie. But I don't like the whole idea of
AI.
>
>>It
>>really could spell trouble.
>
>Don`t sue me, I have made only the convesion:)
>And I see the AI in these "pets" not as an AI, its more of a expertsystem
>which reflectes the animals behavior.
>I belive like you that a true AI would do no good to the SR world and
>stetting.
>
Actually, read between the lines in the VR books (Both 1.0 and 2.0), as
well as several of the novels, including the Secrets of Power trilogy, and
you'll find that there are indeed more than one AI running around the SR
world.

Also, the Cyber Animals really go more into robotics and rudimentary AI
(Rather than the "Matrix Being" that is more commoonly pictured as an AI in
SR), and Robotics will be covered in Rigger 2. Besides, the advanced
autopiloting system is really an AI to some extent, especially the more
powerful vesions that can actually do things like manuevar the vehicle
around unexpected obstacles and the like...

Bull
--
Bull, aka Steven Ratkovich, aka Rak, aka a lot of others! :]

The Offical Celebrity Shadowrn Mailing List Welcome Ork Decker!
Fearless Leader of the Star Wars Mailing List
List Flunky of ShadowCreations, creators of the Newbies Guide,
in production now!
HOME PAGE: http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Cavern/3604/home.html

"Whoever invented solataire is one sadistic son of a bitch"
-- Me, after spending 2 hours trying to win a game
Message no. 5
From: Pierre-Alexandre Garneau <paganator@*********.COM>
Subject: Re: [STUFF] Cyber animals
Date: Wed, 10 Sep 1997 10:22:12 -0400
Bull wrote:

> At 05:58 AM 9/10/97 -0500, Barbie wrote these timeless words:
> >At 09-Sep-97 wrote Glenn Robb:
> >>Comment: I like these rules, Barbie. But I don't like the whole
> idea of
> AI.
> >
> >>It
> >>really could spell trouble.
> >
> >Don`t sue me, I have made only the convesion:)
> >And I see the AI in these "pets" not as an AI, its more of a
> expertsystem
> >which reflectes the animals behavior.
> >I belive like you that a true AI would do no good to the SR world and
>
> >stetting.
> >
> Actually, read between the lines in the VR books (Both 1.0 and 2.0),
> as
> well as several of the novels, including the Secrets of Power trilogy,
> and
> you'll find that there are indeed more than one AI running around the
> SR
> world.
>
> Also, the Cyber Animals really go more into robotics and rudimentary
> AI
> (Rather than the "Matrix Being" that is more commoonly pictured as an
> AI in
> SR), and Robotics will be covered in Rigger 2. Besides, the advanced
> autopiloting system is really an AI to some extent, especially the
> more
> powerful vesions that can actually do things like manuevar the vehicle
>
> around unexpected obstacles and the like...

Actually the artificial intelligence is just an improvement of the
technology used in videogames like "Creatures" that came not so long
ago. It is not really intelligent but the system evolves with time. For
example if you give a cookie to your android dog after he makes some
trick, after a while he will do it more often. It can learn some basic
words (like sit, come, eat, etc.) but won't be able to make any
sentences.

The term used these days for that kind of artificial intelligence is
artificial life (AL). It just mimics nature pretty well. The example I
gave about true AI is just that, an example. If a gm wants to include an
AI in its games, he could then make a link with this, but if AI doesn't
exist, then there is no problem. Nothing in this text states that true
AI exist, the level of intelligence of these android-animals is the same
as the artificial pets in Bladerunner, which is the average intelligence
of, at best, a horse.

PaG

PaG's Shadowrun Page: http://www.geocities.com/timessquare/alley/7931/
Message no. 6
From: Glenn Robb <GLENNROBB@*******.NET>
Subject: Re: [STUFF] Cyber animals
Date: Wed, 10 Sep 1997 09:07:40 -0600
Barbie, I wasn't going to sue you. I was just wondering about system balance.

Elton Robb

Barbie wrote:

> At 09-Sep-97 wrote Glenn Robb:
>
> >Comment: I like these rules, Barbie. But I don't like the whole idea of AI.
>
> >It
> >really could spell trouble.
>
> Don`t sue me, I have made only the convesion:)
> And I see the AI in these "pets" not as an AI, its more of a expertsystem
> which reflectes the animals behavior.
> I belive like you that a true AI would do no good to the SR world and
> stetting.
>
> --
> Barbie
>
> One lived hour is still living.

Further Reading

If you enjoyed reading about [STUFF] Cyber animals, you may also be interested in:

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These messages were posted a long time ago on a mailing list far, far away. The copyright to their contents probably lies with the original authors of the individual messages, but since they were published in an electronic forum that anyone could subscribe to, and the logs were available to subscribers and most likely non-subscribers as well, it's felt that re-publishing them here is a kind of public service.