When one ponders the possibilities of the future of robotics and “artificial” intelligence (perhaps more properly “synthetic intelligence” once we’ve actually got it figured out), one usually looks to hard science fiction books. Isaac Asimov in particular comes to mind. A few movies have done an ok job, including the interesting but also very flawed “I, Robot” with Will Smith and Bridget Moynahan, and Terminator: Salvation. Both were at least decent movies, but neither felt particularly realistic and both tried to pull on our emotions in fairly obvious ways that felt anything but organic (the irony of that word is not lost on me).
I guess I haven’t been keeping up on the sci-fi production news recently, because the preview for “Automata” caught me completely by surprise. Starring Antonio Banderas, here we have a believable future (2044, 30 years from now) in which desertification is threatening society, and a single company is leading the way in intelligent robotics. Will this happen? Maybe not, but could it happen? Certainly. There’s at least one nod to Asimov’s 3 laws, and at least from the preview it feels more like a Asimov story, albeit with a somewhat gloomier tone, than “I, Robot” the movie was.
Ok, enough of my take, here’s the preview:
I don’t know how in depth we’ll get about the potential architectures that might give rise to a sentient machine which would prefer to live, but at least the movie makers aren’t trying to give us something all dolled up. As “District 9″ showed up the humanity of a severely alien species, finally we get dirty, mechanical robots that don’t look cute at all, but that arguably are alive in the only way that really matters. My fingers are crossed.
Thanks to IO9 for giving me the heads up and first look.
This post was picked by Kurzweil here and appeared on Kurzweil’s home page as the Top Story of the day- August 25, 2014