Are Gen 3 Synths People?

Discussion in 'Fallout 4' started by Amgry_Meatball, Apr 28, 2020.


Are Gen 3 Synths humans?

  1. Yes, they are humans

  2. No, those things are androids

  1. Amgry_Meatball

    Amgry_Meatball First time out of the vault

    Apr 28, 2020
    My friend and I have been arguing about if the gen 3 synths are humans. My friend believes that they are born and completely made of flesh, bone, and blood that they are then humans. He doesn't believe that they are robots and if anything he would barely consider them cyborgs. Myself on the other hand know that they are "robots"/"androids" since they are created in a lab like the other androids. They are built not born and are put together to be a robot like creature. Theses things are not humans!! Just looking for some opinions on this. Thanks.
  2. Atomic Postman

    Atomic Postman Vault Archives Overseer

    Mar 16, 2013
    Biologically, Synths are indistinguishable from a human. Same as Replicants in Blade Runner. They're less robots and moreso lab-grown people.

    I can't exactly remember how Fallout 4 handles the development of their personality/emotions since I only played it once, but if it's the same as Blade Runner I'd say they are humans, even if not by technicality they're deserving of humanity anyway.
  3. Hassknecht

    Hassknecht For hate's sake. Staff Member Admin Orderite Board Cop oTO

    Aug 16, 2010
    Yeah, they're people. It's stated that they're based on Shaun's DNA that has been modified by FEV. They do have a neurological implant that allows the Institute to control them, though.
    They are assembled like androids, but I think it's similar to Leeloo in Fifth Element, where she's also assembled piece by piece, but the end result is still entirely biological.
  4. Hardboiled Android

    Hardboiled Android Vault Senior Citizen

    Jun 7, 2015
    Game would've been way more interesting if the Institute actually was able to form coherent arguments as to why they're not people beyond insisting that they aren't - but of course, that would require good writing and at least reasonably intelligent people to come up with semi-legible technobabble and basic understandings of philosophy.

    But within the game, there's never really any reason to doubt whether or not they're people
  5. SilverStarApple/Epsilon7

    SilverStarApple/Epsilon7 Still Mildly Glowing

    Oct 27, 2017
    Logically, no. And canonically, no. They're not "based on Shaun's DNA", they're machines. You know the metallic Terminator-lookalikes, the earlier-gen Synths? The later-gen Synths look the same way on the inside. Shaun's DNA is used to artificially create the skinsuits they wear and the organs they use.

    Anything about them being "Completely human aside from their synth component" is conjecture, fan-theory, or someone mishearing dialogue. Synths are machines you can turn on and off, reprogram, and mess with at will. Maybe if there was a quest where you help a Synth remove their Synth Component to become immune to shutdown codes, I'd buy that theory. But the closest we ever come to that is Curie transferring her robotic consciousness to a braindead Synth body.

    The "Robots like Mr Gutsy and ED-E are alive" theory has more evidence for it than "Synths are people".

    Now, the writers want you to say "Androids are just as good as people and deserve equal rights" because Detroit: Become Human made a lot of money and this is one of sci-fi's oldest cliches. The authors tried real hard to equate people who don't love synths with racists. And they left the argument and exploration of what a Synth is there, content and convinced that they'd done enough for their game to appear "deep".

    But because the characters never confirm in-universe that "escaped synths" are anything more than malfunctioning hardware running a really convincing simulation of a person, and spent their time putting immortal ghoul kids in fridges and giving ghouls magic and inventing drugs that turn you into ghouls for the purposes of a mediocre superhero origin for a companion that never truly matters to the story or endgame in the way some FNV companions could, all I can say is... Bethesda's writers just work, even though Fallout 5 would be greatly improved if they didn't and better writers were hired instead.
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 2
  6. Hassknecht

    Hassknecht For hate's sake. Staff Member Admin Orderite Board Cop oTO

    Aug 16, 2010
    They don't like like earlier synths underneath, though. They are "synthetic organics", not just their skin, but all of it. If they were mechanical underneath, why are they hard to spot? They're not quite baseline human, but more like Blade Runner's Replicants, genetically engineered and assembled pseudo-humans. Said (and shown) to be assembled in a special way, and not mechanical underneath.

