Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Directives and Chips - What goes on in a Terminator's mind? (SPOILERS)

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Directives and Chips - What goes on in a Terminator's mind? (SPOILERS)

    A conversation started in the thread for the Season 2 premiere regarding Cameron's ability to override her programming to terminate John Connor, and Terminators "abilities" in general and I thought it was of interest enough to start it's own thread - as these are discussions that are likely to continue throughout the season as we find out more about Cameron and other Terminators. Here is the conversation so far:-

    Posted by litzie:
    I thought Cameron's ability to override the terminate order was actually related to what Catherine (? the new model!magic terminator, whatever she's called) said about the importance of the Turk: that it was different because sometimes it darts out across the street, sometimes it breaks the rules. Which can be read as a sort of free will, imo...or perhaps the computer equivalent of it. But she could very well have another agenda...and perhaps breaks the rules because she thinks she can better accomplish that agenda by breaking them...if that makes any sense. so just because she's not killing John and saying that Sarah should let him take that kidn of chance again, to me doesn't mean that she's exactly as she seems...
    Posted by ciderdrinker:
    Ooh good point! The conversation about the crossing of the road and Cameron's ability to override her mission could very well be connected.

    Catherine talking about the Turk being important because it can "run into the road" sorta implies that that was needed to create the master race of computers, so they can break the rules, can rise above their programming in order to gain the ability to think for itself in the first place. Maybe hard wired into all the Terminators is an ability to override their missions? To be able to think for themselves over and above what they are basically programmed to do? A secret that Skynet would very much want to keep hidden, but Future John Connor found out and used when he re-programmed Cameron.

    Last season it seemed that Cameron was learning what it was to be human - the ballet, struggling with the burning of the Terminators endo-skeleton and writing it down, are two occasions that immediately spring to mind - and actively seeking out ways to become more human. She appears to have already risen above her programmed mission to save John, now we've been shown that she can change her mission parameters at will - she is "evolving".

    The Skynet computers had to evolve from Chess computers to nuking the entire planet - maybe their next step is to become more human? There must be an eventual goal surely? The way I see it the Cybernet computers are like growing children. They have grown from babies (the Turk) to young adults and have the ability for destruction (the holocaust) but are yet too "young" to understand their actions. The next step in their maturing will be to gain further knowledge - what they do with that knowledge is a scary thought, but if you compare it to the evolution of the human race, they're about the 1500's, still war mongering, but beginning to find other things to occupy their minds like art and culture.
    Posted by Stormwreath:
    If you think about it, Skynet itself became self-aware, acquired free will, and overrode its own programming (which, I assume, was to protect humanity, not destroy it...). The same capability is built into its Terminators, but Skynet deactivates it when they're sent back in time, because it doesn't want them "thinking too much".

    Presumably Cameron is set to 'learning' mode, and so she's gradually acquiring the same things... self-awareness, and free will - which in robot terms means an ability to question her own programming and override it.

    The really scary thing, according to my interpretation of that final scene, is that the basic directive programmed into her CPU is still "terminate John Connor" - but she's overriding that command by constant strength of will. To use a BtVS analogy, she's got a soul now; but the vampire is still there inside and hungry for blood.
    Posted by EvilVampire:
    That is possible, but there are some alternatives, such as:

    1) The overriding was the result of the programmed installed by future John, which was somehow restored.

    2) She already overrode that directive (as future John's program had), so it won't come back unless she suffers damage to her chip again, and she returns to the basic programming of (I suppose) all terminators, which include terminating John Connor.

    The first option seems unlikely to me, but who knows.

    The second seems more likely to me, but in any case, she didn't seem to be making any efforts to keep the program at bay, so to speak, after the termination was overridden.

    So, I tend to agree with your interpretation that she probably wasn't stopped by future John's program, but made a choice to disobey the terminating order.

    However, I don't think she's likely to have to make a constant effort not to follow that directive - much like Skynet doesn't need (as far as we know, anyway), to continue making an effort to disobey its original programming.

    So, my guess is that only if Cameron undergoes serious damage, the directive could return.
    Posted by litzie
    Perhaps he did some superficial work to fix the chip, and it was enough to restore her ability to disobey her own programming? Though the rest of her non-terminator personality seemed intact (if we are to believe her behavior), so it does seem more likely within the context of the show that we should suspend disbelief and think that he fixed the chip with a pair of pliers and a rag.

