Fight the Future 19 - Robot Overlords

Dan and Paul take an in-depth look at the worlds portrayed Young Adult dystopian fiction.
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Fight the Future 19 - Robot Overlords

Postby Paul » 08 Dec 2015, 10:48

It is easy to get a little stir crazy when the evil robot conquerers force everyone to stay inside for 3 years and a creepy dead-eyed robot child "Mediator" isn't helping. Luckily, Sean and his friends find a way to short circuit their tracking devices and head out to find Sean's missing father. Join Dan and Paul as we talk about the indie sci-fi film, Robot Overlords.

Apologies for the audio quality, we will be back to our normal production values next time!
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Re: Fight the Future 19 - Robot Overlords

Postby Daniel » 08 Dec 2015, 15:31

Despite the sound quality (just on my half) and the fact that you've never heard of this movie, check out this ep! We get pretty silly!
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Re: Fight the Future 19 - Robot Overlords

Postby SixFootTurkey » 15 Dec 2015, 02:46

Hey, with the differing sound quality it became quite easy to tell you two apart! ;)

From your notreallyreview overview, it doesn't surprise me that I haven't heard of it. That said, I'll plan to give it a watch and see if any of my initial impressions are overturned.

One of my main sticking points in fiction is how the antagonist functions. A believable and understandable (not necessarily likable) antagonist goes a long way to making fiction approachable and beyond. Robots are pretty easy in that respect, because they don't need complex emotions and you can just throw in a bug or two at will as a weakness. However Robot Overlords seemed to be less precise with the very type of obstacle that you want to be overly precise with. A robot functions a certain way because of integral coding - even if that code is entirely flawed. It's what makes them terrifying, that you know what they will do and that they don't have the ability to make an exception when needed. A robot that acts randomly is just frustratingly arbitrary. (From a fiction point of view, and in general; you could work with 'arbitrary' meaning that the robots are following a system that you don't understand, but the outlines should at least be there by the end.) There was the security 'bug' that was mentioned that allowed them to be defeated, but it seems unrealistic. I would have even bought 'a living mind changes constantly, so their security lockouts were ineffective at locating and blocking signals from that particular source,' however it doesn't sound like that was the case.

On a side note, I would be interested in seeing an approach taken with robot AI in fiction that is based on octopus style brain functions.

After the initial resistance to the robots were struggling, it seems only logical that inferior technology would have come up - either as strategy or as a last resort. It wouldn't have taken three years after occupational control was established for someone to stumble on it. If they don't have satellite tracking, radar, etc, that would allow for tracking of a spitfire, their occupation seems like it would have been far less successful. (Maybe if it was explained that their assault force went on to another planet, allowing for humans to use robot technology to advance in case of return - a la Independence Day 2.)

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