    But of course, thanks to the writers' limitless incompetence, the whole concept never really got anywhere. They couldn't make their mind up on how they want to portray them, so it just became a mess. Removing the synth component would have been a great quest indeed. Or humans trying to upload their minds into synth bodies due to their obvious advantages.
    Also, Detroit: Become Human came out much later.
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 4

  7. You're in for a rude lifetime filled with horror and tragedy.

    Better question would be "Are people machines?" We already have some answers to that question.
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  8. SquidWard

    SquidWard Pirate and Bankrobber oTO Orderite

    Jun 1, 2018
    Who cares if they are technically humans or even flesh and bone? Do they show sentience? Do their feelings get hurt? Do they exhibit empathy and compassion?

    Life as we know it is a machine like Dopa hinted at. You have parts of you that serve specific functions and rely on the entire system to work that creates you. You don't even have full control of the machine, if you hold your breath you'll pass out and start breathing again, you cannot will your heart to stop beating, your body carries on functions without your approval. Some would argue that you have no control since your emotions make a majority of your decisions and that you are controlled by them. Fun fact, calcium is a metal therefore we are robots right?

    Anyway, why the hell would you build machines with emotions and sentience if you just want them to serve you obediently? I'm sure there's reasons but not enough to justify creating slaves that eventually will hate their existence and rulers. I'm sure if you could grant something sentience like that you could find a way to make it intelligent enough for all your needs without it questioning your orders.
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 3
  9. The Dutch Ghost

    The Dutch Ghost Grouchy old man of NMA Moderator

    Jan 11, 2004
    I found a lot of the android stuff pointless even I liked to a certain degree fighting the more artificial ones.

    I really don't get from a plot point of view why the Institute did not stick to just robots for all their labor/manual work. The human shape is not always the most useful one for various tasks, that is why we have machines.
    So why build an android that can drive a tractor to pull a plow when you can build a robot that is the tractor and the plow?

    And likewise, why give a machine even an artificial approximation of self awareness?

  10. A human form can use all known machines and that is much more effiecent. It can do tasks related to the care of humans. It can take orders from a layman who isn't an autistic bioengineer.

    Also what is self-awareness anyways?
  11. Atomic Postman

    Atomic Postman Vault Archives Overseer

    Mar 16, 2013
    This is patently wrong. It is literally stated in-game that they are the same in effect as Blade Runner's replicants, i.e biologically flesh and blood. They're lab-grown people. It's why Maxson draws the line of humanization at womb gestation vs synthetic gestation rather than them being literal robo-machines.

    This seems like a weird projection although not entirely unfounded.. The similarity, I suppose, is that the crux of the anti-synth beliefs is dehumanization, which is also a common factor of racism. So a totalitarian ideology like Maxson's BoS that, as part of its goals, seeks to dehumanize and exterminate a population is probably pretty evocative of real life racists, yeah.

    I could see two ways of explaining this, and they went for neither. The first is that you can use the setting as a crutch: The Institute is seeking to create the most versatile, adaptable and minimalist automatons ever created. In the Fallout, having "true" AI requires a massive tape-reel supercomputer ala ZAX. It is just impossible to minimize to the scale they want with the level of intelligence they want, so in actual fact flash-cloning human brains as biological processors is the perfect way of creating man-sized "artificial" intelligence. This is thrown out the window immediately in the actual game by the fact that the Gen 2 Synths are entirely mechanical, perfectly minimalist and as we see with Nick Valentine, have achieved true AI anyway. Somehow.

    The second is that the Institute could have been transhumanists with a Master esque plan to create a race of ubersmench genetically perfected synth-people. Like Blade Runner's replicants they could be "more human than human", i.e immune to disease, radiation and superhuman in strength. They could have been intentionally creating their own replacements. Would have perhaps been too much of a Master retread, though.
    • [Rad] [Rad] x 1
  12. SilverStarApple/Epsilon7

    SilverStarApple/Epsilon7 Still Mildly Glowing

    Oct 27, 2017
    Because if they were smart enough to recognize that a VTOL flying drone with a gun and robot eyes would be better at long-distance laser sniping (and therefore killing) than a Super Soldier Courser and far easier to manufacture en masse, there wouldn't be a story or a game. The second you go against them, you'd be killed instantly by flying aimbot bullshit drones with a canonical excuse to share vision and see in multiple vision spectrums, rendering Stealth Boys useless against them. So they'd be free to... do whatever the hell it is the Institute does besides "be the evil mad scientist guys sometimes".

