Is a robot future dystopian or utopian; does our interaction with machines reveal more about our humanity or our inhumanity? Are we willing to accept the semblance of friendship and personhood from robots if it is more in line with our preconceptions of these things than we get from actual human beings? Will the singularity be achieved by dehumanizing humans instead of humanizing robots?
There’s a small indie film that came out a couple of years ago, Robot and Frank, which features Frank Langella as “Frank,” an aging, elderly retiree with a case of dementia whose worried kids hire a live-in nurse for his day-to-day life. But in this case, the live-in nurse is a robot. It’s a smart, well made small film, ostensibly cute on the surface (“Robot” and Frank, a former cat burglar, rob a house together!), but it has a lot to say about aging, friendship, and how we’re going to deal with technology in the future.
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