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Re: [OFFICIAL] Some FT background stuff (guidelines for writers) - LONG

From: TEHughes@a...
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 1998 22:39:49 EST
Subject: Re: [OFFICIAL] Some FT background stuff (guidelines for writers) - LONG

In a message dated 98-02-11 20:42:39 EST, you write:

<< The unmanned fighter has the advantage in turning and
 accleration. The fact that it might be predictable (still debatable)
 or lacking in instinct is irrelevant. It can still out react a human.
 The human pilot becomes a liability. 
 >     The drone fighter would be a very, Very, VERY high price
 >item and the loss of even a single squadron could be a disaster.
 I disagree with this, too. One of the highest costs in a modern
 fighter squadron are the humans. They take a long time to train, they
 require food and water (expensive not just in the raw materials but in
 the logistical nightmares they cause) and when you lose them there are
 major political and social repercussions. Computer pilots, on the
 other hand, are incredibly cheap to build once you work out the
 dogfighting routines, essentially a one shot cost. The ships
 themselves would be smaller--thus cheaper--than manned ships. 

May I point out that those "simple" dogfighting routines will not be so
"simple", those who have done the least programing know that it is not
simple to program such a complex series of actions. This is not a
question of
computer capacity, I'll give you all the advanced computer hardware you
but it is the programing that is the real problem. Once you get a
program (no matter how long it takes to write) any incrimental quality
in the oppositions hardware will seriously degrade the performance of
the the
software. If you change it with any "learning" capacity of the fighter
computer ---- How many battles will you lose until it discovers a new
paradigm?? If you change it by the direct hand of a programer, just how
do you do it "on the fly?" Besides programing only works well when you
know the "parameters".	I suspect that a billion years of evolution
makes the
human brain a bit faster "on the fly"  than a machine.

I really think only history will correctly answer this question. So do
you want, my universe will have pilots. Veva ala difference. (In a minor
at least)

Tom Hughes

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