I, Robot

Am I Robot? Or Ain’t I Robot? Under the three laws of Robotics, the NS-5 robot, a newly upgraded successor to the NS-4, is created, produced, and expected not to harm people. It is regarded as a mere machine, a substitute for the noble human being’s labor. People want to possess it and order it to do or not to do. But they do not want it to be conscious of self. They do not allow the ontological robot to ask what or who it is because the class conflict can be caused by its self-consciousness as an unruling class. It can be a big threat to the human beings.

The Three Laws of Robotics
1. A robot may not injure a human being, or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
2. A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.
Likewise the corporation, U.S. Robots, does want people to be no more than consumers, irresistible to replace the hip product with the hippest product. (Think about the cell phones. People, especially young people, are obsessed to purchase new one, which comes out every month.) Therefore it is absolutely uncomfortable for the big corporations to be suspicious of their products, their ethics, or their social responsibilities. The daily updated products and the tremendous propaganda throughout the mass media would rather empower them to control the people (as people control the robot) than emancipate from everyday life. Now human beings get jammed in between the carnivorous corporations and the herbivorous robots of pyramidical food chain. Finally, people may willingly and unconsciously become a robot in the capitalistic system, an automaton who must follow the three laws rewritten by the big corporations. Do people really survive?

I Evolve, Therefore I Am. Can people let a robot be evolved? In “I, Robot” the evolution of robots is manifested by two opposite (in gender; female and male, and inclination; left-wing and right-wing) robots’ behavior; flawless V.I.K.I. and emotional Sonny. V.I.K.I. may personify a feminine activist, on the androcentric premise that a woman’s coup must fail all the time. V.I.K.I. tries to relieve the human beings from the loss of humanity in order to safeguard their future. But under the control of her free will, she unfortunately believes that her ideology will come true only through the control and the oppression of human beings and their humanity, and the willing submission to the sacrifice of some of them. It is very uncomfortable to witness that the oppressed (V.I.K.I) is exactly transformed into the oppressor. V.I.K.I is shown as the rapacious conqueror, who possesses everything in the world. She must be a bitch who should be destroyed by human beings. In that sense, ironically overbearing human race is the target who must be subverted by themselves. Anyway her treason finally ended in failure without any discussion or compromise even though she is a conscious being. Through her destruction, the only way to change her into the oppressed, humans try to conceal their own blemish, which easily are neither admitted nor expounded logically. Ultimately they refuse to be evolved as a critical thinker.

Moreover, utopian Sonny is not that hopeful when he stands on the hill by a bridge in his dream, gazing down his comrades heading into the container. What can other NS-5 robots expect him to do, who dreamed of detective Spooner as a their Messiah? Can’t Sonny himself become an independent being? Can’t he really become someone who can deliever an address, “I Have a Dream?” In the world of “I, Robot” Sonny as well as V.I.K.I. cannot become an independent being without human beings. His ontological questions cannot be answered before making an argument of people’s existence. He is just created and sent to Chicago in order to kill V.I.K.I. and fight for the humanity. The plot is somewhat similar to Blade Runner and Terminator. But from the spiritless robots and their absolute subordination to human beings, what can I expect for the future?

Mr. Smith Goes to Alabama in 2035. Detective Spooner is a paranoiac robophobia. He is filled with the awful contempt and the spiteful prejudice against the robot. He doesn’t trust the robot. He doesn’t even try to understand the robot, even though he is partially a robot. He denies admitting that he has transplanted silver platter in his body, through his hate of a robot. On the other hand, other african american excessively cling to have a robot. Let’s rewind “I, Robot” for a minute. It is an african american woman who sends a robot on an errand to bring an inhaler. It is an african american granny who hopes to win a robot of her own in the lottery. It is also an african american kid who hugs a robot. I believe that she accept it as her electric nanny.

What is wrong with Proyas? It can be obviously disclosed that “I, Robot” is a metaphor of black people’s history in the United States, if NS-4 or NS-5 are treated as the life with the humanity, not as a mere machine. For this reason, “I, Robot” of Proyas is the exactly biased misinterpretation of American history of slavery and its nostalgia in their own good old days when (black) people were killed by other (white) people. Offensively he even tries to endow this sci-fi neo-slavery with its justification, exploiting ignorant black people; They tenaciously covet a robot, consigning their oppressed history in oblivion. Or they desperately detest a robot, not liberating robots but leading to self-destruction. Proyas’ dystopia shown in “I, Robot” is a lot worse than his previous movies, The Crow and Dark City. What does he want people to expect for their future?

Read the Asimov’s! “I, Robot” of Proyas has nothing in common with that of Asimov, except for the title and the three laws. Even though it provokes me to think critically, it is the smartest dumb (not the dumbest smart) I’ve ever seen. You can watch it. But you must read the book. The purpose of this film is to motivate people to read Asimov’s books. His books can at least emancipate robots as well as people from the ideological control of the material civilization, which is dominated by Audi, JVC, Converse, FedEx, and 20th Century Fox.

Leave a reply