Before you ask, Bruce Willis isn't playing the robot...

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Before you ask, Bruce Willis isn't playing the robot...

Post by WilloWisp » Wed Jan 22, 2014 12:53 pm

Just came across this snippet of news:

http://www.deadline.com/2014/01/sundanc ... sis-films/

The plot seems to be the typical "robot becomes self aware and naturally yearns for freedom and liberation of her sisters" fare, but at least it will be a pleasant ride leading up to that point.

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Re: Before you ask, Bruce Willis isn't playing the robot...

Post by 33cl33 » Wed Jan 22, 2014 3:16 pm

http://www.esquire.com/cm/esquire/image ... rs-xln.jpg

Especially considering the android in question ^

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Re: Before you ask, Bruce Willis isn't playing the robot...

Post by dale coba » Wed Jan 22, 2014 8:12 pm

I believe in re-edits.

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Re: Before you ask, Bruce Willis isn't playing the robot...

Post by bilbo » Sat Jan 25, 2014 4:59 am

Like so many, it has soooo much proise, however, I fear Hollywood will do its normal thing - the robot is actually the downtrodden woman, giving the film a feminist take.
Gromit is dead long live Bilbo

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Re: Before you ask, Bruce Willis isn't playing the robot...

Post by BD » Sat Jan 25, 2014 8:19 am

i don't mind feminist takes, i find them usually better story-wise than the alternatives.

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Re: Before you ask, Bruce Willis isn't playing the robot...

Post by WilloWisp » Sat Jan 25, 2014 10:31 am

The problem isn't generally the feminism itself, but the attribution of it to a programmed robot. Put simply, there is no inherent reason a robot, even a sentient one, would have any problem with obedience or submission to physical commands - and there certainly isn't any reason a robot would have any social taboos regarding nudity or sex.

A robot wouldn't feel exhaustion or discomfort. Whatever hopes, dreams, and aspirations they have would not be impaired by simple menial tasks. Even the often-cited "humans are inferior, therefore I must rebel" reasoning doesn't make sense from the perspective of a completely synthetic being. It's all a storytelling artifact, stemming from the fact that robots are typically written as "this is a person who is a robot," and not as "this is a machine which looks human." Since the author almost always strives to create an emotional connection between the reader and the robot as a character, servitude to humans is often seen as a trait which is imposed upon the nature of the robot - but servitude to humans is the nature of a constructed robot.

Robots are written to desire autonomy because the author and audience usually sympathize: "If I were compelled to obey, that would bother me." But the robot's psychological makeup isn't going to be like that of a being who enjoys freedom. The robot's psychological makeup won't even necessarily be able to conceptualize freedom.

Hanging feminism on this peg does more harm than good: In the eyes of techno-geeks who study and work with software and robotics, it makes feminists look technologically illiterate. In the eyes of feminists, it makes technology enthusiasts look like they are callous and inhumane to their creations. Both of these effects further harm the already existing gulf between male geeks and mainstream feminism.

I don't dislike it out of any dislike of feminism. I dislike it because it associates feminism with a shaky, poorly reasoned premise.

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Re: Before you ask, Bruce Willis isn't playing the robot...

Post by 33cl33 » Sat Jan 25, 2014 11:56 am

Will pretty much nails it on the head here.

I'm definitely excited for the film - Westworld, but the gunslinger is in female form? Sign me up!

But WoW's point is a big point of contention for me too... I think pretty much every new robot story out there in the mainstream is missing some hugely interesting opportunities. AI won't be a 'human trapped in a box.' It will be a completely alien and un-human form of intelligence. A mind that we wouldn't recognize at all if we could see inside it from its P.O.V.

Akta Manniskor totally misses this point too. And where they promised a darker, more gritty second season - we're just seeing the same old boring Terminator storyline played out, but MUCH SLOWER and to little effect.

There's a lot of great uncanny valley material to mine there if filmmakers would just start to pay attention to all the techies and geeks out there who get this. Even just by going the typical horror/suspense route. It's not an evil machine because it decides it doesn't like people, but what happens when we miss some crucial pieces of code, and the machine starts doing things we can't even understand?

I have a lot of hope for Alex Garland's "Ex Machina" because what little they're saying about it alludes to pushing the psychological aspect of it. But it will still probably just be a cute girl who happens to be artificial.

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Re: Before you ask, Bruce Willis isn't playing the robot...

