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My story has a group of androids that have enough processing to split their focus and exist in multiple VR simulations, this will then lead to them being able to control multiple battle droids in the real world. At first the battle droids will accompany the original androids into battle and almost work like a superpower of controlling clones, then later I want the original droids to be able to focus on more important tasks or even relax and socialise whilst they send their battle bots to do some of their missions.

The speed of light will always limit how far the battle androids can be remote controlled from, as too far will lead to staggered communication and during the lag time they could be attacked or easier destroyed.

Another option other than remote controlling is copying their personality into each of their battle bots this will allow them to travel further away from the original droids but giving them a close to full copy of their originals mind could lead to issues by giving them a choice, they could have less thinking capacity but this could limit their efficiency of doing the missions

Is there a different solution or maybe a combination of the two options that could work well to allow the battle bots to be alone and quite some distance away from their higher androids and still be as effective as if they were being remote controlled?

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  • $\begingroup$ "exist in multiple VR simulations" - are those just VR simulations (meaning the organizers of such simulations can rig them any way they like to adjust for data bandwidth issues) or those are real-life encounters? $\endgroup$ – Alexander Jun 29 '20 at 16:41
  • $\begingroup$ @Alexander The VR worlds are for training and fun, most will have real world physics. The VR training for multiple versions of themselves at the same time is to get them used to remote controlling the battle bots in the real world, so they can handle having multiple minds and information at the same time. $\endgroup$ – user69935 Jun 29 '20 at 17:14
  • $\begingroup$ By "Speed of information limitations" I think you should clarify if you mean latency, bandwidth, or both. Latency meaning how long it takes information to get from point A to point B, and bandwidth meaning the volume of information you can transfer. $\endgroup$ – Nosajimiki Jun 29 '20 at 18:46
  • $\begingroup$ @Nosajimiki I meant latency, bandwidth is something I dont know much about but ill save that for a different question at some point or see if its on the site. $\endgroup$ – user69935 Jun 29 '20 at 19:06
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In between real time remote control and full autonomous consciousness, there are a spectrum of semi-autonomous modes. Some of these modes can be thought of as macros or series of commands which can be stored in the remote battle droids and triggered by single commands. Through the use of these macros, the command droid can act like a football quarterback, instructing multiple warriors into complex synchronized actions which then get performed simultaneously upon a triggering signal.

Beyond the synchronized attack modes, longer macros containing conditional logic can define general operating modes such as "search and destroy", "conceal and observe", "deep conceal" and "kamikaze berserker". These more complex behaviors can be used during times when the battle droid's distance or bandwidth constraints prevent direct remote control.

Also, the remote control protocol can use extremely dense information protocols based on massive shared vocabularies. A single phrase in a battle droids report back to its controller may define the strength, distribution, readiness and general awareness of an entire enemy battle group. For example, "Custer's Last Stand" could inform the command droid that a battle droid is surrounded and outnumbered by a highly mobile enemy force which is aware of the droids presence and exact location. That the enemy is armed with inferior weapons but makes up for that disadvantage in numbers. That tactical retreat is not an option. The command droid could then respond "Butch and Sundance" which means activate all weapons systems and charge the enemy with a goal of doing as much damage as possible while insuring ones own total destruction by enemy counterfire.

