Do Transformers have artificial intelligence?

Discussion in 'Transformers General Discussion' started by LightningBlade3, Aug 30, 2016.

  1. LightningBlade3

    LightningBlade3 Destined to be a Prime

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    I'm trying to refute someone's claim that maybe the Transformers are just robots with "really, super, highly advanced, artificial intelligence" that allows them to think, feel, and have real emotions. Personally I think the Transformers to be much more than an AI in a metal body, but rather an actual living soul that has a metal body. I'm trying to use knowledge that comes from the lore, but my knowledge mostly comes from the cartoons and movies. I'm wondering if there's more information in other areas of Transformers, or if maybe I'm just forgetting something.
     
  2. Gryph

    Gryph Action Master

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    Nope. They're living robotic lifeforms. Beast Wars established sparks, which are the main thing that defines them as not simply being robots. It's the thing that makes them alive, and gives them their personalities.
     
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  3. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP AKA Beve Stuscemi

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    It can't really be artificial if they're not built by someone.

    Which almost every series except G1 has established they aren't.
     
  4. GuardianPrime19

    GuardianPrime19 Prime

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    Cybertronians are living life-forms they have minds just like you and i
     
  5. GR1ML0CK

    GR1ML0CK Dinobot Commander

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    What is a soul? What is alive? Who's to say that AI isn't alive if it thinks and feels and has emotions then that is an evolution isn't it??
     
  6. SouthtownKid

    SouthtownKid Headmaster

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    The G1 cartoon heavily implies in places that the Cybertronians' claims to sentience are exaggerated.

    In both the cartoon and comic, some bots are flat-out built by someone else and then given a personality. In at least those cases, I don't know how anyone could argue anything EXCEPT artificial intelligence.

    And pretty early on in the comics, Optimus is outright and utterly destroyed. Much later on, a body is constructed to house a COPY of Optimus' intelligence, which clearly makes him an AI, but the rest of the characters all treat him as if nothing were abnormal. The fact they see no difference between an original and a copy suggests to me they are all AIs, too.

    Yeah, Beast Wars introduces sparks, but that proves nothing. There's no way for us to know that sparks aren't just super sophisticated data storage.

    There's a difference. But I agree it might not feel like a difference to the AI.


    Anyway, they're certainly autonomous. But I don't know about actually being sentient.
     
  7. shellformer

    shellformer @

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    Nothing theoretically stops AI from being self-aware, tho. Most comics and shows nowadays establish transformers as having space souls or w/e so they clearly aren't meant to be typical machines any more.
     
  8. GALVATOM

    GALVATOM Better off Pred

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    The term AI was used in Armada, jokingly if I remember this right. "Oh Cyclonus you barely have enough AI to find a mini-con"... Something along those lines. I think that's just a case of writers using computer terms to sort of give the transformers their own jargon though.

    The subject of AI being equal to our own consciousness or "soul" is something that a lot of movies, shows and books have tackled.
     
  9. flamepanther

    flamepanther Interested, but not really

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    You're asking at least two different questions here, and they don't have the same answer. Most versions are artificial intelligence plus some kind of mystical aspect. Even sparks provide only a life force and some kind of "essence"--the robot's personality as we know it is completed by their data trax and programming (I.e. artificial intelligence). Most versions of Transformers since Beast Wars, including the movies, appear to follow this model, although their "spark" may be a more general life force and not a literal glowing orb. Exceptions:

    G1 Sunbow cartoon. Ignoring a few continuity glitches, Transformers are machines (originally manufactured by the Quintessons) granted personality components (not explicitly life) by the ancient computer Vector Sigma. But it's also pretty clear that Vector Sigma, the Matrix, and other aspects of ancient Cybertronian lore have at least a quasi-mystical aspect to them.

    G1 Marvel comics. The Transformers evolved "naturally" from a mechanical environment. Confusingly, they still have to be built artificially and then endowed with life via the Creation Matrix, a "mystical computer program". And then later on we learn that Cybertronians are all the spiritual children of the god Primus. The movies and the Aligned fiction seem to also draw from this, with the Transformers having an evolutionary, artificial, and spiritual component to their existence.

    So if you're asking "Do Transformers have artificial intelligence?" then the answer is generally "yes" although with varying degrees of artificiality. But if you're asking whether "the Transformers are just robots with 'really, super, highly advanced, artificial intelligence' that allows them to think, feel, and have real emotions" then the answer is "no" although it's a more clear "no" in some versions and somewhat arguable in others.
     
  10. WishfulThinking

    WishfulThinking "Don't touch it! It's evil!"