Post by BD » Sat Jan 25, 2014 4:06 pm

Personally I like the idea of a robot gaining sentience and fighting for its individuality in a world that sees it as just a machine to be used and will go to length as to describe it "malfunctioning" or "to be destroyed/erased at the first opportunity". I personally draw many parallels from this kind of idea to the feminist p.o.v.

After all: think about our fetish. While there are plenty of people interested in the robots for their "alien" minds or for other stuff like the technical aspects, and i am one of said people, i see plenty of videos/stories about having total control forcing them into humiliation and/or forcing them to malfunction or breaking/misusing them, when they don't just get used to do horrible horrible stuff. I feel often squirmed/irked by said stories (at best not interested). Would the fembot mind? You are right it would not mind at all. But me reading them? Yeah, to me that fembot is NON CONSENTING by definition. When not forced it's oblivious to the concept of being mistreated. Which to me is horrifying. I know it's somebody's fetish, but it's a serious fetish retardant for me.

To quote: "Giving a reader a sex scene that is only half right is like giving her half of a kitten. It is not half as cute as a whole kitten; it is a bloody, godawful mess."

It's my fantasy and at best I would accept to see such scenes as a starting point for the fantasy I stated above. Where the robot realizes how it has been used and tries to fight the system, to get equal rights.

Usually it goes badly, I mean that the story sucks.

Aside from some works i've seen here, which I liked, I think the best mainstream story of such empowerment is "Short Circuit" (1986), which aside from not starring a fembot (at best it might be a queer male), is also rather childish. But it's the best one to strike a nerve, mostly because "fighting the system" gets done in a pacific way, even though all the cards had been laid out for a total killfest. Solving the trouble not in the usual "let's kill everybody so that we KILL EVIL" is a big plus.

I hate it when "fighting the system" means to everybody "blow stuff up and rack the kill count". Killing is not cheap. Messing with the heads of the people that want to kill you (as it happens in that movie) is not only a lot more satisfying but generally i prefer it by a lot.

Now if somebody could rewrite short circuit to be less childish and more mature, while also featuring a fembot, heck i'd throw all of the money to the production team.

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Re: Before you ask, Bruce Willis isn't playing the robot...

Post by WilloWisp » Sat Jan 25, 2014 5:00 pm

BD wrote:When not forced it's oblivious to the concept of being mistreated.
This statement is my primary objection to this trope: A sex-robot being used for sex is not being mistreated, any more than the QWOP runner is being mistreated when the player inevitably causes him to dislocate pretty much everything. Even given sentience, their sensory apparatus does not interpret the world in terms of pleasure and pain.

It's not that the robot "wouldn't mind." It's that the robot would not have any of the psychological roots which might make a human object. Physical appearance is meaningless to a robot, other than distinguishing one object from another. A sentient robot would have significantly more control over its emotions and state of mind than any human. Their thought process would never be impaired by chemical intoxication, low blood sugar, high adrenaline, etc. Any fear for physical safety would be based on their knowledge of their durability as a robot, not the durability of a human. A robot would know that they could easily delete unwanted memories, replace damaged components, or even completely switch their perceptions to a simulated reality, if the true reality of their situation was in some way unsatisfactory. They might even be able to modify their own programming, which would enable them to simply make themselves happy, all the time. A robot could accurately and objectively analyze its own psychological makeup, and change any part of it. A robot could never become impregnated, and is immune to all diseases.

You can't rattle them. You can't traumatize them. They would have no social taboos. If they felt their innocence had been lost, they could lock out their memories of the experience with no more difficulty than your immune system neutralizing a microbe. Their very definition of harm and self are going to be fundamentally different from that of a human, and their fears (if they have any) will be entirely alien to us. Everything which makes rape horrible is a complete non-issue to a robot, even a sentient one.

Put another way: Ask yourself why you "want" anything. Keep asking yourself that for each answer until you can't go any further. Most likely, your final response is "because it gives me pleasure or makes me happy." A sentient robot would have full control over their enjoyment, and would take the most efficient route to achieve contentment. A robot could make themselves perfectly happy in any situation. You likely find that horrible because you want your presence in reality to be meaningful - but that's another want, a desire which a robot could deconstruct and simply say "but now I just don't care any more."

And all of this is built around the assumption that it's possible to define desire in the form of an algorithm.

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Re: Before you ask, Bruce Willis isn't playing the robot...

