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Robotics Entertainment Idle

Robots Debut In Japanese Theater Production 75

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the first-the-auto-industry-now-our-actors dept.
An anonymous reader writes "BBC News and CNET Cutting Edge are reporting on a new play starring at Osaka University, in which two Mitsubishi Wakamaru robots interact with human actors and move around the stage. Named 'Hataraku Watashi' ('I, Worker'), the play is authored by Oriza Hirata, a renowned playwright. It focuses on a robot who complains about his boring and demeaning jobs."
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Robots Debut In Japanese Theater Production

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  • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Wednesday November 26, 2008 @11:52AM (#25900085) Homepage

    * Life," said Marvin, "don't talk to me about life."

    * "Come on," he droned, "I've been ordered to take you down to the bridge. Here I am, brain the size of a planet and they ask me to take you down to the bridge. Call that job satisfaction? 'Cos I don't."

    Art imitates ... Art.

  • by ColdWetDog (752185) on Wednesday November 26, 2008 @12:13PM (#25900335) Homepage

    Marvin the android is part of a comedy series, but if you want to see real tragedy, see the droids in the Star Wars Universe.

    "Humor is tragedy plus time" - Mark Twain

    And no, I don't know where I'm going with this.

  • by Cro Magnon (467622) on Wednesday November 26, 2008 @12:49PM (#25900759) Homepage Journal

    Agreed! Personally, I value droid "life" more than I would Jar-Jar's.

  • by jollyreaper (513215) on Wednesday November 26, 2008 @02:39PM (#25901775)

    Marvin the android is part of a comedy series, but if you want to see real tragedy, see the droids in the Star Wars Universe.

    They are self-aware, capable of reasoning and emotion, and yet they are all slaves and no one pays more than cursory attention to them. ...maybe its because they don't rip people's arms out of their sockets when they lose at chess

    More to the point, it sounds like droids tend to develop personalities over time, growing and adapting beyond the standard unit they were when they rolled off the assembly line. The solution? Get the memory banks wiped. Essentially lobotomizing a sentient being so that it returns to being a docile slave.

    I guess what makes this more tricky in the Star Wars universe is that slaves in our world are human, always have been and always will be. There's a huge distinction between them and service animals -- we look down on people who work a horse to death but it's not held to the same criminal standard as slavery and working a person to death. My dad, being a mechanic, looks at abused machines with the same sense of pain as an animal lover looks at a whipped horse. When talking about the machines in Star Wars, you're talking a spectrum ranging from unthinking machines no smarter than one of our cars all the way up to super-human intelligence and everything in between.

    Of course, this brings us back to the old, often-repeated story lines. Slave rebellions were one of the old standbys and a robot rebellion is just gussying up the same old story with rocket ships and ray guns. Funny to think how many scifi story lines have that same premise, everything from Terminator to Matrix to the Butlerian Jihad in Dune.

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