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LIREC
ROBOT FICTIONS: ENTERTAINMENT
CULTURES AND ENGINEERING RESEARCH
ENTANGLEMENTS
NICOLAS NOVA, 15.06.2011, HATFIELD




          WWW.LIFTLAB.COM
2
I   ROBOTA: A FICTION FROM THE OUTSET               24

    Rossum’s Universal Robots (Karel Kapek, 1920)
3
I   THE EVOLUTION OF SCI-FI THEMES (STEPHANIE FOX)   24
4
I   ROBOT ARCHETYPES   24
5
I   ROBOT FICTION INFLUENCE(D) THEIR DESIGN   24




    “Robots are popular culture. There
    isn’t any “knock-off” possible
    there; it’s been knock-off from the
    get-go. It’s like worrying about
    somebody “knocking-off” cowboy
    movies.”
                          Bruce Sterling
6
I   CULTURAL ELEMENTS CIRCULATION (ZIMMERMANN, 2010)   24
7
I   ASSUMPTIONS EMBEDDED INTO OBJECTS (AKRICH, 1992)   24




       these assumptions influence
       robot design (consciously or not)
8
II   ROBOT IDIOMS                             24




     robot, droid, android, bot, bioroid,
     cyborg...

     Asimo (Asimov), irobot (Asimov’
     book), GOLEM (jewish fictional
     character), Hadaly (Villiers de l’Isle
     d’Dam’s fictional android), ELIZA
     (after Bernard Shaw’s theatre play)

     -> influence on what robots do/are
9
II   RECURRING TROPE 1: THE SHAPE(S) OF ROBOTS                               24




                              pool-cleaner

         robot-objects                             vacuum-cleaner


                              automatic car

                                                   lawn-mower




                                 android

         bio-mimetic robots                          robotic arm



                                zoomorphic robot

                                                     4-legged (dog)

                                                     2-legged (duck)

                                                     No legs (snake, fish)
10
II   RECURRING TROPE 1: THE SHAPE(S) OF ROBOTS   24




       “the android is a solution
       waiting for a problem”
       Mark Meadows
11
II   RECURRING TROPE 1: THE SHAPE(S) OF ROBOTS                           24

     Study conducted at Swiss Institute of Technology, Lausanne (2008)
     about people’s feeling towards robots
12
II   WHAT THE ROBOT IDEA TAUGHT US...                      24




                          robots in scifi introduced the
                          idea that objects can have
                          “personality”, a behavior
13
II   SHOULD ROBOTS BE MIMETIC?                           24




                     “it becomes real by behaving
                     real, by demonstrating the
                     behavior of things that are real”
                                         Kevin Slavin
14
II   RECURRING TROPE 2: ROBOT BEHAVIOR (ASIMOV)   24
15
II   RECURRING TROPE 2: ROBOT BEHAVIOR   24
16
II   RECURRING TROPE 2: ROBOT BEHAVIOR   24
17
II   IS LAW 2 APPLICABLE? (KAPLAN, 2001)                  24




                               how to define a “human”?
                               how to define “harm”?
18
II   RECURRING TROPE 4: AUTOMATION                     24




                                ambivalence: control
                                versus automation
19
III   BUT SCI-FI IS NOT JUST A GADGET CATALOGUE...                      24

      “Implications not just applications” Antony Dunne
      "A good science fiction story should be able to predict not the
      automobile but the traffic jam" Frederik Pohl
20
III   ... SCI-FI AND PROBLEMS...                                      24




      “The door refused to open. It said, “Five cents, please.(...)
      payment to his door for opening and shutting constituted
      a mandatory fee. Not a tip.
      (...)
      From the drawer beside the sink Joe Chip got a stainless
      steel knife; with it he began systematically to unscrew
      the bolt assembly of his apt’s money-gulping door. “I’ll
      sue you,” the door said as the first screw fell out.Joe Chip
      said, “I’ve never been sued by a door. But I guess I can
      live through it.”

