Kitt's memory

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Kitt's memory

Post by SadArticle » Tue Mar 04, 2008 10:28 am

A hypothetical techie question from somebody who hasn't got a clue :oops: (Pardon me if this has been covered recently - I did a quick search, but couldn't find anything that covered this topic precisely!)

Would Kitt need a network/mainframe, perhaps at the Foundation, to store his memory/data, or is the CPU in the car able to hold all that Kitt requires? And if Kitt is 'archived' elsewhere, would that explain the miracle of science that was Junkyard Dog? I just wondered if Kitt would require a little extra help - I think in one episode he mentions his current memory capacity, and how far that could expand, but I can't remember which.

A theoretical explanation, full of impressive tech-speak but grounded in the series, would please me no end! :D Thanks to anyone who can oblige.
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Re: Kitt's memory

Post by BlackMagic84 » Tue Mar 04, 2008 12:48 pm

The answer you seek my friend I cannot answer, however, simple logic will always indicate that with Hollywood/TV and writers it doesn't matter. :wink:

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Re: Kitt's memory

Post by Knight Racer » Tue Mar 04, 2008 1:53 pm

I believe the episode you are looking for is Ten Wheel Trouble.Just after the tomboy kicks Kitts tire in front of the police precinct that Michael puts her brother in protective custody/the slammer,Kitt goes into what his memory capacity is and how much more can be added daily.I too wonder about Junk Yard Dog because when Kitt and Michael return to the acid pit,Kitt says I never thought I'd have to come back here again.Which means he had all his memories up until the point of his first real death.The data backup Idea might be logical for that computer at the back of the Semi that shows all the lights blinking.It might house kitts memories.

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Re: Kitt's memory

Post by Michael Pajaro » Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:17 pm

I think that from a dramatic standpoint, it's important that KITT does NOT have a main backup at the Foundation. Because that makes him less vulnerable, and then we care less when he gets hurt. If Bonnie could simply restore KITT at any time to the previous day's backup, then where is threat? Why should we feel any loss or sympathy if KITT gets damaged?

This isn't exactly canon, but this is how I justify any comments within the show about having to restore KITT's memory: KITT is more than just a set of circuits and programming. He has a personality, an "essence" which can't be represented by a series of 1's and 0's. If Bonnie ever has to restore KITT's memory, she is reloading some base programs or factual data back into his memory banks. But KITT's soul (or whatever you want to call it), the integrated set of circuitry/programming/memory that makes KITT who he is, cannot be replicated. And whatever that thing is physically, it is protected in some sort of blackbox (maybe what we see in Soul Survivor) and would have still been functioning after Junkyard Dog.
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Re: Kitt's memory

Post by SadArticle » Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:24 pm

Knight Racer wrote:I believe the episode you are looking for is Ten Wheel Trouble.


That's the one, thanks! I'm working my way through all three seasons, in no particular order, but 'Ten Wheel Trouble' is somewhere near the bottom of the hitlist!

I really just wondered about memory and data storage after reading a book about an AI personality who has to 'downgrade' from a vast network to a portable computer, and the question of how much information is vital to sustain her sentient state; the comparison of a human 'packrat' is made as she has to decide how much memory and data to leave behind. My imagination went on a KR tangent at that point, and I wondered if anybody might be able to cook up an explanation.
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Re: Kitt's memory

Post by SadArticle » Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:35 pm

Michael Pajaro wrote:I think that from a dramatic standpoint, it's important that KITT does NOT have a main backup at the Foundation. Because that makes him less vulnerable, and then we care less when he gets hurt. If Bonnie could simply restore KITT at any time to the previous day's backup, then where is threat? Why should we feel any loss or sympathy if KITT gets damaged?

This isn't exactly canon, but this is how I justify any comments within the show about having to restore KITT's memory: KITT is more than just a set of circuits and programming. He has a personality, an "essence" which can't be represented by a series of 1's and 0's. If Bonnie ever has to restore KITT's memory, she is reloading some base programs or factual data back into his memory banks. But KITT's soul (or whatever you want to call it), the integrated set of circuitry/programming/memory that makes KITT who he is, cannot be replicated. And whatever that thing is physically, it is protected in some sort of blackbox (maybe what we see in Soul Survivor) and would have still been functioning after Junkyard Dog.


