1. Define to your satisfaction and in your own terms the public represented by your classmates and instructor.
2. Keeping that public in mind, post a link in a blog post that connects to any site on the web — a blog post, a mainstream news item, a Wikipedia entry, an online community or marketplace, audio or video content — that has the potential to enhance that public’s knowledge, incite that public to take action, provoke that public to respond to you.
Robots, Cyborgs and Synthetics
I would say I’ve always been a big sci-fi nerd when it comes to spaceships, aliens, robots or anything like that. And over the past two to three years, I’ve been really trying to define the meaning of a Robot, Cyborg and a Synthetic, and what the meaning of them are and how they’re applied to these scientific stories. Movies like Alien, Battlestar Galactica, Stargate or Defiant all explore these concepts. Shit, even Firefly explores the concept of a Genetically enhanced human. I’ve even explored a little bit of this in relation to the character Tima, which is related to the movie Metropolis that’s on my blog. She herself, I would describe her as more of a Cyborg in theory, rather than a synthetic. But again, what does that mean?
If we’re defining the meaning of a robot, it would be something that is in regards to artificial intelligence. Having similar brain patterns and behaviors to that of a human.
Now, how are robots being applied to stories? They’re normally used as guards, waitresses, waiters or some type of person that is being of help to the protagonist or antagonist of the story. Assisting mankind and all of its endeavors or its destruction. Many stories have explored the concept of robots adapting to be human, almost too human. Ex Machina is a coined term that refers to a robot or a creation having sentient life (being able to feel emotion, think, process, and evolve). Maybe even taking on human emotion. Sometimes these stories result in the creation killing the creator because of the restrictions they hold upon them. And I think we all know the words that will always cut deep, that we never want to hear. Which is “You were created for one function”. 1: What does that mean? 2.What does that mean in regards to my dreams and who I am or who I think I am? 3. Then why did you create me?
I was just thinking the other day that Pinocchio would be considered an Ex Machina and how he wanted to not only be a real boy but had the artificial Intelligence to that of a human. I’m going to go a little off script, but I promise it’s going to rain right back into what I’m talking about. There’s a specific episode in the show W.I.T.C.H, where one of the main characters ends up cloning herself so that she can be in two places at once. Obviously, it ended up going terribly wrong and they had to deal with the problem. They did end up eventually catching her, but she didn’t understand why she had to leave. The clone began to understand that she was her own person. The clone was accidentally killed, and it was a sad episode. (254) W.I.T.C.H. Season 2 – Episode 08 – H is for Hunted – YouTube (Watch at 18:04-21:05).
A Cyborg is half human and half robot. Sometimes these forms can vary from an arm to a leg, to ears or something that was once human.
Cyborgs are normally applied to stories that are very action-packed or have a very adventurous genre. They create a lot of discourse around the concept of being alive and what that actually means. Normally, cyborgs don’t really have a home or a place. They usually pop up as your merchants, your travelers, your crew or your workers. Cyborgs can be a really nice touch to a story to give it some flavor.
The evolutionary component of evolving is through the concept of being a cyborg. Those who need new hands, legs, feet or arms would be considered a cyborg in theory.
A synthetic is a creation that has smoothly gone through the process of becoming both human and robot. Having organs with mechanical engineering, reproduction methods, human brains patterns. Synthetics within stories are basically the perfect human being that you could offer.
Synthetic human beings that come to mind are from the movie Alien and Alien Resurrection. One of them is played by the amazing Winona Ryder. Synthetics show up as ethereal beings in post apocalyptic situations or to end a specific chaos caused by humans. They can also be prized possessions sought out by bounty hunters. Gundam animes have often used Synthetics as a significant supporting character or as a plot device. Normally referring to a means to an end or having a sacrificial nature towards the conclusion of the series.
Synthetic creations are normally women from what I’ve seen. Which is something I’ve often pondered as to why that is. My theory is that women secretly hold a lot of power or untapped potential to change the world for the better. Though they are normally naive in nature or have no type of experience. A coined term I learned the other day was “Born sexy yesterday”. Which lends quite nicely to the topic at hand. The term refers to a synthetic being often female but can be male, normally saving the got damn world. They’re hot as hell and great fighters but would fail most subjects in school. Since they don’t know jack shit, they’re learning from the protagonists or as the story progresses.
One of my favorite movies to date is “Fifth Element”, starring Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich, Chris Tucker and more falls into this trope pretty hard. Not to say it’s not a good movie but it uses this formula. Nonetheless, I hope you have a better understanding of the classifications and how they applied to storytelling in the Sci-Fi world.
What stories can you think of that involve these terms?
Would you be able to allow your creation to think for itself or would you want full control? Why or Why not?
Why do you think that synthetics are mostly women. and why do you think they choose men sometimes?