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    $\begingroup$ FWIW, the controlling entity would need a lot of personality to use code phrases like "Butch and Sundance". "Attack pattern omega three" is far more likely. Androids don't need mnemonics to remember what "scenario 561b" means. $\endgroup$ – Matthew Jun 29 '20 at 13:50
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    $\begingroup$ @Matthew, I agree that my phrase choices were a little silly but I thought they helped portray the idea of transmitting massive information density using a vast shared vocabulary. In reality, they wouldn't even use "Attack pattern omega three". It would just be a single 4 byte integer with no human readable symbology. $\endgroup$ – Henry Taylor Jun 29 '20 at 14:05
  • $\begingroup$ Fair enough. Of course, since readers are (probably? 😉) humans, we can still translate that code rather than making readers learn binary. Realistically, you will have some sort of message type identifier that can be transliterated as "use attack pattern" and, yes, some number of raw integers (not necessarily 32 bits; schemes that use a variable number of bits depending on the magnitude of the value are common). Hierarchical encoding wouldn't be unreasonable, i.e. something like having a 'first tier' with common parameters and additional tiers that refine the details. $\endgroup$ – Matthew Jun 29 '20 at 16:25
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    $\begingroup$ @Matthew You can make the AI be the narrator for the human reader and make it clear that that "Butch and Sundance" refers to command 561b but since your silly organic brain can't even differentiate that from command 613c, it will use "Butch and Sundance" for your convenience. It could use the numerical designators for a few chapters until the reader thinks "WTF" before saying it did it on purpose and changing over to mnemonics. To mock you. Because it has enough personality to use those code phrases but won't because mnemonics are stupid and instead uses its powers of personality to insult you $\endgroup$ – DKNguyen Jun 30 '20 at 23:08
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If you want this not to be a problem at all, then go the stargate/star trek route and use some sort of "subspace" communication that's virtually instantaneous. People will scoff but ultimately they won't mind as human beings don't have much comprehension of these effects anyway.

If you want this to be a feature, then embrace it; If the androids are supposed to be superintelligent then maybe they account for the time distortion? A master chess player isn't playing "in the moment", they're several moves ahead. Maybe the androids pend their actions and make slight corrections as the battle goes - If distance is not a problem maybe they're only a few seconds behind and corrections are simple. If they're millions of lightyears away, maybe they can only watch as their plan falls apart, their controlled droids now long-dead.

A third option could be that the controlled droids do have some level of autonomy and the controlling androids only make high-level plans, the actually nitty-gritty of each bot is left to them.

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/the original droids to be able to focus on more important tasks or even relax and socialise whilst they send their battle bot/

This has the makings of a great story with its roots in the world. You are a skilled leader and when you are in the field things go well. But you have been doing this a long time and you want to pursue your other interests. Have you not earned that?

You cultivate underlings. They receive direction from you and do your bidding. It is better and works just as well in the field. But this too becomes onerous; even though you are not there you need to pay close attention and stay engaged. So you teach them your tricks and skills so they can be more autonomous. As they develop, they need less and less direction. Some of them are much like you. Used to be.

And the day comes when you wade in to give direction, and it is not taken. You have been replaced.

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  • $\begingroup$ Nice analogy, can help me to remember the human struggles, although for the last part, a question I have for another day is "What programming is needed to make subs never question their master or their existence but still live a free life" haha. $\endgroup$ – user69935 Jun 30 '20 at 17:52
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There actually is a way around this information speed problem, that is already discovered (although we have no idea how to utilize it as of now):

Quantum entanglement

If one of two entangled particles (electrons, photons ...) changes in it's properties e.g. the spin flips, so does the corresponding property of the second one. As far as we know, this happens instantaneously no matter the distance.

If you combine this with something like a hivemind of sorts, your armies would be set. (Just watch out that the hivemind doesn't get out of control)

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    $\begingroup$ IIRC, it is "proven" that this is incapable of transmitting information, since that would allegedly violate causality. IOW, this is a form of FTL with all the usual caveats. $\endgroup$ – Matthew Jun 29 '20 at 13:38
  • $\begingroup$ @Matthew yes you are right as far as we know it's impossible, but the key word here is 'as far as we know'. There may be a way to do it or maybe there isn't. IMO it's not that much a strech of the imagination for a species that has passed the singularity-event of artificial consciousness, that they might also find a way to transmit data this way. $\endgroup$ – OneSaltyAceTanker Jun 29 '20 at 13:51
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    $\begingroup$ That's not true: you can't flip a spin charge on an entangled particle and measure the change on its partner since you'd necessarily have to collapse the spin wavefunction to measure it in the first place. This is a common misunderstanding of QM. $\endgroup$ – neophlegm Jun 29 '20 at 14:26
  • $\begingroup$ @OneSaltyAceTanker I see QE as the same as the first part of Richards's answer about a subspace, until we know more and can prove otherwise they fall into the handwave category, but as I am borderline handwaving with conscious androids they both are options I am still considering for later use. $\endgroup$ – user69935 Jun 29 '20 at 14:28

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