Could he have both? His consciousness onboard the car, and his memories and gathered knowledge in a backup system? That way, he gets back all he's learned, both practically and personally, but it takes 'Kitt' to digest it all and decide how it builds his personality. 'Junkyard Dog' sort of stomps the emotional impact of such a situation into the ground - 'He's gone, Michael - but give me half an hour for the glue to dry, and I bet you won't notice the cracks!' - but I like the 'whole is greater than the sum of the parts' theory, too. :P
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Re: Kitt's memory

Post by jup » Tue Mar 04, 2008 7:45 pm

I think about how bulky and limited chips were back then. Then, I think about how so much of what KITT was...is happening today. Which brings me to the amazing fact that we now have gigabyte cards that require virtually no space. Forcing me to conclude that KITT's capacities were dreaming of our modern world and can conform to our modern memory storage capacities...as FLAG was truly cutting edge. Add to that the 'then' notion of being creative with forcing every last byte to do it's best. And, I conclude that KITT could, and did indeed have it all on board.

However, I also say that KITT had an external back up that was linked afar. And, this was link was supported in the KARR episodes to prove it existed. Which is how KITT was even recoverable in Junk Yard Dog. And, alas, KITT is something more then software and hardware, as Bonnie could not just erase memories of the incident and return KITT to his brave self, mid-JYD episode. Call it a soul. I sure don't know what to call it.

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Re: Kitt's memory

Post by greelywinger » Tue Mar 04, 2008 9:25 pm

Here's my take on it.
KITT does have some back-ups. Mission files for instance
are probably downloaded back in the Semi.
KITTS AI (or soul for want of a better word) is probably
encased inside some kind of black box (as Michael P. said)
I think what we see in Soul Survivor is KITT (The AI).
I think this is encased inside the same stuff that makes up the MBS.
The frame was still left in Junkyard Dog, so it would make sense to encase KITTs
CPU inside the same stuff.
When Bonnie said "there are just the bare shreds of his memory bank left"
I think KITT (the AI) suffered the computers version of a nervous breakdown.
Think about it...
If a human had been dumped into that acid pit, if the acid hadn't killed them, the stress
and fear would have literally torn them apart.
Now think about what must been going through KITTs mind (or circuits).
Maybe this explains why the trunk was open when he was pulled from the acid pit.
He had lost control of some functions out of desperation.
When Bonnie rebuilt KITT, starting with those 'bare shreds of memory' (probably from a near death experience),
those turned into fear, which explains KITTs hesitation and self-doubt.
It's the age old story. When does Pinochio turn into a real boy.
KITT was essentially a computer with a personality, but is it sentient?
Does anyone remember Issac Asimoves 3 rules for sencience?
I thought one was self awareness. Is KITT self aware?
Does KITT have a conscience? That one is up for debate.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this last one.

Darryl
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Re: Kitt's memory

Post by SadArticle » Wed Mar 05, 2008 5:10 am

jup wrote:And, I conclude that KITT could, and did indeed have it all on board.

However, I also say that KITT had an external back up that was linked afar. And, this was link was supported in the KARR episodes to prove it existed. Which is how KITT was even recoverable in Junk Yard Dog. And, alas, KITT is something more then software and hardware, as Bonnie could not just erase memories of the incident and return KITT to his brave self, mid-JYD episode. Call it a soul. I sure don't know what to call it.


Thanks, Jup - all makes perfect sense! :idea:

And my brain hurts from even considering the whole sentience debate; I haven't even read Asimov's stories, never mind the technological and philosophical theory on AI! :| But. I would say Kitt is aware - all too painfully, in JYD. He will always put Michael, and other human life, before his own existence, but then that could be considered altruistic, as Bonnie terms his programming in TDR, and not a lack of free will. I love how in 'Knight in Disgrace' Kitt refuses to support Michael's actions when he thinks that his driver is putting himself and others in danger, and not only stops talking to him but also takes control of the car at one point - Michael has to ask him to start the car when he needs to make his getwaway from the chemical plant!

Kitt also has his own opinions - which he helpfully shares with Michael! - and can reason for himself. His driver is always his primary concern and motivation, but just because Michael can ignore his advice and still get himself into danger (going after KARR in KVK - Kitt's *headdesk* episode), doesn't mean that Kitt doesn't think or feel like his human partner. Kitt is limited by being a computer in a car, but does that make Michael the more advanced of the two?

I don't know. Anybody else? :oops:
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Re: Kitt's memory

Post by greelywinger » Wed Mar 05, 2008 5:54 am

It's the biological vs. the technological. Which one has more right to exist?
If you are thinking that KITT is just a machine, just remember that we are machines of a different sort.
Bio-chemical in nature (got this from Star Trek).
I'm gonna google Issac Asimov's philosophical theory on AI tonight and see what I find.