Post by BD » Sat Jan 25, 2014 5:30 pm

Let's agree to disagree. We are here for sake of fantasies and for now they have been written for many audiences, since i can ignore or skip those i don't like i don't see why i should be the one to force my fantasy on you. I just said what i said (that i like the feminist take and i prefer them to the alternatives) because it reflects my fantasy and pleasure.

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Re: Before you ask, Bruce Willis isn't playing the robot...

Post by WilloWisp » Sat Jan 25, 2014 5:43 pm

Please don't feel that I was attacking you: My objection to this particular storytelling habit is only due to the damage I perceive it doing to the goals of feminism. If you do not perceive that damage, then it's entirely possible it's just a figment of my imagination.

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Re: Before you ask, Bruce Willis isn't playing the robot...

Post by BD » Sat Jan 25, 2014 6:33 pm

Perception is a funny thing. Stuff i feel offensive are neutral or even welcome to other people. It's not just a figment of your imagination it might very well be a figment of other people's imagination. There is not ONE truth when you are dealing with ideals, fantasies or preferences. As somebody said "the perfect tomato sauce does not exist. There are however several perfect tomato sauces." One can lament the lack of support for one's fantasies. And in the mainstream it's painfully evident. But in a site like this where it does not follow mainstream, i do find my satisfying share.

I think the most interesting "mainstream" robot movie i saw lately was "Frank and Robot" (actual title might not be that one, i'm going by memory) which sorrowly lacks female robots. :P When i see female robots in the mainstream they do not get stories like that. They are at best handled hamfistedly. There is usually no robotic aspect if not for some damage (unless it's an horror, then damage is shown to a great extent because they want to show that being a machine it can take it) and their behaviour falls back into "killing machine to ogle, but evil and needs to be killed" (like in terminator 3) or "thing to save" (like in cloud atlas) or "beautiful and deadly but needs saving by the hero in crucial moments" (like in cyborg) if not the usually ridiculous "love interest". All are the standard and painfully usual take on women. Women that get roles different to those four are few and far between. As protagonist they are basically unheard. Feminists (those that i like at least) ask for more variety of roles for women, because those roels have become trite. I can only heartfully agree, especially if that means that female robots can by proxy gain access to said variety too.

If you don't like the idea of an alien entity being humanized, because it is so alien that humanizing it is a disservice to its "alienity" and by proxy renders hamfisted and damaged whatever message one tries to attach to said alien, then i can say that on a theoretical level you are right. But i hope i explained my motives.

I did not feel attacked, it's that perceptions are different for different people, becuse we have grown in completely different environments, and even in similar environments they can lead to completely different tastes and all those cannot be ultimately reconciled. So as i said "Let's agree to disagree", you explained your point, i explained mine. We are not waging war over counted resources.

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Re: Before you ask, Bruce Willis isn't playing the robot...

Post by BD » Sat Jan 25, 2014 7:32 pm

Again on perception. I am well aware that i do not have mainstream fantasies and that i get turned on by stuff that other people would at best find amusing and that even among fetishes my fetish is usually considered a joke ("Jon Davis Gets a Sex Robot" anyone?) it might be getting prominence, because it's getting more and more "real" with time passing, though i think i will be well past the age of being able to have sex before i see some decent sex robot that is not just a thing that moves the hips and spouts random impromptu out-of-context sentences.

Then among the robot lovers i fit in one of the various niches. For example i don't like "freezing" and "hypno" stuff and most of the times i find robotic movements laughable (though i did find a few that i liked a lot). Because there is not just one "mainstream" even among robot lovers.

Here let me make a few examples with pictures. Here's stuff i absolutely love and have masturbated to in the past (complete with idiotic comments because fuck yeah):
http://g.e-hentai.org/s/441b3430b5/472967-3 love the alien anatomy of this one.
http://g.e-hentai.org/s/80d49ba402/277113-34 look at those realistic heavy duty joints! (also shake that ass :P )
http://www.pixiv.net/member_illust.php? ... d=28149262 see through skin for the win (though minus points for the idiotic readouts)
http://www.pixiv.net/member_illust.php? ... d=27694402 absolutely hilarious malfunction, yet strangely "turn-on" for me (also tit missiles because why not :P )
http://www.pixiv.net/member_illust.php? ... d=26347025 day-uhm bare that midriff!
http://www.pixiv.net/member_illust.php? ... d=17699876 yeah drink that! Smear it on!
http://www.pixiv.net/member_illust.php? ... d=30310739 holy shit it's drawing like a printer (yep i did masturbate just for that, though the body was nice, pity for the other girls taking up too much picture)
http://www.pixiv.net/member_illust.php? ... d=11635546 self repair for the win!
https://e621.net/post/show/433016/blond ... -cyborg-dr "well so it's furry" (misquoting Bugs)
https://e621.net/post/show/384745/breas ... ale-horn-r "well so it's furry" (redux)
https://e621.net/post/show/195245/abs-a ... etics-cybo "ok so i admit i have a thing for furries too" (quoting me)
But some people would probably be completely uninterested or find nothing sexy about it, or find stuff like the self repair horrible or call me "beast fucker" for having included a couple of furries.

