Robots were dreamt up 100 years ago – why haven’t our fears about them changed since? - Deepstash

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The Origin Of Robots In Pop Culture

The Origin Of Robots In Pop Culture

  • Robots have been a staple of science fiction movies for decades, and we now have robots of all shapes and sizes in real life.
  • The conceptualization of an entity which is not human and yet displays human-like characteristics along with special traits like perfect memory and work-efficiency was done by Karl Čapek in a play titled R.U.R.: Rossum’s Universal Robots in 1921, exactly hundred years ago.
  • The term robot was borrowed from a Czech word ‘robota’ which means forced labourer or slave.

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A Robot Is Man’s Desire To Be God

Robots have been in the popular culture for the past century, but the concept of human beings creating something that resembles them but is different or flawed, goes back to the early 19th century, with Mary Shelley’s 1818 classic Frankenstein.

Stories involving robots and similar synthetic creatures often involve them lacking human elements and emotions, and the introduction of such feelings forms the basis of the plot.

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Robots: Synthetic Creations

The robots dreamt up over the last hundred years have similar traits:

  • Highly efficient mechanical or genetically modified/cloned humans created artificially through an industrial process.
  • Doing mundane tasks that humans used to do with precision and without the need of rest.
  • Being extremely rational and logical, lacking the human element of uncertainty and unpredictability.
  • A danger to humanity, with the potential to destroy human civilization.
  • Robots mixed with capitalism, nationalism, or rapid technological progress becoming a highly dangerous cocktail of destruction.
  • Robots reading human history and concluding that murder and conquest is the norm.

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Robots: 100 Years, Same Story

We are unconsciously transferring our desires, fears, violence and genocidal tendencies to the synthetic creatures.

Whether it is the 1921 play R.U.R., or Avengers movie Age Of Ultron, robots who gain sentience or consciousness are almost always hell-bent on committing genocide, eradicating mankind in the most ruthless and efficient manner. This may be due to us making robots (or even artificial intelligence) in our own image, much like the stories of Gods that we have read.

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