January 27, 2021

'The Truth About Killer Robots': Do we live in the era of murderous androids? | Blog Doc & Roll

'The Truth About Killer Robots': Do we live in the era of murderous androids? | Blog Doc & Roll


Autonomous machines fail and humans die. The increasingly common Fatal accidents aboard Tesla cars or in industrial assembly lines they contradict the first of the laws of robotics applied by the writer Isaac Asimov in the forties in his stories of science fiction: a robot will not hurt a man.

Since the headlines about accidents related to artificial intelligence began to appear regularly in the media a few years ago, the director Maxim Pozdorovkin A doubt came over him. "It seemed that the machines had begun to exterminate us. It seemed to me that we had adopted the same discourse as the novels; There was a lack of context and we were leaving data along the way, "he says over the phone.

Investigate the issue for years to shoot the documentary The Truth About Killer Robots (The truth about killer robots), projected in the Zurich Film Festival and that HBO Spain premieres this November 27, was the way to solve their own doubts.

Pozdorovkin, a Russian educated at Harvard University, describes that concept close to that of the revolution of machines as "stereotyped", which does not mean that the filmmaker advocates a society dominated by them.

As a trip to the future, the director sets part of his story in Japan. There he investigates the technological oddities that are experienced in a country that goes several steps ahead of the West in terms of the role given to artificial intelligence and where androids are constructed in the image of Scarlett Johansson.

I could not miss in that visit a meeting with Hiroshi Ishiguro, the teacher who has become popular throughout the world in recent years by building identical androids to him. "In a few years we will not be able to distinguish between robots and humans," he explained in 2016 to this newspaper.

Actually, there is only one case of a robot directly responsible for the death of a person in all the footage. The filmmaker focuses on warning through his film about the impact on the economy by replacing humans with robots. A third of the jobs in Spain will be endangered in 2030 by automation, alerted in February 2018 the study Will robots steal our jobs? (Will the robots rob our jobs?), prepared by PwC and which analyzes the situation in 27 countries.

It is not by chance that the voice he has chosen to narrate the documentary is that of an automaton. "It was a way of drawing attention to something: it may be cheaper to make a robot work, but we risk losing the notion of human dignity," explains Pozdorovkin.

Advertising and android art

The Japanese company Lexus, which makes luxury cars, has just opened a new chapter in this debate, after which a table created by algorithms will be auctioned at the end of October for 380,000 euros. On November 19, Lexus posted on its YouTube account a spot 60 second advertising, which promotes its new car model, the Lexus ES.

Do we live in the era of murderous androids?

A woman before 'Portrait d'Édouard Belamy', created by an algorithm, at Christie's in New York. TIMOTHY A. CLARY AFP

To shoot the video, the managers of the company gave creativity to IBM's Watson technology. They therefore left an artificial intelligence to conceive a proposal based on announcements of previous luxury products and to have programmed the emotions that it should arouse in the viewer. Director Kevin MacDonald (The last king of Scotland, The shadow of power) was responsible for rolling the resulting script.

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