On TNG episode Brothers I'm kinda siding with Lore. Why did Noonien Soong create a whole other Android instead of just fixing the one he had? I don't know how that's the logical choice and I can see why Lore thinks Soong is favoriting his sons. Why disassemble Lore instead of just powering him down and fixing his malfunction?

  • 7
    sometimes in coding / engineering the underlying architecture of what you are trying to achieve is fundamentally flawed and it's quicker and easier to just start over
    – NKCampbell
    Feb 6, 2018 at 17:30
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    Maybe he would have seen it as unethical to “fix the function” of a thinking being, perhaps even more so than simply killing them?
    – Adamant
    Feb 6, 2018 at 17:37
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    I can't give a canon answer, but in the real world when training artificial neural networks, a bug in the neuron programming, or a flaw early in training, can become so compounded by the feedback loop over time that it's much easier (and very common during development) to wipe the network and start over than to try to fix it through additional training.
    – Kevin Fee
    Feb 6, 2018 at 17:43
  • Soong modelled the android series on himself, and Lore was the most fully realized version.
    – Gaultheria
    Feb 6, 2018 at 19:32

1 Answer 1


Data was built in reaction to the colonists' fear of Lore.

Lore was made to be as close to human as possible, complete with emotions. He was unstable, however, causing the colonists to pressure Soong to deactivate him. The early design, coupled with the general unpredictability of emotions and a superhumanly strong and fast android....well, you can see why they were concerned. Data was made to be a less threatening iteration of Lore.

Lore was a prototype

Lore was Soong's first success in creating a positronic brain; his previous failures are what led to his going into seclusion to continue his work. As a prototype/proof of concept, naturally Lore's design was not perfect. He functioned, but not completely to spec, partly due to the unpredictability of emotions, but also due to some integral design flaws that likely exacerbated the problem.

Data is the result of Soong's refinement of that design, and the removal of the destabilizing element - emotions.

Soong didn't know how to fix Lore - yet

As some of the comments to the original question indicate, solving the problems with Lore necessitated a clean start, as the issues were at such a fundamental level. It was less an issue of fixing the prototype, than improving the overall underlying design. By removing the destabilizing elements, Soong got a cleaner, simpler design to work with and improve on, which made it easier for him to eventually figure out where the original design went wrong. He could then take those lessons and apply them to Lore.

This is also why Lore wasn't simply destroyed - Soong needed time, and additional data (pun intended) in order to learn how to fix Lore. This can be seen in s4e3 "Brothers": Soong developed an improved emotion chip for Data, with the intent of porting it over to Lore if it is successful.

  • "Soong developed an improved emotion chip for Data, with the intent of porting it over to Lore if it is successful." I don't think the assertion about Lore is true. Soong didn't realize Lore had been reactivated as his appearance in response to the homing beacon is a surprise to him. Additionally, Soong summoned Data because he was dying and wanted to finish his functionality. Combine these two facts, and there's no way Soong has any real intent of fixing Lore since he lacks the time to do so and thinks Lore is still in pieces.
    – Ellesedil
    Feb 6, 2018 at 23:42

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