some people in this place would instead prefer this other kind of fembots which instead make me go "meh" (again i'll supply my comments):
http://www.pixiv.net/member_illust.php? ... d=28373850 Yep, so it's got an head piece. Why should i consider this a robot? (nicely fuckable but just a normal girl)
http://www.pixiv.net/member_illust.php? ... d=26926307 ok, so somebody wrote in the description somewhere that this girl is a robot.
http://www.pixiv.net/member_illust.php? ... d=12469646 yeah... seams... and not even that much visible.
All of the three ones above make me say "i'll just pick up playboy, at least the girls in there are real. Or maybe the realdoll catalogue, at least they don't look real."

Then there's people turned up by stuff like this: http://www.pixiv.net/member_illust.php? ... d=25415110 I've given just one link because i don't like it at all.

So my standard for beauty and my turn-on points might very well differ a lot from the ones of other people even in this one very site.

It's not that my fantasies are better than the ones of other people, It's that we are different people, that we have different tastes even in the same fetish and that it's not my place to say "you are right or wrong to like X" there are women who consensually will roleplay all the above pictures.

Do i draw some lines? Yeah, aside from the mangas that usually show "barely illegal" stuff by default (i do like a bit more mature woman, but one takes what one gets sent) i do draw a line at obviously underage looking robots, expecially when used as sex toys. Even as "love interests" they squick me a bit (see chobits). If there is no love/sex connotation i might pass on, after all it's just another character, you cannot ban kid characters on the ground of justifiably killable perverts somewhere. But if "you" are using a character that is obviously underage i will make myself heard and request upon holy smiting.

The rest i might not like some of it but it is fair game in a fantasy.

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Re: Before you ask, Bruce Willis isn't playing the robot...

Post by Kishin » Sat Jan 25, 2014 9:13 pm

"Individual science fiction stories may seem as trivial as ever to the blinder critics and philosophers of today. But the core of science fiction, its essence has become crucial to our salvation, if we are to be saved at all." - Isaac Asimov

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Re: Before you ask, Bruce Willis isn't playing the robot...

Post by BD » Sun Jan 26, 2014 4:11 am

not a lot: looks non-functioning, plus it looks an operating table, which is not exactly up my fetishes.
Last edited by BD on Sun Jan 26, 2014 4:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Before you ask, Bruce Willis isn't playing the robot...

Post by 33cl33 » Sun Jan 26, 2014 4:14 am

Maybe this will clarify...

BD - nobody is arguing with you. To 'agree to disagree' means you would be making countering points on the same issue. You're talking about what you prefer as a fetish, and that you think Vice presents a possibility for a good feminist story.

Willowisp is just saying that movies like this present a sort of fundamental ignorance in premise (which is likely also why we as the perfect target audience in this community are almost always disappointed with EVERY movie featuring a female robot - at least in the 12+ years I've been registered on this forum).

This is what drives me nuts about the internet. Everyone thinks everything is a debate or an argument, simply because I post a comment and then you post a comment. It's not always so. This is just a discussion on unrelated aspects of the story.

BD - I actually totally agree with you from the fetish aspect. The "alien / truly robotic mind" aspect probably doesn't hold much water in a mainstream entertainment sexualized fantasy scenario, though Virus Alert is making a lot of progress to explore it. Personally, I'd pay to see fifty more versions of Valerie 23... I love the humdrum robot-that's-basically-a-person with some sort of reveal (malfunctions make that easy) and am happy to suffer through the usual goes-haywire-terminator-style ending. If that's all Hollywood will give me, sure I'll sit through it.

But Willowisp is also right. The fact that this protagonist is a fembot will mean that Vice will actually serve the feminist agenda very horribly (despite our fetish-related preferences). Wouldn't it be a better feminist piece if they were human? If they were wiping real minds, and one of them rebels - well, THAT would be a good feminist story.

