Robots: More Than Just A Tacky Dance Move
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Robots: More Than Just A Tacky Dance Move

Why Is Our Society So Obsessed With Artificial Intelligence?

Robots: More Than Just A Tacky Dance Move

Robots. A concept that began sometime in the 20th century as science progressed; humans have been dreaming up ways to make mechanical humanoids a reality. Now, in the 21st century, it's safe to say that robots surround us daily. Not all of them may look human, like C-3PO or Ava from "Ex Machina," but they are with us through our personal electronic devices, modes of transportation, even our bank accounts. We have seen a certain storyline play out in recent films over and over again: metallic beings programmed by us eventually somehow developing feelings, becoming angry, and gaining control over the human population. Would Wall-E ever really kick our pathetic flesh and bone butts if he had the technology? Disney has locked that information up in their Vault. Yet, it could be possible.

There's been several movies out lately depicting what seems to be dude-on-robot romances, like "Her," and robots being more self-aware than intended, like "Ex Machina"and "I, Robot." Though it's definitely fascinating to think about the idea of us real, tangible human beings creating a fake version of ourselves through coding and programming, it could also serve as a reflection on our current societal values. Why are we spending so much time creating and pondering over these life-like creations? Is there a reason we have to make mechanical versions of humans in opposition to the real ones? A big argument that has come up in the 21st century is that "robots are taking peoples' jobs." Machinery has definitely taken jobs humans used to have, whether it be through farming, manufacturing, or even basic things like the invention of the self-service checkout, taking away the need for cashiers. All we want as a society is to be as efficient as possible, and machines are quicker than people. They don't make mistakes. They do what they're told...until they don't. Just like humans. The only difference is that with machines you can do a quick wire/coding change or just pull the plug all together, and you're good. But you can't do that with people.

On another note, being born in the mid 90s has given my childhood the nostalgic memories of the "Robot-Futuristic aesthetic" that was extremely popular by the time I was able to have a long-term memory and understand things around me.

(You all remember pictures like this, yes? The almost sterile-looking background and clothes, the robot dog. Britney Spears. Very 90s-esque, right? This is what I mean.)

I have always had a fascination with robots, most likely reflective of society when I was a kid. This also may sound weird, (not "may," will) but I also find comfort in those creepy robotic voices that we hear a lot nowadays. I know that sounds strange, but something about that lifeless, metallic sound makes me feel sort of nostalgic. If you want to know what I'm talking about, the best example I can give is to listen to Daft Punk's music.

Daft Punk, my favorite music group, has amazing talent in regards to musical ability. They've won countless awards--including Album of the Year for my fave album, "Random Access Memories"--and have been hailed as one of the best duos of this century (They inspired and were the main producers of the song 'Stronger' by Kanye, BTW. Show some respect). They also look like robots. Yes, there are two dudes underneath those helmets, but they take the Robot Aesthetic™ and personify it. A lot of their music is focused heavily on the instrumental, they have broken grounds and changed what it means to use synthesizer and other relatively new forms of music. But, when they don't have Pharrell or Julian Casablancas slaying the vocals on their tracks, the guys under the helmets take it upon themselves to sing the songs. They auto tune and edit their voices to sound like, you guessed it, a robot. Though robots are seen to not have feelings and only be machines, Daft Punk's songs literally sound like a robot is having an existential crisis. The best example is the song 'Within' from "Random Access Memories," if you really want to know what I mean.

So what is it about artificial intelligence that we are fascinated with so much? Did we think that since natural humans suck so much, programming metal ones would help fix the mistakes we made? Why are some of my most nostalgic memories found in this really weird late 90s - early 00s aesthetic? Why do people keep falling in love with artificial intelligence in movies? Why did they stop manufacturing the Poo-Chi robot dog toys? I have so many questions and I'm waiting for the scientific community to answer them.

I guess why I'm writing this was simply just to pose a question, because I can't answer anything I'm asking. It is just strange to have this feeling of comfort and nostalgia associated with robots. Our society has placed an immense amount of importance on science and technology, something that affects us basically every moment of our lives. Our cell phones are glued to us, whether you like to admit or not. We feel desolate if we don't have Internet access, unable to Google any questions we have or simply check the weather. We can't imagine life without electricity, or with hard labour that machines now do for us. We live in an age of comfort, though we are surrounded by machines that could ruin us if they short-circuit. Have robots become less of a futuristic fantasy and more like family? I guess we'll have to wait it out and see.

Robots, man.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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