03 May 2012

Do Androids Dream of Electronic Donuts?

Over the last few days, something has been puzzling me: a lot of science fictions movies have "replicants" - robots that are considered a facsimile replica of a human being, complete with skin, hair etc.  Examples of these appear in Alien and Aliens (I stopped watching the trilogy after that monstrosity) and Bladerunner. Within these movies, they are sometimes shown eating a meal with their human counterparts - this presumes that they obtain their energy from food as we do.

Anyway, the question I have is: do androids suffer from obesity?  Obviously, if we assume that the android knows the limits of its requirements, it is reasonable to expect that it will stop consuming when it no longer needs to. But what if there is a bug in the software?  It is possible that it could continue to "eat" and there would be an excess of energy that it is unable to process.  Then there is the example of Rachel in Bladerunner - she was an android that believed she was human. Therefore, would she gain the same pleasures from (for example) eating chocolate?  And if so, if she ate to excess how would her weight gain be shown? (Not that we want a fat Sean Young).

Then there is the issue of alcohol & drugs.  The replicant in Alien knew that he was one, but had to fool the human crew members.  How would he emulate their effects?  And again, go back to Rachel - she would have had to been able experience all the effects. Does this mean her designer had to be an alcoholic druggie in order to fully describe the effects?

These are questions that movies have not addressed....

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