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From: Adam Stephanides <adamsteph@earthlink.net>
Subject: Re: (urth) OT: A.I. (SPOILERS)
Date: Mon, 27 Aug 2001 21:22:47 

on 8/27/01 11:43 AM, Alex David Groce at Alex_Groce@gs246.sp.cs.cmu.edu

>> And the whole "human hatred of robots" motif is a sf cliche which is
>> poorly motivated here.  Supposedly humans need to cull the robots
>> back to stop them from taking over, but why would anybody build
>> robots capable of taking over?  For that matter, why would they
>> build robots capable of living "unlicensed" in the wilderness?  (And
>> the robots in the film are basically too stupid to take over,
>> anyway.)
> This is one point I have to disagree with; it doesn't make
> complete sense, but the Flesh Fairs seem much more plausible in the
> general context.  Humanity is _dying_ and birth rates are on decline.

This I don't recall.  My recollection is that children were rare, not
because humanity is becoming infertile but because the world is short on
resources so childbearing is strictly licensed.  (Though if the world is so
short of resources, why do they dump all those robot parts which are
perfectly capable of being recycled?)

> This is why Hobby think David will be such a great seller in the first
> place.  The movie starts in a dying earth scenario, with hints that
> the ice in 2,000 years is not unexpected.

I don't recall these hints either; examples?

> Given that, no matter how
> stupid the robots are, it should be easy to resent and hate them given
> that they're likely to outlive the stagnant, increasingly infertile
> mankind.

But since the robots in the film are in fact basically portrayed as machines
(Gigolo Joe is an exception), I don't see why people should resent them for
"outliving" humanity, any more than I would resent the Hubble Space
Telescope if I were told it would outlive humanity.

> The most interesting scene in AI is when David attacks the
> first duplicate.  Whatever he is, at that point it's clear that he's
> as capable of murder as a real child with that kind of strength.

This is a great scene, and a brutal reversal of expectations (maybe Henry
wasn't so wrong to insist on getting rid of David!).  But it's immediately
followed by one of the many gaping plot holes: why does Prof. Hobby seem not
the least bit perturbed that the prototype for the robot child he is about
to mass-market has just made a homicidal (or robocidal) attack on another
robot child?


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