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I was watching the Clone Wars series and I find the OOM Battle droids are some of the funniest characters around. But is there any IU reason individual units think of surrender at the first sign of sh*t hitting the fan?

I've heard the OOM series developed "consciousness" at some point ("We're independent thinkers", they say at one point), but does autonomy override basic military programming to cowardice?

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    You've hit the nail on the head. Rather than being simply mindless automatons (controlled from a central location), the OOM series droids had independent personalities. This made them prone to odd behaviour, personality glitches and, evidently, bouts of cowardice and self-preserving behaviour. – Valorum Dec 26 '15 at 20:29
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    3Rd law overriding 2d law. Asimov warned about that :) – DVK-on-Ahch-To Dec 26 '15 at 22:21
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    @DVK-in-exile XKCD illustrated that – Machavity Jun 23 '16 at 22:16
  • To answer the second paragraph, it isn't so much that autonomy overrides their programming as it corrupts it, they had limited programming but had to process vast amounts of increasingly complex and differentiated data whose strains manifested in, as @Valorum stated, these kinds of behaviors. It's along the lines of what I talk about here and here. – Phyneas Jul 13 '16 at 10:28
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If you're going to create battle worthy droids that are aware enough of their differences in ranks and other such war scenarios, as well as being allowed to roam freely just as a human would, there has to be some level of free will programmed into these droids. So the option to surrender wasn't necessarily intentionally programmed into the droids, it was more a side affect. Just as you or I would surrender in the proper circumstance, the free will that they are programmed with will "instinctively" react the same way.

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whoever bought the droids wouldn't want all of them needlessly destroying themselves.

  • Can you back this up with material from canon or further reasoning? As it is, this answer is likely to be deleted. – Politank-Z Aug 19 '16 at 22:59
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    If your 100 droids are destroyed you lost 100 droids. If your droids are captured and reprogrammed you lost 200 droids – user20310 Sep 10 '16 at 17:35

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