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Re: Argosy Mission Overhaul

From: kgstar
To: T.L.G.vanderLinden
Cc: KellySt; kgstar; stevev; jim; zkulpa; hous0042; rddesign; David; 
lparker; bmansur
Subject: Re: Argosy Mission Overhaul
Date: Tuesday, March 12, 1996 9:51AM

At 3:11 PM 3/12/96, Timothy van der Linden wrote:
>To Brian,
>>>We "know" AI-robots could make anything work but that solution would be a
>>bit >too simple, unless we could come up with a rough design for such kind
>>of >robot.
>>Actually, I'm assuming that robots would have limits based on their
>>programming.  I imagine that the first working, completely automated 
>>would, in some ways, be less efficient in computer controled hands than if
>>humans were doing the same job.  For example: how do you think computers 
>>robots would have handled the job of bringing home the  Apollo 13 crew?
>In my opinion such robots are intelligent or they aren't (no way between).
>Say that you have figured out a machine with an IQ of 40. Then you could
>probably link them up in such a way that 10 of them together would have an
>IQ of 100.

>Have you ever tried putting a room full of morons together and expect them
>to do one inteligent persons work?  It doesn't work.  Mobs tend to be less
>equivelent then the sum of their parts.  Given that we have no idea on how
>to make an A.I. work its hard to tell what it could do, or what its
>limitations would be.  It could be far more inteligent than humamans, or be
>an idiot savant.  Great at one thing, and hopeless in general.

Point taken, but I see no other option than to assume that we can create 
them.   We need them to set up opposing maser arrays at TC.  And these 
robots may (or may not) be doing an "intelligent person's" work.  Even by 
2050, we can expect automation in the factory to increase even beyond what 
we have today.   We already make cars with minimal human supervision.  Why 
not maser cannons and solar arrays.  Then we build computers and program 
them to run the whole system.

Of course, if we want to lower our terminal velocity to .33c, we could 
launch our ship via maser sail and decel into TC using a 144:1 fuel ratio as 
figured in New idea Laser launcher/scoop systems.  This would allow us to 
scale down AI's to mindless robotic machines that are task specific.  We 
take some along with us to mine iron ore from asteroids for the trip home. 
 Of course, going to TC would take forever at .33c (compared to what you 
guys want).

Here is a thought I've heard before.  We could even break down the sail for 
added fuel.  Still, the extra fuel is going to increase the sail size.  And 
for the ions from the sail to be useful, they must be of the same kind. 
 Unless we could separate them during the breakdown process and feed only 
one kind of ion at a time into the ion drive.  Oh boy.