Robot Dramas: Autonomous Machines in the Limelight on Stage and in Society

September 2, 2014 2:37 PM

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Robot Dramas: Autonomous Machines in the Limelight on Stage and in Society

A scene from the 1921 play, R.U.R. showing robots interacting with humans. The play was the first to use the word "robot" (which in Czech means "drugdery").

They were occasionally friendly or cooperative, often murderous, typically clumsy and tone-deaf to human emotions and needs. Despite these flaws, I acted out scenes from Star Wars with my C3PO action figure, practiced my digital voice and performed the Robot on the middle-school dance-floor. There w...

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