I, Robot: Dream And Fear Of Robots

| Tags: movie

Yesterday I was to the movies again. Hmm, spending much time in cinemas lately. Anyways, the film I watched was “I, Robot”. I was warned that the German dubbing is horrible and some jokes aren’t as good as in the original English version. Unfortunately the cinema in Hamburg where you can watch the movies in their original undubbed version, didn’t have it on its list anymore. Well, so I had to watch the German version, which wasn’t all that bad.

The movie is a nice solid action film without any surprises. The photography is done quite well. The last fighting scene is especially nice. Reminds me of scenes below Isengard in the LOTR movies.

Besides being an action film it’s also a science fiction movie and is based on stories by Isaac Asimov. Don’t know if Asimov actually wrote the story as it is told here or if only his robot laws and other parts of his stories were an inspiration to the film makers.

I somehow don’t like Asimov’s robot stories. Someday in the past I lent one fat book full of robot stories by Asimov. I fell asleep really fast and came to the conclusion that I should read something more gripping. Well, maybe only the first story was boring, but I didn’t try to find a better one in that book. I gave up on it. I don’t want to say that Asimov’s writings are all boring. I read the Foundation Trilogy and a good deal of those other books that are connected with it. That was really some gripping bulk of books, but those robot stories: no.

The funny thing with robots is that for over a hundred years now people dream about robots and fear them at the same time. They dream about robots who will do all the tedious work they don’t want to do. They dream of robots who will execute their commands and will ever be nice to them. At the same time they fear robots who will grow more intelligent that any human being. Robots who will take over the command over the earth and to whom all human beings will be slaves. So it’s a longing for the new that is intermingled with the fear of the new.

Another funny point is, that for a long time now, scientists in this field tell us, that soon there will be intelligent robots who will be capable of doing any work. They build robots which recognize walls and don’t bump against them hopelessly. They build robots which fight one against another. That’s all fun and nice , but there is not a glimmer of intelligence in those robots. The only one intelligent in this whole play are their makers, who come up with cool algorithms that make the robots look intelligent. Maybe, maybe that’s the natural border. The “Till here and no further”. I really doubt there will ever be really intelligent robots. As better algorithms are developed, new robots will be build and maybe sometime they will have housekeeping qualities, but nothing more.

That said, I’m not telling you, that you will never be killed by a robot. To build a robot that will kill you is maybe as trivial as taking a gun and shooting yourself a nice round hole in your head. It’s a fairly simple algorithm:

  • Take a gun into your right hand (some picture recognition work has to be done for this to prevent the robot from mistaking a banana for a gun)
  • Seek your target (Some more picture recognition)
  • Push the lever while aiming at your target.

That was wicked. You hoped you could go to bed, have some nice dreams about housekeeping robots and forget all your robot nightmares. No way!