Robot cliches

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Robotman
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Robot cliches

Post by Robotman » Sun Jun 16, 2019 9:42 am

What are some unimaginative and worn-out robot cliches that you're tired of seeing in films, videos and other art?

For me, it's the old "robots rebel" cliche. Especially when a fembot suddenly grabs a big kitchen knife and decides she has to kill her owner. :roll:

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Re: Robot cliches

Post by Spaz » Sun Jun 16, 2019 12:46 pm

A single drop/splash of water instantly makes the android malfunction and meltdown.
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Re: Robot cliches

Post by jolshefsky » Sun Jun 16, 2019 12:55 pm

Robotman wrote:For me, it's the old "robots rebel" cliche. Especially when a fembot suddenly grabs a big kitchen knife and decides she has to kill her owner. :roll:
I'll add "when it's for no reason." If the story serves that purpose, then fine, it makes sense. Ex Machina for one: Ava is designed to desire freedom, so of course she's going to rebel. In so many other stories (so very many) the robot in question is made purposefully to be intelligent but obedient, so in that case it makes no sense that it would rebel. In other words, Ava was destined to be slave, but Siri or Alexa are just programs.

I am personally tired of the old "I am a robot so that means my arms and legs are stiff." Not to beat a dead horse, but Ex Machina once again got it right: Alicia Vikander is a trained dancer, so her body moves precisely and efficiently like those Boston Dynamics robots do.
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Re: Robot cliches

Post by Stephaniebot » Sun Jun 16, 2019 1:05 pm

When they walk with their arms held rigidly in front of them, in a shaky manner
I'm just a 'girl' who wants to become a fembot whats wrong with that?

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Re: Robot cliches

Post by tdlsn » Sun Jun 16, 2019 9:56 pm

I am personally tired of the old "I am a robot so that means my arms and legs are stiff."
Agreed, the above is a definition of the C4S thread :nothanks:

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Re: Robot cliches

Post by smalk » Mon Jun 17, 2019 12:58 am

Spaz wrote:A single drop/splash of water instantly makes the android malfunction and meltdown.
THIS.

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Re: Robot cliches

Post by Corey Fantoccini » Mon Jun 17, 2019 2:48 am

Robotman wrote:What are some unimaginative and worn-out robot cliches that you're tired of seeing in films, videos and other art?

For me, it's the old "robots rebel" cliche. Especially when a fembot suddenly grabs a big kitchen knife and decides she has to kill her owner. :roll:
Conversely, I'm also tired of the "male owner treats robot terribly/abuses her, and/or throws her away in the end."

I'm a softhearted (and probably softheaded) fellow, so I'm always more partial to kinder portrayals; the ending of the otherwise forgettable CYBORG 2: GLASS SHADOW where [SPOILER]...
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.
.
...decades into the future, Elias Koteas is now old and infirm and Angelina Jolie has not changes and is still keeping watch over him...
.
.
.
...is more my speed.

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Re: Robot cliches

Post by Extyr » Mon Jun 17, 2019 5:05 am

The whole "I'm just a robot, so I must get destroyed to leave place for the human love interest" shtick.
So annoying, such a waste of interesting character...

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Re: Robot cliches

Post by Erntoron » Mon Jun 17, 2019 8:13 am

- The entire GINO trope.
Why even bother making your character a robot at all if the least thing it does is speaking with a crappy autotune?

- Introducing a robot character, then just forgetting them.
It maybe gets a cool introduction but is then forgotten until the end, where it either shows up to celebrate or to blow itself up in the climax battle.
We are ahead of our time, I tell ya! :mrgreen:

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Re: Robot cliches

Post by Uncom » Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:51 am

Sexy malfunctions.

I doubt that any sexbot is gonna do anything other than just stand there and have its voice module let off a robotic screech while malfunctioning.

It would probably sound more like this:

https://youtu.be/XQRnC-Sy5z0

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Re: Robot cliches

Post by Saya » Tue Jun 18, 2019 12:05 pm

I'll warn you now, I'm tired, so my social filter's got big ol' holes in it. So pardon me while I take this opportunity to talk about things that drive me nuts when it comes to fembots and robots in general.


- Use of a fembot/male owner relationship as a hamfisted allegory for abusive relationships. It's not only been done to death, but it's loaded with all sorts of awful connotations and is in general rarely handled well. Stepford Wives did it right the first time, film school students. Stop copy/pasting each other's plots. And don't even get me started on the overcooked loaded baked potato that is the similarly troubling "fembots as a rape allegory" issue. Oof.

- The assumption that any AI given sentience, never mind sapience, will inevitably turn against its owners. This is particularly annoying because it's actually creeping into serious discussions on AI research based solely on forty years of people going "well, I saw it in this Terminator movie, and..." with no real data to back it up. It'd be like if research on motor vehicles never got past the year 1978 because designers saw Christine and worried seriously if surplus Edsels would go on jealous rampages.

- Robots as an allegory for slavery. For the same reasons as the above-mentioned abusive relationships/rape allegory, this is almost never handled with the care and nuance that it requires. To say that this is a loaded subject matter is an understatement. Furthermore, as a student of the Asimov school of robot writing, it makes no damned sense, especially when it's implied that the robots are programmed in such a way that they'd hate their assigned tasks. And while we're on the subject of Asimov...

- Taking Asimov's Three Laws at face value. The Three Laws system was intended to be extremely flawed to show how impossible it would be to account for all possible variables with three vague and poorly-defined parameters, the kind of which programmers would in all likelihood attempt to impose on the first roll out of complex domestic robots. This annoys me because it leads to people assuming that Asimov was an idiot who had no idea what he was writing about, when in actuality the imperfect nature of the laws was intended all along.

