Robots

Will Our Robot Overlords Be Freer Than Us? A Philosophical Investigation

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Give the British a perfectly normal story about robots, and they will turn it into a disquisition on freedom. In the recent posthumanist film Ex Machina, director Alex Garland does just that: when a brilliant programmer builds an artificially intelligent creature named Ava, it isn’t long before she kills everyone and flees headlong from captivity. But when she exits the compound, is she truly free?
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10 Fascinating Human and A.I. Relationships on Film

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The Internet still hasn’t recovered from the GIFs and trailers featuring Ex Machina star Oscar Isaac strutting his stuff on the dance floor with Sonoya Mizuno’s A.I. Kyoko. The Alex Garland film — centered on the tension between a reclusive inventor, young programmer, and a highly advanced female android named Ava — is in theaters this weekend. The human-robot relationship has taken many forms since it first started appearing on the big screen. We explore a few of the cinematic bonds and struggles between bots and people, below.
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Reboots, Robots and ‘Recreation': Links You Need To See

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Sobs will surely be heard throughout American households tonight as Parks and Recreation fans gather to watch the series finale of the seven season show. And while cries and moans might be appropriate, consider this alternative: commemorating the beloved show with a group sing-along of legendary guitarist Andy Dwyer’s (aka Johnny Karate) finest work. It’s also crucial, in these tough times, to remember that nothing is ever truly gone… so long as it’s commoditized. Parks and Recreation will always be in your hearts (with purchase of this show-related paraphernalia).
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6 Books That Will Prepare You for the Inevitable Robot Uprising

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“Our great-grandparents loved killer robots. So do we. But why?” Daniel H. Wilson asks that question in the foreword of the short story collection he edited, Robot Uprisings, which includes work by Cory Doctrow, Scott Sigler, Charles Yu, Robin Wasserman, and many others. It’s full of stories of the near-future, when the things we created, as Jeff Abbott puts it in his piece, “wanted to be just like us.”
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Charming and Goofy Robot Sculptures Created From Discarded Household Items

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California-based artist Tal Avitzur scours scrap and salvage yards for materials to build his collection of Talbotics, a mini race of robots made from a variety of odd items. Each one has a distinct look and, by extension, a distinct personality. “From a workshop full of thousands of parts, I place pieces together like a puzzle until I get a natural looking fit,” Avitzur writes. “I then cut, grind, drill, tap and whatever else is necessary to connect objects that were not meant to be connected.” Be forewarned, however, as the robots won’t be making our lives easier anytime soon. “Though these robots don’t clean your house, wash your car, walk your dog, or sing and dance, they do light up,” Avitzur admits. Although that also means they won’t take over the world and destroy all of us, either! (Phew.)
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Movie Robots From ‘Metropolis’ to ‘Pacific Rim': An Evolutionary Study

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Say what you will about its other flaws — and there’s plenty to say — but Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim (out today in wide release) delivers what it promises: giant goddamn robots fighting giant monsters in the ocean. Gazing upon the magnificence of the film’s enormous machines, it’s easy to marvel at how far moviemakers have come in their onscreen portrayals of mechanical beings. A brief history:
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