the story: Data comes to the defense of mining equipment that has gained sentience.
similar to: "Home Soil," "Evolution," "Emergence" (Next Generation)
my thoughts: Like Voyager's obsession with holographic life, Next Generation had a fixation on artificial life. Voyager's was because of the Emergency Medical Hologram. Next Generation's was because of Data. Both times, it only figured.
"Quality of Life" still seems unnecessarily redundant, though in revisiting familiar territory, it forces the two streams, episodes that didn't necessarily revolve around Data (see the list above) and those that did ("The Measure of a Man," "The Offspring"), to come together, as he puts himself at risk to be the mining equipment's advocate, and asks Picard to understand based on that history.
There's really not much to say about it otherwise.