    The authors saw some old-ish remake of a far older sci-fi movie once and wanted to be "deep" like that. Plus they really wanted to one-up Mr House and Old World Blues. So they invented a whole new nonsense faction that one-ups everything they took away from House and the Think Tank. "Better" robots, "Better" AIs that don't turn against them usually, teleporters, more people, "Better" tech to a cartoonish degree, random synth gorillas instead of obviously-robotic scorpions, and so on.
  13. The Dutch Ghost

    The Dutch Ghost Grouchy old man of NMA Moderator

    Jan 11, 2004
    If the machines are build, but most machines in the Fallout universe are destroyed or broken down hence a lot of manual or animal labor.

    Okay even my example is a bit of a bad one but you are still better off with a multipurpose robot like a Mr Handy who can have tools directly installed into it.

    I have not said that robots can not have sophisticated programming and problem solving routines but it doesn't need self awareness.

    I give you that one and that is also something I have been proposing as an alternative for the Fallout 4 plot; that the androids were meant to replace baseline humanity as humanityplus.

    I know it would be a repeat of the Master's plan but it would have worked much better.
    The androids are a threat because they will replace all normal humans in time.

    And I also recall suggesting that the Institute cloned human brains to use as processors because they can not scale down mechanical processors capable of running human like intelligence.

  14. You still don't understand that hands are developed for tool use. Mr. Handy has no hands because he's a parody of Robby the robot.
  15. Hassknecht

    Hassknecht For hate's sake. Staff Member Admin Orderite Board Cop oTO

    Aug 16, 2010
    They set up the Blade Runner reference in Fallout 3 already, and made it the main quest in Fallout 4. Bethesda's writers are hacks and wanted replicants to be the story, as it had been rumoured for many years. Of course the synths make no sense, but as you said, they wanted a story.
    Gen 1 and 2 synths are kinda useful as Dopa said because they can use normal human tools. Gen 3 synths that heavily blur the line between human and machine are stupid since giving your manufactured slaves the very obvious capability of self-consciousness and free will is retarded, but again, Blade Runner reference made by hacks.
  16. Atomic Postman

    Atomic Postman Vault Archives Overseer

    Mar 16, 2013
    Part of me says humanoid androids isn't out of league for Fallout, but the other part speaks to the idea that the whole Blade Runner/replicant transhumanism issue is a very different kind and very different era of sci-fi that Fallout should be evoking. It opens a gigantic can of worms for the setting and effectively elevates it in terms of technological level to a whole other sphere if you can mass produce cyborg humans. I don't think it's necessarily a bad area to explore and certainly it is very interesting to pit the Brotherhood against that because post-war androids replacing mankind is literally the exact kind of hypothetical that justifies their ideology. It goes without saying that it's all wasted breath in the midst of Todd Howard, though.
  17. Sentient AI would be useful if it wasn't impulse driven. That is a paradox because 99.5% of humanity is impulse driven. One could say they aren't aware themselves. This is a free will paradox. Does free will exist? Yes but No. No, but yes.

    Its as if the Quantum Wave Particle Paradox is related to freewill itself. Going too metaphysical here probably.

    One could say one couldnt exist without the other. A background for an observer so to speak.

    In the end, the human body is quite underated how well evolved and adapted it truly is, and for freewill itself...The only awnser is the end of a tunnel that will make you have a seizure and your eyes bleed. 10101010100010001010101001
    Last edited by a moderator: May 15, 2020
  18. Atomic Postman

    Atomic Postman Vault Archives Overseer

    Mar 16, 2013
    If you had some Blade Runner 2049 style memory factory/control you could probably condition/brainwash them prior to deployment to the point that their impulsive desires might be indistinguishable from the kind of obedient automaton you would want.

    If you create the right context and the right mental box to put them in, having human thought doesn't stop them from being slavish robots.
  19. Or you could just give them sex organs.
  20. Atomic Postman

    Atomic Postman Vault Archives Overseer

    Mar 16, 2013
    No need. Act in the style of the Combine from Half-Life, augmentations that directly stimulate the brain to simulate sexual pleasure to reward them when they obey.