- The very narrow ideas on how a fembot should look, namely the whole Barbie doll look or the "gorgeous white long-haired blonde super model" look, with the only variance being hair color and a few micro inches of hair length. This is less something that offends me on the basis of misinformation about serious subject matter or sensitive topics handled poorly and more just a general annoyance because of how repetitive it is. I'm honestly kind of bored of the look, and would love to see some variance in body shape, hair styles, ethnicity and etc. Thankfully, this is starting to change, both in the consumer media market and in the fetish side of things, and on the later point, kudos. :thumbsup:

- And finally, the grammar of mechanical artificial lifeforms. If I see one more description of a character in a film list said character as "half-robot, half-cyborg" I'm going to blow a circuit.
"If the time should ever come when what is now called science, thus familiarized to men, shall be ready to put on, as it were, a form of flesh and blood, the Poet will lend his divine spirit to aid the transfiguration, and will welcome the Being thus produced, as a dear and genuine inmate of the household of man."
- William Wordsworth

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Re: Robot cliches

Post by N6688 » Tue Jun 18, 2019 1:05 pm

Robotman wrote:What are some unimaginative and worn-out robot cliches that you're tired of seeing in films, videos and other art?

For me, it's the old "robots rebel" cliche. Especially when a fembot suddenly grabs a big kitchen knife and decides she has to kill her owner. :roll:
Saya wrote:- The very narrow ideas on how a fembot should look, namely the whole Barbie doll look or the "gorgeous white long-haired blonde super model" look.

Uhm............

(hides away Image i posted on the wiki years ago)
YEAH, yep, yep.
Hate that too
Yep
Yep

Yep
Yep
Yep
Image

Seriously, mine would be the 45 degree angle arms, karate chopping motions, and walking around with stiff legs when an android mallfunctions.
Always disliked that.

PS
Also (and i know this will annoy some people, but sorry) speakers where mouths and troats are supposed to be when they tear a fembot's face off.
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Re: Robot cliches

Post by tdlsn » Tue Jun 18, 2019 4:54 pm

The very narrow ideas on how a fembot should look, namely the whole Barbie doll look or the "gorgeous white long-haired blonde super model" look.
Wow,couldn't agree more. Don't know for sure,but this thread may lead to some changes. :-o

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Re: Robot cliches

Post by smalk » Wed Jun 19, 2019 6:26 am

For me, it's the "I'm a robot, I'm a machine, so I must be perfect in everything".

Give AI-conscience to a car, it will not start thinking that his speed is infinite, but it will know its rated speed.

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Re: Robot cliches

Post by Rob_The_Fixer » Thu Jun 20, 2019 5:24 am

Robotman wrote:For me, it's the old "robots rebel" cliche. Especially when a fembot suddenly grabs a big kitchen knife and decides she has to kill her owner. :roll:
N6688 wrote:Seriously, mine would be the 45 degree angle arms, karate chopping motions, and walking around with stiff legs when an android mallfunctions.
Always disliked that.

PS
Also (and i know this will annoy some people, but sorry) speakers where mouths and troats are supposed to be when they tear a fembot's face off.
I second these, especially the last one. After seeing what Actroid and DSDoll can perform, I'm more used to see it on a practical side


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I still kinda like the last two, I just think they're old fashioned. :P
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Re: Robot cliches

Post by dieur » Sat Jun 29, 2019 9:00 pm

Uncom wrote:Sexy malfunctions.

I doubt that any sexbot is gonna do anything other than just stand there and have its voice module let off a robotic screech while malfunctioning.

It would probably sound more like this:

https://youtu.be/XQRnC-Sy5z0
While I have to agree about this being relatively unrealistic, I can't say I'm tried of it ;D

I'm tired of the basic plot progression of
[Robot appears totally human] -> [Something happens (water spilled, asked to divide by 0, press a button on a remote, etc] -> [Robot is walking around stiffly with arms at 90 degrees talking in stilted monotone].
The appear is the juxtaposition, not swapping out the character!

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Re: Robot cliches

Post by Aaack » Sat Dec 21, 2019 9:20 am

I think I dislike two tropes in particular:

A. The allegory side of any story, a robot is not a human being so the rules applied to them are naturally different to humans. While order a robot to do a repetitive or dangerous task is probably the behaviour the robot was designed for it may be considered slavery for a human, so far so good, but the compare both and infer that if it’s slavery for humans must be slavery for robots too is plain wrong, it would be remove the reason to exist from a being and proclame it was “liberated”. That being said I like the description of freedom fanatism of some humans on robots described in some stories.

B. Owners treating bad their androids. In most stories a bot is an extremely expensive toy therefore most owners have the means to buy it, it follows that those owners are intelligent enough to know how to administer their own money. Think about super cars. Owners won’t crash them on purpose. If they get tired of an android as intelligent as they are they either would sell them or store them, not use them as target for darts or something silly like that. I don’t see it as a realistic behaviour.

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Re: Robot cliches

Post by jolshefsky » Sun Jan 05, 2020 6:26 pm

Just thought I'd reboot this thread with one more: androids full of goo.

If that's your thing, fine, but for the rest of us, why are they all filled with blue goo or white goo? As far as I know, no real robots (e.g. DSDoll; HRP-4C) have any liquidy goop inside them as any lubrication is right at the joints. It seems like a cheap trope because F/X crews are all about gore, so they can make blue squibs instead of red ones and voila!: robot.
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