Could Humans Become a Trend?
By Amy Lignor
AMC’s TV show “Humans” may have started this whole thing. After all, before that show aired, robots that had been presented to the very human audience were usually chrome colored or beeped or turned into the ultimate sports car. Some of the most exciting even got their own movies. Transformers, anyone? Others had their own hit franchises and will be reborn before the year is over. C-3P0 and R2-D2 will live again. The gold one will sound pompous, the little one will beep up a storm, and both will cost a lot in order to wrap in paper and heave them under the Christmas tree.
When it came to the TV show, “Humans,” we are talking about a supremely intricate Swedish story that had to be translated for an American audience; a translation that had to make sense even though the theme was technology. Now the people in the show of course are human. Gemma Chan stars and she is stunning. She could also pass for a robot considering the fact that when you look closely she doesn’t seem to sport even one wrinkle. But, luckily for the world, she is still human.
Now, however, there is new technology on the horizon that should not only cause hair to stand up on the back of everyone’s neck, but also upset real humans in the entertainment industry who do not want to be replaced by actors who may be prettier and far less cheaper.
This past week in Beijing, The World Robot Conference was held. The magnet that seemed to attract everyone was the latest ‘model’ of Geminoid F; a realistic robot woman. Actually, she was frighteningly realistic, like something that Stephen King might have created once upon a time, Creepier still is the fact that this…thing is called “the world’s sexiest robot,” and, yes, she doesn’t have a wrinkle either. This android has rubber skin. She can speak, sing and, yes, even act. It was only a few short weeks ago that it was announced the android will star in a new Japanese disaster film titled, “Sayonara,” which will actually give an actress profile on IMDB to a robot.
Created by the mighty minds at Osaka University’s Ishiguro lab, the android was designed to be a woman in her twenties. She has an operating system that allows her to imitate motions and facial expressions of real people. (Grossed out, yet?) They even, perhaps even more frighteningly, gave her the ability to age. Her skin is a gel that will “become saggy” after one or two years which will then be replaced. Five-foot-six, she makes eye contact, understands, learns and takes on human body language, and smiles…with a whole lot of teeth. She does have a male robot counterpart, and if kids come out of this relationship, Stephen King should be called in to stop the whole thing.
This lab hopes that the android will become more common in “communication media for everyday life.” Apparently, event visitors crowded around her just to get a chance to talk with an android. When one man asked her age, she answered in a completely normal voice: “My age is a secret. I like chatting with people.” Although some commented on how lovely the android is, frankly, without Kiefer Sutherland’s voice and Bradley Cooper’s looks, the thing has no future in Hollywood.
Let’s be honest, people…and I mean people here, robots are fine. Technology is interesting. We have saved lives with experiments and by increasing our own knowledge. But, we have also destroyed. No one wants movies with robots in them. They want actors. If the actors have to play a robot and do it well, then give them the Oscar. Let’s just make sure that human beings stay the higher species. If we don’t, this may turn into the scariest world we’ve ever seen. And that includes all Stephen King’s works.