More Human Than Human: Our Picks For The Best Synthetic Partners To Watch Our Backs
Data (Star Trek: The Next Generation)
Data brings quite a few selling points to the table when it comes to looking for a synthetic partner. He’s got that marvelous positronic brain that can summon up information on damn near anything, always a plus during a police investigation. He’s stronger than a human and can hold his own in a pitched phaser battle without having to worry about losing his nerve. Plus, his occasionally naive innocence makes him a great straight man to all the cynical wisecracking we would inevitably be doing if forced into a day-to-day partnership with an android. The notion of artificial beings striving to be more like their organic creators is a well-worn theme in science fiction, and Data’s series-long quest is a fondly remembered part of The Next Generation, but when you’re hitting the streets you might want to ask Data to switch off that emotion chip. His sense of humor leaves a lot to be desired. Manufacturer’s warning: you’re going to want to figure out some protocol to make sure you’re actually dealing with Data and not that rat bastard brother of his that’s always coming around.