Here's an interesting question.

Mikkaddo

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Jan 19, 2008
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So here's something that a friend asked me the other night and I couldn't really give a good answer to.

In Terminator the T-100 was a Robot right? right. But, the field test versions and the implemented versions were Robots covered with living tissue that would heal and bruise and scar, and an artificial intelligence that (if set to yes) could learn and grow a personality.

Is it an android or a Cyborg?

now, traditionally I've understood Androids as being metallic (ie: robotic) beings, of minimal to true artifical intelligence able to move and act like a person, or with some form of reason.

Cyborgs I've always understood as being humans altered with cybernetic parts (hence the Cyb-part) but, if we examine the word "Cyborg" we find it's not so simple in reality. Look at the word itself, it has 2 parts: Cyb, meaning Cyber, as in robotics and electronics, and "Org" as in organic, flesh, blood organs etc.

Looking at the word Cyborg that way, the T-100 is one, it has both Cybernetic parts, but it's also partly Organic as well, having organic flesh covering it's form that can heal, scar, bleed etc.

However, it's still purely a robot and it's natural state is NOT to have true AI, it's natural state is that it cannot learn and grow a personality from experiences and interactions. But does that mean it can't be a Cyborg even with the organic parts? does it have to have an organic brain to be a Cyborg? or is thinking it has to start as an organic being, looking at the puzzle from a shallow or even naive perspective?


Now, for the TLDR people that want to complain (you know you/they exist) yes, I'm well aware this is about a movie from the 80s that almost no one remembers and effectively isn't relevant anymore even by the standards of it's own franchise. Yes, I am well aware I'm putting FAR more thought into this than the creators probably EVER did, but I'm a huge nerd. This is what I do, I take things I like, examine their universe and try to understand them by the standards of "reality" or at least what I consider to be reality (blah blah existentialism blah blah quantum mechanics blah blah)
 

Albino Boo

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Jun 14, 2010
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Oh god you have just made me feel old, I saw the second Terminator movie in the cinema on release. The T-100 was not a cyborg because removal of the flesh had no effect on the function of the robot. Cyborg conventional means that organic and inorganic parts require each other to function.
 

OneCatch

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Jun 19, 2010
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Mikkaddo said:
So here's something that a friend asked me the other night and I couldn't really give a good answer to.

In Terminator the T-100 was a Robot right? right. But, the field test versions and the implemented versions were Robots covered with living tissue that would heal and bruise and scar, and an artificial intelligence that (if set to yes) could learn and grow a personality.

Is it an android or a Cyborg?

now, traditionally I've understood Androids as being metallic (ie: robotic) beings, of minimal to true artifical intelligence able to move and act like a person, or with some form of reason.

Cyborgs I've always understood as being humans altered with cybernetic parts (hence the Cyb-part) but, if we examine the word "Cyborg" we find it's not so simple in reality. Look at the word itself, it has 2 parts: Cyb, meaning Cyber, as in robotics and electronics, and "Org" as in organic, flesh, blood organs etc.
I think it's actually described as a Cyborg at some point in one of the films. That said, it probably fits the general definition of an android better - if only because androids are manufactured, like the T-100.
Whereas the usual context of 'cyborg' is something previously living which is augmented or otherwise altered by artificial parts, with the remaining organic parts staying functional.

I don't think a few mm of organic skin around the outside changes the 'android' definition (especially considering even the organic skin was vat-grown or something).
Neither would I say that presence of AI would change it. At least in my mind, cyborg or android status places no limits on the intelligence of the thing - it relates only to the origins. Data or 3P0 are portrayed as being of comparable self-awareness as a person - both are entirely manufactured, one's and android, the other is a straightforward robot.
 

Flutterguy

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Jun 26, 2011
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The tissues where fabricated. Not a cyborg. My memory on the older ones are hazy, but I remember in the post apocalyptic movie they mention machines creating human-like robots to infiltrate the humans. They mention it being non-organic.
 

Queen Michael

has read 4,010 manga books
Jun 9, 2009
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If I have to choose between those options only, then I'd go with android. It was never human, and any resemblance to humans is aesthetic only.
 

madwarper

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Mar 17, 2011
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Flutterguy said:
The tissues where fabricated. Not a cyborg.
But, if you consider Ghost in the Shell, their prosthetic bodies are entirely synthetic and they're still classified as cyborgs.

an·droid
1. (in science fiction) a robot with a human appearance.

cy·borg
1. a fictional or hypothetical person whose physical abilities are extended beyond normal human limitations by mechanical elements built into the body.
By those definitions, they're not exclusive. I'd say the Terminator Model 101 could be called either.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terminator_(character)

The Terminator (also known as the T-800, T-850 or Model 101)?a cyborg,
 

chozo_hybrid

Jund 'Em Out!
Jul 15, 2009
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Says he's a cyborg in Terminator 2 and 3.


I know it's wikipedia, but still: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyborg

"Fictional cyborgs are portrayed as a synthesis of organic and synthetic parts, and frequently pose the question of difference between human and machine as one concerned with morality, free will, and empathy. Fictional cyborgs may be represented as visibly mechanical (e.g. the Cybermen in the Doctor Who franchise or The Borg from Star Trek or Darth Vader from Star Wars); or as almost indistinguishable from humans (e.g. the Terminators from the Terminator films, the "Human" Cylons from the re-imagining of Battlestar Galactica etc.) The 1970s television series The Six Million Dollar Man featured one of the most famous fictional cyborgs, referred to as a bionic man; the series was based upon a novel by Martin Caidin titled Cyborg. Cyborgs in fiction often play up a human contempt for over-dependence on technology, particularly when used for war, and when used in ways that seem to threaten free will. Cyborgs are also often portrayed with physical or mental abilities far exceeding a human counterpart (military forms may have inbuilt weapons, among other things)."

That's a paragraph that even mentions the Terminators. I don't recall Cyborg ever meaning the flesh had to be natural, just that it has to be living. Hence why in the Terminator, a cleaner in the motel asks if he has a dead cat or something in his room and he responds with "F&%k you asshole." because the flesh is so badly damaged it's most likely dying. A cyborg doesn't have to be human.
 

Thaluikhain

Elite Member
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Jan 16, 2010
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Depends on your definition. I don't see why a cyborg needs to have started off human.