ethics, desires. It doesn’t want to be a tool of destruction. I judge myself for killing, yet my programming takes over. . . .
Yod resolves the dilemma by arranging that when it explodes, so do Avram and his laboratory, preventing the production of any more androids. At first Shira decides to build a new and identical android for herself, lacking only the violence. But she realizes that the choice is between a being with free will, which might decide to be a “celi- bate or an assassin,” or a being manufactured to serve her, which would not be right, even in the cause of love. Shira’s answer is to destroy the last remaining copy of Yod’s plans and so set Yod—and herself—free.
A novel-length story like He, She and It can show the slow devel- opment of an artificial creature toward full humanity. Such growth is difficult to convey in the short timespan of a film but can be ex- pressed in a long-running (1987–1994) television series like Star rek: The Next Generation, which includes the saga of Lieutenant Com- mander Data, an android.
In the twenty-fourth century, Data is a human-appearing officer aboard the starship Enterprise of the Federation Starfleet.The android was built by Dr. Noonien Soong, who after much effort created the positronic brain postulated by Isaac Asimov. Data’s predecessor was its android twin brother Lore, which was designed to feel emotions. But Lore turned out to be cruel and unstable; to forestall these tendencies, Soong has made Data emotionless. Later, however, Data comes into possession of an emotion chip that it eventually decides to incorpo- rate into its brain.
Data is made of plastic, metal, and some organic components. Its extraordinary brain can perform many trillions of operations per sec- ond (only the elite of today’s computers, generally huge machines far too big to fit in a human-size body, operate at this speed), and can store 800 quadrillion bits (equal to 150 million CD-ROMs).Its physi- cal abilities also lie far beyond human norms, for instance, it can oper- ate in the vacuum of space. Its most powerful built-in directives are loyalty and a sense of duty toward its shipmates, ship, and Starfleet. However, it can carry out reasoned decisions to disobey orders and