      Philip K. Dick: Ubik
21
III   TODAY’S PROBLEM                                         24



                        ‘The fact that the robot couldn't
                        tell if it was a good time to
                        interrupt was a big problem for the
                        nursing staff: "I called it nasty
                        names and told it, 'Would you shut
                        the hell up? Can't you see I'm on
                        the phone? If you say "TUG has
                        arrived" one more time I'm going to
                        kick you in your camera.' "Some
                        staff members actually did lash
                        out and kick TUG in frustration’

                        New Scientist, 2010: http://cli.gs/
                        T7VH6e
22
IV   CO-CONSTRUCTION                                                      24

     “Human Computer Interaction in Science Fiction Movies” by Schmitz,
     Endres & Butzi (2008)



                  films cite existing technology



                  technology          films inspire
                  inspire films       new technology



                  filmmakers and technologists
                  developed shared new visions
THANK YOU MERCI GRACIAS DANKE GRAZIE




NICOLAS NOVA

nicolas@liftlab.com
www.liftlab.com
24
 REFERENCES                                                                                                                         24




Article references

Slide 5: Dreaming of Robots: An           Slide 13: Slavin, K. (2011). Reality Is       Slide 22: Schmitz, M., Endres, C. & Butz,
Interview with Bruce Sterling, acm        Plenty, Thanks. MoMo Amsterdam,               A. (2008). A survey of human-computer
interactions, march-april 2005.           http://www.youtube.com/watch?                 interaction design in science fiction
Slide 6: Zimmermann, B. (2010).           v=o03wWtWASW4                                 movies, Proceeding of INTETAIN '08
Redesigning Culture: Chinese Characters   Slide 15: Weld, D. & Etzioni, O. (1994).      Proceedings of the 2nd international
in Alphabet-Encoded Networks”, Design     The first law of robotics (a call to arms),   conference on INtelligent TEchnologies
and Culture, 2-1, 27-43.                  Proceeding AAAI'94 Proceedings of the         for interactive enterTAINment
Slide 7: Akrich, M. (1992), "The          twelfth national conference on Artificial
description of technical objects", in     intelligence (vol. 2).
Bijker, W.E., Law, J. (Eds),Shaping       Slide 16: Murphy, R.R. and Woods, D.
Technology/Building Society, MIT Press.   (2009). Beyond Asimov: The Three Laws
Slide 10: Meadows, M. (2010). We,         of Responsible Robotics IEEE Intelligent
Robot. The Lyons Press                    Systems, pp. 14–20
Slide 11: Ray, C., Mondada, F. &          Slide 17: Kaplan, F. (2001). Un robot
Siegwart, R. (2008). What do people       peut-il être notre ami ?. In Orlarey, Y.,
expect from robots? IEEE International    editor, L'Art, la pensée, les émotions,
Conference on Intelligent Robots and      pages 99-106.
Systems, pp. 3816-3821.

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Robot fictions: entertainment cultures and engineering research entanglements