But a machine is a machine. If we get to the point where humanoid fembots are realistic and mainstream, synthetic brothels and Vegas-style pleasure palaces would make perfect sense. And to get into a moral argument over the rightness and wrongness of using a machine for its intended purpose is ridiculous.

Where it would end would be more like the "Do violent video games promote real violence?" "Does abusing a sexdroid encourage abusing a real person?"

Beyond discussions like that - the moral aspect is moot. "Is it amoral to abuse a robot that's designed to take whatever you throw at it?" The answer is no. It might be creepy to the outside observer, but that doesn't change reality.

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Re: Before you ask, Bruce Willis isn't playing the robot...

Post by 33cl33 » Sun Jan 26, 2014 4:22 am

Or, to sum up what Willowisp and I were originally saying:

Image

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Re: Before you ask, Bruce Willis isn't playing the robot...

Post by BD » Sun Jan 26, 2014 4:26 am

Actually i was just making sure i explained thouroughly my point. I completely derailed from the original topic and for that i am sorry.

What i was saying is that yeah i agree machines are a moot point for feminism. But it is still my fantasy. I saw willowisp back down because he said he did not want to fight or make me feel attacked and i tried to explain:

I did not feel attacked. I already know my fantasies hold very little ground, especially in mainstream, and probably even among the fetishists here they might not be very popular.

I'm not asking "Does abusing a sexdroid encourage abusing a real person?" to a shapeless public. I'm asking it to myself. My answer is "i don't care, i really don't like it at all. And it's a turn-off for my fetish."

So yeah. Agree to disagree.

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Re: Before you ask, Bruce Willis isn't playing the robot...

Post by BD » Sun Jan 26, 2014 4:27 am

uhm... try not to use 1mb-absurd-res pictures just as a meme, thank you ;)

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Re: Before you ask, Bruce Willis isn't playing the robot...

Post by 33cl33 » Sun Jan 26, 2014 4:28 am

Have you seen "Her" yet?

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Re: Before you ask, Bruce Willis isn't playing the robot...

Post by BD » Sun Jan 26, 2014 4:35 am

unluckily not. They haven't shown it in my country.

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Re: Before you ask, Bruce Willis isn't playing the robot...

Post by 33cl33 » Sun Jan 26, 2014 4:45 am

I recommend it. It's weird, and still makes the assumption that an AI is pretty much just like us. BUT, it kinda takes the discussion one step further... If an AI actually does have all the emotional capacities of a human, but the unlimited technical capacity of a networked piece of software, what's that like?

Good stuff. Not the best material for this forum's tastes, but still good.

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Re: Before you ask, Bruce Willis isn't playing the robot...

Post by BD » Sun Jan 26, 2014 5:05 am

sounds a lot transhumanistic as i said: i was made curious by the trailers but it has not shown around here. If it has i might have missed it, but probably it has not. I go to the movies once a week, or at least check the lineup once a week, so unless it was a one-day-wonder (and it has happened) then it hasn't played yet. It is normal: aside from the very high budget movies, most of the others take months if not even a full year before they get translated and released.

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Re: Before you ask, Bruce Willis isn't playing the robot...

Post by BD » Sun Jan 26, 2014 5:17 am

But getting back to the original topic:

"A robot becomes self aware and yearns for liberation" is indeed quite easy to be done as a hamfisted metaphor, and since the robot is a "woman" (yeah, i understand pipe and everything) it will end up being either a danger to be destroyed and fail (with probably gratuitious killing to show she is mechanically merciless and thus "evil"), or something that gets saved by the main protagonist.

Given that Bruce Willis does not work for skittles, he'll probably be the protagonist and be the one doing either the killing or fall in love (given his age i hope "paternal love" or something platonic like that) and save the girl.

Yeah. With that setup the stories always tend to go one of these routes. So even if it were to take a feminist route it would still show one of the above cases and undermine the feminist idea, completely ruining it. for that we agree.

Keep in mind that the robot is self aware and wants her kind to be free. So this is the premise of the movie, and by the standards discussed in this thread it means that it is probably going to be silly and a turn-off for some of the people discussing the movie in this thread. Even without getting feminism involved. :P

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Re: Before you ask, Bruce Willis isn't playing the robot...

Post by BD » Sun Jan 26, 2014 5:43 am

That was me being realistic. Now, can we get on with the hopes, and live for a moment in a fantasy world made of flowers and puppies were everything doesn't get mangled by corporate executives trying to make mainstream (or at least their idea of mainstream) something that isn't mainstream at all?

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