The baseline test constituted a part of police protocol in the Blade Runner section of the force. Officer KD6-3.7 or "K" was subjected to the baseline test on June 30 and July 4, 2049, failing the examination the second time.
Unlike its predecessor, the Voight-Kampff Test, the baseline test was conducted by an unseen questioner who recited the examination through a machine opposite the subject under questioning. Throughout the exam, which was rather short in comparison to the Voight-Kampff Test; the questions, with the intonation and tempo in which they were asked, were rather impersonal.
The length and content of the test was based on the replicant's response time, becoming longer if their response was slow in the first few lines and using more of the poem.
He was forced to take the test again later, when he was caught outside of Stelline Laboratories, apparently having strayed from his initial mission to find and kill Rick Deckard and Rachael's child. Having been emotionally compromised by the assumed revelation that his false memories actually happened, K failed the test and was left to be debriefed by Joshi. After K claimed that he completed his mission, Joshi gave K forty-eight hours to return to his baseline and retake the test, although she was privately aware he would use the opportunity to escape.
Behind the scenes
"In the original Blade Runner, the Voight-Kampff method was used to distinguish Replicants from humans. In this film, a more advanced technology analyzes a Replicant's operational stability. 'The Baseline is designed to test the effects of a Blade Runner's job on his brain and psyche', explains Ryan Gosling. 'Because they have to kill their own kind, they constantly need to be assessed as to whether their work is having some kind of moral impact on them'"
Lapointe's book also reveals that the version of the test shown in the final cut was actually a rewrite done by Gosling himself.
The poem that begins the test and is quoted word-by-word throughout is from Vladimir Nabokov's novel Pale Fire.
The interrogator remarks "Constant K", at the end of the first Baseline Test, most likely making a reference to the K-complex, which is a waveform that may be seen on an electroencephalogram (EEG), in regards to K's consistent behavior and baseline. K-complexes have two proposed functions: first, suppressing cortical arousal in response to stimuli that the sleeping brain evaluates not to signal danger, and second, aiding sleep-based memory consolidation.