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I'm not so sure it's a design oversight so much as it is a limitation of In-Universe scientific and technological advancement.
Thats what gimballed seats are for.
Keep in mind that this ship does a lot of atmospheric flight, so it was probably designed mostly with a planet's gravity in mind. A ship designed to be under acceleration most of the time would probably be built to look more like a tower.
Like Tintin's moon rocket.
Addressing relative orientation for largely planetary craft◊ and I don't disagree with Sam that adapting is easiest when you have no choice.
See, I called it.
Sam idolizes Superman. How that happened is something I think we will just have to wonder about.
I don't have to wonder hard. We're talking about an alien who is beloved, famous, and most pointedly not threatened by pretty much anything (as opposed to everything) on Earth. I mean, there may be other things, but I think I can pretty quickly figure out what about Superman appeals to Sam.
Huh. My brain kind of went to Sam learning that copies of Action Comics #1 are worth a great deal, and then having a million copies printed as a get-rich scheme before realizing that scarcity has its own value. But I like yours too.
Passing the time with (not quite so) idle chitchat.◊
It's a good point that the human model of sentience isn't necessarily the best one for all things, simply what we evolved into.
It sure sounds pretty sapient with comments like these and some previous introspective insights. A twisty and nonhuman kind of sapient, but still.
The computer has a point, I think.
Maybe it has a small sapient-ish core for making conversation (and more importantly interpreting verbal orders) while most of its brainpower is still machine-like.
There are many good reasons why you don't want to make all AIs to mimic human consciousness, among them the boredom problem.
I forget, was the ship built to be three-laws compliant? I seem to remember that coming up at some point.
Sure, but only with respect to humans. It can hurt and kill Sam all it wants.
Yeah, it follows three laws based rules. More rigidly than Bowman robots, by the sound of it.
I seem to recall Niomi's introduction involving the shop just letting her in because she was human and Sam and Florence were not, leading to a home about security holes.
Florence once told it to do something and it had a whole self-conflict over whether it could ignore that command on account of her not being human (it decided the answer was "no" because this would indirectly violate the three laws, and was relieved to not actually have free will in the matter).
If you are an artificial sapience, and you are bored, then you just slow your mind down until the situation appears interesting again (you leave certain monitoring systems running at normal speed, of course, so that if something interesting does happen you are not slow in responding to it).
Also, it is not true that conscious beings can only undertake one cognitive process at a time. I breath, pump my blood, and balance my endocrine system quite well without ever having to think about it.
Finally, if the Ship really has no consciousness, then it has no opinion on boredom, or any other issue. It is merely simulating them, which is super creepy.
I'd probably get a lot of mileage out of being able to mentally fast-forward reality.
That's called taking a nap
That end bit is pretty much my point. The ship very clearly is thinking about its process of thinking. However it was taught that it is different from humans and thus doesn't count as sapient. It is quite similar to how Bowman robots were seen, including them seeing themselves.
Though there may be a notable difference in speed of maturation from artificial intelligence to sapience between its design and Bowman's. Florence's first probing in differences of local robots vs "standard" included an encounter with a non-local-brained robot that lacked ability to think laterally. Savage Chicken here appears to be able to contemplate things in that way, perhaps due to old age and having enough time for the AI to "ferment".
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