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    So, in summary:

    G1: Highly evolved super AI -- laser cores either built by Quints in the cartoon or "grown" by Primus in the comics, which makes them techno-organic in a way, although there are the exceptions (Jetfire, etc.).

    Beast Wars/Beast Machines (and subsequent fiction): alien energy beings who are born into robotic shells and are influenced by the shell's operating mainframe regarding personality and function.

    But if Beast Wars is a sequel to G1, how can both origins exist co-equally? Because time passes and how Cybertronians understand the past changes just as it does for humans. Somethings are forgotten. Somethings are discovered to be understood in a different way. The Oracle in Beast Machines interprets Cybertron a different way than The Matrix of Leadership does...just as there are different Creation stories amongst religions on Earth...simple as that. As the audience to seeing Transformers in different epochs, we know there are differences...but to Cybertronians within the tale, there are none.
     
  11. ABrown

    ABrown Well-Known Member

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    I guess I don't think of them having an artificial intelligence, I think of them being alive. Though for whatever it's worth, I think the Quintessons installed an AI in Optimus Prime in the episode "Dark Awakening".
     
  12. flamepanther

    flamepanther Interested, but not really

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    One of the ideas they never got around to exploring in Beast Wars was supposed to be that the Vok introduced sparks to Cybertron at some point after G1, and the Maximal Council keeps their received nature a secret, as though they'd always been a part of the Transformer lifecycle. Why they'd want them or keep their nature a secret, I have no idea. As for the Vok, it's supposed to provide their collective with new knowledge and experience when a transformer dies and its spark returns to the well, and also speed along the Transformers' convergent evolution into a part of the Vok.

    But that all got dropped, and sparks were easily retconned as part of the Primus mythology :p 
     
  13. WishfulThinking

    WishfulThinking "Don't touch it! It's evil!"

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    That was probably part of the idea that the Vok are connected to The Swarm in the G2 comic...meaning they (the Vok) were inherently Cybertronian all along and part of it's "learning" as implied at the conclusion of the comic series. That would have also placed an official stamp on the cartoon that it was a comic sequel rather than a Sunbow one. I prefer it as it is...ambiguous enough that it can be either/or.
     
  14. Murasame

    Murasame CHIMICHANGAS

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    Yup, they are a very advanced ai. Our soul is no different from an advanced computer program. One day we will be able to create artificial life equivalent of real life.
     
  15. flamepanther

    flamepanther Interested, but not really

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    It would still have been ambiguous, considering the amount of Sunbow content already in the show (and introduced later in Beast Machines). The Swarm (and the Cybertronian Empire) could be seen as story cross-pollination, like the Batman comics introducing characters and ideas created for BM:TAS. Meanwhile, as the Vok are supposed to be the result of convergent evolution and assimilation between multiple species and civilizations, they wouldn't just be an evolved form of the Swarm we saw in the G2 comics, and not inherently purely Cybertronian. That could have tied in to the "technorganic" theme of Beast Machines, had they pushed it back a season or two.
     
  16. WishfulThinking

    WishfulThinking "Don't touch it! It's evil!"

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    Fair enough.

    Still, I wonder how much of the discrepancies, as is, could we connect to The Vok possibly rewriting Cybertronian history as it sees it? Hmmm...
     
  17. kronatron

    kronatron Well-Known Member

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    I'm ok with the idea of natural progression to a state of self awareness. If carbon-based mind-meat can do it here on earth, then silicon/alloy equivalents could have done so a hospitable environment.

    TF's have a mechanical biology, so extending that to whatever "organ" encompasses their thought process, is it possible to replace the term "artificial" with "inorganic" and still be acceptable? Let's see what happens when they ask this of humans: "Do humans have un-inorganic processors? But how can they function if they're made out of meat? Wouldn't they just rot? That's not intelligence, that's just raw meat putrifying in the sun."

    Where I think TF lore has fallen short in meeting the "biological imperitives" those standards that must be met to be indicative of true "life" and not just automated directives, is that the whole propegation of the species has not tuly been defined.

    Other than that I would say that TFs have an intelligence no less and no more natural than their biological counterparts.

    -Kronatron.
     
  18. Optimus

    Optimus Well-Known Member

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    I personally think they are AI and that the spark is part of it which is why they die when their spark is destroyed. I also like to think that the spark makes them harder to reprogram which is why it is si hard to do in the franchise.
     
  19. Seeker

    Seeker Time Lord

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    I've always thought the TFs evolved from simpler machines that had advanced AI tech. Primus and a spark made them sentient.
     
  20. TFFan01

    TFFan01 Well-Known Member

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    Varies by continuity.
     

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