    I've been thinking about why Cameron was created, and perhaps it was to infiltrate the human camps better? to be sneaky, so to speak, to gain humans trust and find out more information about where they're hiding. So perhaps she was a special prototype or something, with more ability to experience human emotions/override her programming so that she could blend better etc.

    Otherwise...why would they make a teenage girl model? The other models so far seem to be big beefy guys...perhaps they were too recognizable for a sneaky mission?
    sigpic

    Peter Capaldi is the 12th Doctor

  • #2
    It's a possible plot inconsistency, the scene of Cameron overriding a termination command about John, or having such a command in the first place.

    Presumptively, each of the Terminators sent back specifically and explicitly to kill John (T-800 Arnold in "Terminator", T-1000 in "T2", T-888 Cromartie in the show) were *programmed* to do that at the time of them being sent through time. It's a little more ambiguous about whether any of them have a notion that "kill John Connor" is a mission parameter in general. It's mentioned that other Terminators in the past will have that as a standing order, but, really -- why would the ones operating in 2027 through 2029 have such a specific command built in? Such that they can identify John in his youth? I can't see why they would.

    Cameron was under John's control in the future for at least some amount of time in the future. I just find it implausible that her programming had any terminator order to revert *to*after whatever programming was done to send her back to protect him. I could believe it about T-800 Arnold in T2 -- he gets sent back really only hours or so after Kyle was, based on either a screenplay or something else, can't remember -- they were working quickly, throwing a bandaid over its orders makes sense. But Cameron's mission was clearly planned out in advance, so why would she still have that code?
    sigpic
    Banner by LRae12

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by KingofCretins
      Presumptively, each of the Terminators sent back specifically and explicitly to kill John (T-800 Arnold in "Terminator", T-1000 in "T2", T-888 Cromartie in the show) were *programmed* to do that at the time of them being sent through time. It's a little more ambiguous about whether any of them have a notion that "kill John Connor" is a mission parameter in general. It's mentioned that other Terminators in the past will have that as a standing order, but, really -- why would the ones operating in 2027 through 2029 have such a specific command built in? Such that they can identify John in his youth? I can't see why they would.
      The command "terminate John Connor" could be a built-in command, even though it can be overridden via software. IIRC, in T3, the terminator is not sent to kill John Connor, but his leutenants. However, when she identifies John, she considers him to be the primary target, superseding any other mission.

      Even if T3 didn't happen (well, that would result in contradiction, but that happens with time-travel), it's conceivable that all terminators would have that mission by default. On that note, I'm not sure in which episode, but I seem to recall that, in season 1, they said that if any terminator sent with some other mission were to identify John, it would try to kill him.

      The ability to identify John Connor in his youth is not built-in, but Cameron kept all her memories, so she had no problem identifying him.

      Originally posted by KingofCretins
      Cameron was under John's control in the future for at least some amount of time in the future. I just find it implausible that her programming had any terminator order to revert *to*after whatever programming was done to send her back to protect him. I could believe it about T-800 Arnold in T2 -- he gets sent back really only hours or so after Kyle was, based on either a screenplay or something else, can't remember -- they were working quickly, throwing a bandaid over its orders makes sense. But Cameron's mission was clearly planned out in advance, so why would she still have that code?
      It might be encoded in the hardware, even if it can be overridden via software. Take away the overriding order, and the "terminate" command is back.

      Comment


      • #4
        Also there was the bit that Cameron said to Derek in his flashback of the future (flashforward?) - that sometimes they just go bad. The one who went bad in the rebel camp seemed to have reverted to a mission of killing anyone and everyone. Perhaps that was its original mission, and Cameron's original mission was to kill John Connor. Or, as EvilVampire says, perhaps it's a kind of background mission in every terminator's programming, and Cameron focused on it becuase she recognized John Connor and had the opportunity to kill him.
        sigpic

        http://buffysmom.wordpress.com/

        Comment


        • #5
          Remember the line from early in the first season - Cameron explains that other Terminators they meet will walk straight past John because they won't recognise him, and they have their own missions. But if they do learn his identity, then "They'll know what to do." Definitely supports the idea that killing him is the Terminator Prime Directive.


          Or to put it in a more Asimovian way:

          1. A Terminator will terminate John Connor.

          2. A Terminator will carry out its assigned mission, unless that would conflict with the First Law.

          3. A Terminator will protect its own existence, unless that would conflict with the First or Second Laws.

          Comment

          Working...
          X