Darryl
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Re: Kitt's memory

Post by SadArticle » Wed Mar 05, 2008 11:20 am

Well, I think Kitt would definitely pass Turing's test for sentience! :o

I don't think the question should be whether or not Kitt is sentient, or has the same qualities as a human - there are some things he can do better, and some he can't do at all - but whether he, and KARR, should have any extra rights because they can think and feel like a human. Was KARR's behaviour in TDR similar to that of a young child led astray by an older person, who can claim that they didn't know that what they were doing was wrong? And who's fault is it, then - KARR's, or his 'parents', the Foundation? Should Michael, Devon and Bonnie have been more constructive in TDR, so that KARR wasn't beyond all redemption in KVK? Does the fact that Kitt didn't step in and object to KARR's destruction, or at least relate it to his own existence, in KVK make Kitt more aware or his own artificiality, or limit his sentience (he was just doing what Michael told him, Asimov's second law)?

Sorry, just watched KVK again, as you can tell, which always bugs me! :roll:
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Re: Kitt's memory

Post by jup » Fri Mar 07, 2008 4:16 pm

greelywinger wrote:It's the biological vs. the technological. Which one has more right to exist?
If you are thinking that KITT is just a machine, just remember that we are machines of a different sort.
Bio-chemical in nature (got this from Star Trek).
I'm gonna google Issac Asimov's philosophical theory on AI tonight and see what I find.

Darryl


I highly recommend reading (or listening to the original book on cassette/CD, as I did) I, Robot by Issac. The Will Smith movie is a major expansion on just one chapter of this impressive book. It turns out to be a whole series of chapters that are almost individual stories, in and of themselves, about the three laws of robotics and the complexities that can occur around various situations. Although, I don't think KITT was ever governed by these rules, over the set to protect Human...especially Michael Knight's life.

I've occasionally wondered if KITT was stressed out, every time a bug went splat against his windshield???

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Re: Kitt's memory

Post by TinCanSailor » Sat Mar 08, 2008 10:51 am

I posted a topic about KITT and the Junkyard Dog episode viewtopic.php?f=2&t=11118 . I pondered many of the same questions in it. Like even if Bonnie to back up all the data and files that KITT used his "soul" should not been able to make a return. The car was virtually destroyed in that episode, the interor of the car was completely gone. All was a unpainted frame of the car.

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Re: Kitt's memory

Post by SadArticle » Sat Mar 08, 2008 3:11 pm

TinCanSailor wrote:I posted a topic about KITT and the Junkyard Dog episode viewtopic.php?f=2&t=11118 . I pondered many of the same questions in it. Like even if Bonnie to back up all the data and files that KITT used his "soul" should not been able to make a return. The car was virtually destroyed in that episode, the interor of the car was completely gone. All was a unpainted frame of the car.


Sorry, I read through that belatedly, and it does cover the same sort of questions - although my original question was about the technicalities of Kitt's memory, as answered by Jup, but expanded into a debate about Kitt's soul! I've also found a couple of other threads about JYD that are very interesting, including a 'dumbed-down' explanation of the difference between Kitt's CPU and his program (from FuzzieDice, I believe - I've copied it, because it actually makes sense to me! :shock: )

I'm slowly 'filling in' the plot hole - the key components of Kitt's personality are his AI program and database, which could be onboard the car, as Jup suggested, but also backed up at a separate location; when Bonnie tells Michael that only the barest shreds of Kitt's memory are left, it's possible she means the program code that tells Kitt what and who he is (his 'bubble chip' memory, as April termed it). When she reconnects that core program up to Kitt's database - his long-term memories - then a new Kitt is recreated, but one who sounds the same and behaves the same, because of his programming - the only change, and the greatest worry, is how 'new' Kitt will process all that information. I haven't quite worked in the short-term memory of the acid pit, and how Kitt recognises the area and associates the place with suffering and fear, but I'm getting there! :wink:

The question of Kitt's 'soul' is more fascinating than memory, however! :)
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Re: Kitt's memory

Post by MSFproductionsMAIN » Sun Mar 09, 2008 4:10 pm

Funny, I kind of always thought of Mr Data on Star Trek as another version of KITT. Except with a humanoid body. Instead of a vehicle. They used to bring up these debates on the show. About if Data should be considered living or not. I see that KITT could have been given anyform they choose. Knight Industries Choose a car as his form. They could have made him some what of a humanoid robot partner for there use. But they choose not to. I see that KITT could be a Boat, Car, Airplane, SOme Big Main Frame that fills a room. Or even a Laptop Computer. But They chose a car to be his Body. I Believe that KITT is like Johny 5. He is Alive. So Advanced that he is self aware. Therfore KITT Lives. At Least in my theory.

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