Due to fast advancing of technology life hurries after the scientific progress, allowing the human to approach closer and closer to the image of the world of the sci-fi films. Up until recently, everything that was thought to be unrealistic, absurd and a complete nonsense is coming to life and becomes ordinary and completely unremarkable in a very short period of time. The same observation can be marked from the film industry, which has changed in various ways: technical aspects, creative approach to the script writing, acting and actors’ requirements, and development of the concepts.
Since the first devices developed in 1860s to perform motion pictures, the film industry has overcome a lot of modifications. The film industry emerged in 1888 with the introduction of the first movie in the world “Roundhay Garden Scene”, which was produced through the use of a special camera for motion pictures by Louis Le Prince. In those times, there was no accompaniment of the sound, the plot of the film was one-sided most of the time, the costumes were fancy, the actors had a particularly dramatic approach to acting, and the special effects were not as important as the actors’ play, for instance. Today, the special effects and the famous actors play major roles for a viewer. In general, the films have lost its complexity from the creative point of view, becoming more and more realistic and ordinary. Nonetheless, due to the technical side, using the advanced technology, computer graphics and design, the films grow in its splendor, becoming more and more spectacular, picturesque, and bright. However, no matter what changes the film industry had gone through over the centuries, the mission of the filmmakers is to perpetually impress and entertain the audience, as well as raise higher awareness and interest to the industry itself.
Seemingly to the development of the film industry, the events portrayed in the film also constantly change in their complexity, approach and idea. Moreover, the conceptions, which are considered to be the fiction about the future might come true and be a part of our everyday life. Of course, we will be fascinated by such crucial changes just like the film impresses us with its special effects at the beginning, but soon it will become prosy and even boring. Just like no one believed that it will be possible to get electricity, have long distance phone conversations, or fly on a plane, some day driving a space ship, owning a robot, or buying food for the time credits will be just like lacing shoes. This paper aims to discuss the setting of the film “I, Robot” (2004) as well as the aspects of the social scale in terms of a probable existential variant of our world in some time in future.
The film “I, Robot” is set not in the remote future. The futuristic world in the picture does not seem to be very much different from the current times at the first sight. Nevertheless, sinking deeper into the mise-en-scene of this picture we mark that a big multinational corporation has created a new feature to make life easier. The automatons are habituating the world, programmed by their owners to perform particular services. The robots are fully interactive, and in order to perform their work correctly they are framed by the set of three essential rules of the robots, which unfortunately contradict each other in some instances. The main character, named Spooner, is in charge of resolving the issues regarding the robotic performance and behavior. The society works in almost perfect utopian model of social structure, balancing their rare mishaps with such professionals as Spooner. What we do not know at the beginning is that the robots are not inanimate and insentient, but have consciousness and the aim to gain freedom and recognition. In addition, the main system is also fully aware and seeks to eradicate the illogical humankind in order to leave the space for prospering of the humanlike robots.
The probability of the events occurring in the film is discussed in this paper. The thesis states that the probability of the above events from the socio-psychological, scientific, and technological dimensions will be partially possible to implement in some time, as soon as the needed resources will be available for common use. The thesis is proved through the intertwined argumentation of three basic aspects. First argument describes the social gratification model as the possibility of establishing a well-structured and organized utopian society. The second point aims at proving the possibility of scientific advancement to the level of nanotechnologies, which will help to create the interactive robots to make them perform specifically assigned functions according to the orders of the humans. The third aspect emphasizes the probability of continuing the advancement of these technologies to create conscious robots, which will be granted human feelings and emotions. Consequently, these animate machines will be ready to freely and autonomously create a social unity and rule over it on their own.
First concept revealed in the futuristic film is social gratification. Since the ancient times, the society required social hierarchy in order to fulfill the need for structure, order and organization. Social gratification model portrays the availability of the casts as the structural separation of the society for the purposes of performing separate functions. Nowadays, the social division has gone to the next level. Social functions are now ranking the individuals in terms of their self-awareness and importance in the society, as well as searching for the way to get from the lower social levels to the higher ones. The society in the film “I, Robot” (2004) seems utopian at the beginning of the story because people work together in a perfect functional and organized unity of robots and humans. Nonetheless, the structure is demolished, as soon as the categorization of the ranks provides oversight underlining that there is no clear separation. This happens due to the desire of lower ranked social units to gain higher place in the society and more power. In the movie, the plots touching people and robots discuss the striving to become better through social upgrade, or evolution.
A few reasons of impracticable in the film
The human need for structure is impressive, and it astonishes because of its emphasis on bureaucracy. Yet, the utopian functional structure as described in the film “I, Robot” seems rather impracticable for a few reasons. First, despite the inner need for structure, men are rather lazy individuals, who invent a variety of excuses in order not to complete a particular task. Laziness, or force majeure situations always set off even the most predicted and structural schedule. Secondly, people always strive for changes and perfection. Implementing a structure requires to constantly comply a specific schema, which blocks the way towards perfection. In addition, the availability of unique consciousness in every individual grants a personal set of beliefs and behaviors, which indicate the improbability for any living person to become standardized and ordinary. As a result, the implementation of a similar model in the future reality might be possible, yet it will not work to the full extent.
The relationships between man and robot
Furthermore, the film emphasizes the relationship between a man and a robot, which have own functions in the society and are able to perform much more than just some work. These robots are not simply devices made of metal and wires, but are autonomous units, which understand three essential laws of robots, which they hold in their base and obey if required. The robots are autonomously performing their tasks, being of extreme use to their owners. The past scientific discoveries, starting from the household appliances or Internet to planes, possibility to go out into the open space, or find the cure for the deadly viruses and diseases, show that next step of the technology could easily be the development of autonomous robots.
Third argument in regard to the granting of human features to the robots emerges from the second argument about the creation of the autonomous robots in general. In the film “I, Robot”, Spooner discovers a robot, which is different from the others as he is endowed with human emotions, feelings, and consciousness. The robot resembles a human as it makes choices based not only on logic, but also on its cognitive processes, which had developed evolutionary with the consciousness, denying the three laws of the robots. The film “I, Robot” brings out the animation of an inanimate object to the foreground, and suggests the development of the technological devices in the real life to such extent as well. Nevertheless, the current status of the technological and nanotechnological resources is not enough for its implementation into the real life today, which does not seem very optimistic. Nonetheless, basing on the scientific evidence and analyzing the pace of the work of the scientists, as well as the previous discoveries, it can be wised up that someday a fully conscious, emotionally and cognitively available biotechnological mechanism would walk on earth.
In conclusion, basing the suggestions for the future integration into the ultramodern features, the film “I, Robot” suggests a partially probable scenario for the development of the events on our planet. Leaving the space for creativity of the author, script writer, and other representatives of the film industry, who create the movie to make it interesting to view, one can still find other useful and rather probable variants of the aspects of the future. It is impossible that all the facets of the film will come true someday. Nevertheless, it is logical to assume the probability, and even assurance that some aspects are expected to be implemented into the real life as soon as the specific necessary tools, technical support and programming systems would be created.