  • 1. LIREC ROBOT FICTIONS: ENTERTAINMENT CULTURES AND ENGINEERING RESEARCH ENTANGLEMENTS NICOLAS NOVA, 15.06.2011, HATFIELD WWW.LIFTLAB.COM
  • 2. 2 I ROBOTA: A FICTION FROM THE OUTSET 24 Rossum’s Universal Robots (Karel Kapek, 1920)
  • 3. 3 I THE EVOLUTION OF SCI-FI THEMES (STEPHANIE FOX) 24
  • 4. 4 I ROBOT ARCHETYPES 24
  • 5. 5 I ROBOT FICTION INFLUENCE(D) THEIR DESIGN 24 “Robots are popular culture. There isn’t any “knock-off” possible there; it’s been knock-off from the get-go. It’s like worrying about somebody “knocking-off” cowboy movies.” Bruce Sterling
  • 6. 6 I CULTURAL ELEMENTS CIRCULATION (ZIMMERMANN, 2010) 24
  • 7. 7 I ASSUMPTIONS EMBEDDED INTO OBJECTS (AKRICH, 1992) 24 these assumptions influence robot design (consciously or not)
  • 8. 8 II ROBOT IDIOMS 24 robot, droid, android, bot, bioroid, cyborg... Asimo (Asimov), irobot (Asimov’ book), GOLEM (jewish fictional character), Hadaly (Villiers de l’Isle d’Dam’s fictional android), ELIZA (after Bernard Shaw’s theatre play) -> influence on what robots do/are
  • 9. 9 II RECURRING TROPE 1: THE SHAPE(S) OF ROBOTS 24 pool-cleaner robot-objects vacuum-cleaner automatic car lawn-mower android bio-mimetic robots robotic arm zoomorphic robot 4-legged (dog) 2-legged (duck) No legs (snake, fish)
  • 10. 10 II RECURRING TROPE 1: THE SHAPE(S) OF ROBOTS 24 “the android is a solution waiting for a problem” Mark Meadows
  • 11. 11 II RECURRING TROPE 1: THE SHAPE(S) OF ROBOTS 24 Study conducted at Swiss Institute of Technology, Lausanne (2008) about people’s feeling towards robots
  • 12. 12 II WHAT THE ROBOT IDEA TAUGHT US... 24 robots in scifi introduced the idea that objects can have “personality”, a behavior
  • 13. 13 II SHOULD ROBOTS BE MIMETIC? 24 “it becomes real by behaving real, by demonstrating the behavior of things that are real” Kevin Slavin
  • 14. 14 II RECURRING TROPE 2: ROBOT BEHAVIOR (ASIMOV) 24
  • 15. 15 II RECURRING TROPE 2: ROBOT BEHAVIOR 24
  • 16. 16 II RECURRING TROPE 2: ROBOT BEHAVIOR 24
  • 17. 17 II IS LAW 2 APPLICABLE? (KAPLAN, 2001) 24 how to define a “human”? how to define “harm”?
  • 18. 18 II RECURRING TROPE 4: AUTOMATION 24 ambivalence: control versus automation
  • 19. 19 III BUT SCI-FI IS NOT JUST A GADGET CATALOGUE... 24 “Implications not just applications” Antony Dunne "A good science fiction story should be able to predict not the automobile but the traffic jam" Frederik Pohl
  • 20. 20 III ... SCI-FI AND PROBLEMS... 24 “The door refused to open. It said, “Five cents, please.(...) payment to his door for opening and shutting constituted a mandatory fee. Not a tip. (...) From the drawer beside the sink Joe Chip got a stainless steel knife; with it he began systematically to unscrew the bolt assembly of his apt’s money-gulping door. “I’ll sue you,” the door said as the first screw fell out.Joe Chip said, “I’ve never been sued by a door. But I guess I can live through it.” Philip K. Dick: Ubik
  • 21. 21 III TODAY’S PROBLEM 24 ‘The fact that the robot couldn't tell if it was a good time to interrupt was a big problem for the nursing staff: "I called it nasty names and told it, 'Would you shut the hell up? Can't you see I'm on the phone? If you say "TUG has arrived" one more time I'm going to kick you in your camera.' "Some staff members actually did lash out and kick TUG in frustration’ New Scientist, 2010: http://cli.gs/ T7VH6e
  • 22. 22 IV CO-CONSTRUCTION 24 “Human Computer Interaction in Science Fiction Movies” by Schmitz, Endres & Butzi (2008) films cite existing technology technology films inspire inspire films new technology filmmakers and technologists developed shared new visions
  • 23. THANK YOU MERCI GRACIAS DANKE GRAZIE NICOLAS NOVA nicolas@liftlab.com www.liftlab.com
  • 24. 24 REFERENCES 24 Article references Slide 5: Dreaming of Robots: An Slide 13: Slavin, K. (2011). Reality Is Slide 22: Schmitz, M., Endres, C. & Butz, Interview with Bruce Sterling, acm Plenty, Thanks. MoMo Amsterdam, A. (2008). A survey of human-computer interactions, march-april 2005. http://www.youtube.com/watch? interaction design in science fiction Slide 6: Zimmermann, B. (2010). v=o03wWtWASW4 movies, Proceeding of INTETAIN '08 Redesigning Culture: Chinese Characters Slide 15: Weld, D. & Etzioni, O. (1994). Proceedings of the 2nd international in Alphabet-Encoded Networks”, Design The first law of robotics (a call to arms), conference on INtelligent TEchnologies and Culture, 2-1, 27-43. Proceeding AAAI'94 Proceedings of the for interactive enterTAINment Slide 7: Akrich, M. (1992), "The twelfth national conference on Artificial description of technical objects", in intelligence (vol. 2). Bijker, W.E., Law, J. (Eds),Shaping Slide 16: Murphy, R.R. and Woods, D. Technology/Building Society, MIT Press. (2009). Beyond Asimov: The Three Laws Slide 10: Meadows, M. (2010). We, of Responsible Robotics IEEE Intelligent Robot. The Lyons Press Systems, pp. 14–20 Slide 11: Ray, C., Mondada, F. & Slide 17: Kaplan, F. (2001). Un robot Siegwart, R. (2008). What do people peut-il être notre ami ?. In Orlarey, Y., expect from robots? IEEE International editor, L'Art, la pensée, les émotions, Conference on Intelligent Robots and pages 99-106. Systems, pp. 3816-3821.