six56

4th May 2011

The Matrix (1999)

Question: I get that people in the matrix, who have not been freed, are not ready to be freed, and I know at one point when Morpheus is explaining the matrix to Neo (I believe during the woman in the red dress test) he says something along the lines of: The matrix is a system, that system is our enemy. The matrix is filled with minds we are trying to save, but until we do they are still part of that system and that makes them our enemies. Many of them are so dependent on that system they will fight to defend it.- I am paraphrasing, but it is something like that. As I'm sure everyone knows he also says "The body cannot live without the mind." And therefore if you die in the matrix you die in the 'real' world. My question is, do they ever address the ethical questions that could arise from the fact that they kill mind after mind of police officers, SWAT teams, security guards, innocent humans just doing their jobs? I understand that sometimes it may be necessary, and that Neo doesn't have much choice but to fight agents and kill their hosts at times. But things like Mouse, knowing he is going to die so he grabs machine guns and takes out as many people as he can. Or when Neo and Trinity, on their way to save Morpheus, cover them selves in guns and take out that whole building of guards and pretty much end up with one gun each. The guards were completely prepared to let them enter the building freely if they passed the metal detector, could they not have went empty handed and just taken out two guards later, and used their weapons? It just seems like a pretty bad way to go about a mission to save people. Unless perhaps I missed a speech about sacrificing some minds for the cause or the needs of the many out weigh the needs of the few type deal. Just wondering if that is ever addressed.

six56

Chosen answer: No, they don't address it, other than Morpheus' speech during the test. It's not something that they have any realistic choice about, so they just have to accept it and do what they need to do. Mouse, yes, he chooses to defend himself when cornered, but who wouldn't? These may be innocent victims of the Matrix he's shooting at, but they're still there to kill him - he's hardly going to stand there and accept his fate meekly. There's also no indication that the guards were "completely prepared" to let Neo and Trinity into what's clearly a high security building, undoubtedly they would have been asked for identification, what their purpose was there and so forth and turned away if, as seems likely, their answers weren't satisfactory. Shooting their way in from the start is likely their only option. Yes, it's absolutely ethically unfortunate, but if they're going to resist the machines successfully, it's not something they have any choice about. A necessary evil.

Tailkinker Premium member

4th May 2011

The Matrix (1999)

Question: If agents are programs that are actually embedded into the Matrix coding themselves, then in theory, shouldn't they never miss the targets they are shooting at? We have aimbots and other programs today that can be used in video games, I've never used one but my understanding is they don't miss. Why would this not be the case in the Matrix?

six56

Chosen answer: It is theoretically possible for agents to get something similar to an aim-bot since the matrix is a simulation and agents probably do have access to the data needed to calculate how they should move and how they should fire their gun, calculate trajectories etc. in order to hit their target. The fact that they don't have an aim-bot mechanism only points to one thing. They don't have access to the computing power to calculate all that. It may take very little computer power in our games but if you want to make a prediction in the matrix you will need to simulate part of the matrix (not to say all of it if you wanna be 100% accurate) and have enough processing power to fast forward it and check if the outcome is you hitting the target in the coming seconds. But that's not all, you have to run that for every possible move you can think of until the outcome of this calculation is yes. Oh and every agent in the matrix should have that processing power available and with no delays, all this has to be real time or it's gonna be useless. So just like in our world when you don't have the computer power to calculate something you estimate it, you make an algorithm that is kinda good at it but far from perfect. Vis-a-vis agents AI algorithm.

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