CMU School of Drama

Monday, April 10, 2017

Disney Could Go Westworld With New Patent Filing for Soft 'Humanoid' Robots

io9.gizmodo.com: A new patent filing for Disney hints at a dark, apocalyptic future at Disney’s amusement parks... or even in your own home. Just kidding, it’s fine, everything’s fine. It’s only robots. What could possibly go wrong?

5 comments:

Claire Krueger said...

My nightmare of Chucky Cheese and animatronics have re surfaced from my childhood after reading this article. As I grew older Friday Nights At Freddy's added to my already towering hatred of animatronics. While the article reassures me that a controller will be in charge of the machine I can help my feeling of dread. But my inherente fear that common labor will be replaced by robots leads me anticipate a huge unemployed and virtually useless lower/middle class which would mean a huge divide between the well off (employed) and poor (general laborers). The perfect setting for the beginning or cause of practically every dystopian model ever. Or some sort of social divide between human and robot artificial intelligence. I understand that nothing is intensely in the works right now but the promise of it is more terrifying than its actual existence. Under suggested article ‘beware the robocalypse is a fitting end to the article.


Rebecca Meckler said...

This technology sounds so exciting. I would love to see how people will interact with humanoid robots. Though Baymax, who they think the prototype is based off of is not exactly humanoid, the dynamic of interacting with the characters at Disney would change dramastically. I’m not sure if the kids would notice, but I definitely would feel different. For some reason, the idea of meeting a robot feels different than a person in a suit. Also if other characters, more humanoid ones, like the princess were robots, I wonder how that would change the experience. I think that the humanoid robots would feel very creepy because though they might look human, I don’t think that they could look good enough to fool a person. That being said, as the article points out, a patent in no guarantee of robot characters. I would love to see where this technology goes, and I one day hope to seeing robot characters at Disney one day.

Alexa James-Cardenas said...

You would think we have enough movies, video games, and other all stories of what the happenings when introducing robots in a more public and largely human interactive space. Of course, all those pieces were works of fiction, and more than less it does portray the negative aspects of a more involved robotic society, but I do feel like there are some legitimacies to these unnerving tales. One of them being that just because we create something, doesn’t mean it is completely in our control. Just like in theatre, we have measures of possible breaking points/strength (UBS/UBP) that we know that to crossover, so we do our best to avoid that number as much as possible. But our caution, doesn’t 100% guarantee that there will be absolutely no errors ever. There are times, when other variables that are out of our control come to play, and those are the ones that could really make a difference. And having humanoid-robots rooming about, just screams “out of our control” variables. Coupled with weird, even unexplainable occurrences (like the souls of murdered children possessing the robots), and you have a very trouble case on your hands.

Alexa James-Cardenas said...

You would think we have enough movies, video games, and other all stories of what the happenings when introducing robots in a more public and largely human interactive space. Of course, all those pieces were works of fiction, and more than less it does portray the negative aspects of a more involved robotic society, but I do feel like there are some legitimacies to these unnerving tales. One of them being that just because we create something, doesn’t mean it is completely in our control. Just like in theatre, we have measures of possible breaking points/strength (UBS/UBP) that we know that to crossover, so we do our best to avoid that number as much as possible. But our caution, doesn’t 100% guarantee that there will be absolutely no errors ever. There are times, when other variables that are out of our control come to play, and those are the ones that could really make a difference. And having humanoid-robots rooming about, just screams “out of our control” variables. Coupled with weird, even unexplainable occurrences (like the souls of murdered children possessing the robots), and you have a very trouble case on your hands.

Lauren Miller said...

So this is terrifying… I understand that when the day comes and robots fully integrate into society they will most definitely provide nearly unlimited benefits to society and industry. However, I promise to, on that day, stand on my porch yelling (I’m assuming that this will take a while) about the “good old days” when I was young and people did menial tasks for themselves while also warning all those around me that the robots will eventually take over our world and kill us all. I rationally understand that the advancements Disney will make with these “soft” robots/animatronics will be amazing and have the potential to change how the entertainment industry operates. It’s just that, on a basic and instinctual level, robots are creepy. Call it the uncanny valley (a phrase actually invented for robots) if you will. As humanoids get closer and closer to appearing lifelike the more disconcerting they become because they will never be close enough to pass for human (or will they?).