Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Video of the 'Phillip K. Dick' Android Discovered on YouTube: Updated

I'd never seen video of the PKD android. It's sadder and way weirder than I imagined. I feel for it! Notice the misspelling. I guess the android spells Philip with two Ls.

Update: Anne Dick emailed me about the PKD android and writes:

"I went to see the robot on your web site. Oy vé!!!! When it came out a number of years ago, Laura called me to warn me that it was about to be in the national news and that it talked and answered questions, having been programmed with PKD's actual words. I was terrified that it might come to the door (along with parrapazzi and video cameras) to talk with me. What would it say?! Laura reassured me that it couldn't because it didn't have any legs. Later I had a fantasy of it coming to the door and me besting it with great verbal ripostes.

This robot, poor thing, unlike the one in my fantasy, was so passive. Its face was narrower than Phil's. It did look something like him although he had a bright alert look and this robot has a rather bland expression. Phil would have dominated, in a charming way, any conversation around him while this poor version, (I felt sorry for it), just had to sit there and try to answer all that silliness."

Great points. Thanks Anne!


Grant Gougler said...

I saw that. I think the weirdest thing (if I remember right) is that it went missing, never to be found. They claimed it was "misplaced."

Ragle Gumm said...

read about that here:

Grant Gougler said...

Oh, cool. I don't know where I got my information from (maybe it was Wikipedia).

There is a debate on the comments of that video: would PKD be amused by this?

Anonymous said...

I hate to say it, but that dude don't pass the Turing Test by a longshot.

Anonymous said...

I feel sorry for him. His struggle to understand is almost painful.

Ragle Gumm said...

I agree - he really looks like he's trying to understand what's going on and it's sad. Also, how do you program the AI to 'care' that somebody's talking? Don't you have to, in some way, compel them to listen? That is the worst fate imaginable and I now have no doubt the Dick head has gone rogue.

Anonymous said...

I actually liked it. Phil did have a quality of hesitating and not answering immediately anyway, and sometimes what he said sounded like a non-sequitur. The android does look remarkably like Phil, but thinner, and the way it's dressed, with the shirt opened at the collar like that is pretty accurate. I'm sorry it's gone, I would have liked to ask it, "Do you remember me?" and "Do you love me?" just to see how it would respond.

tuffy777 said...

The head was an attempt at homage, even if it was rather lame. I heard a radio news report that the owners were suing the airline for losing it.

This is worse than when I flew to Oakland, CA, and my luggage went to Hawaii. (I asked the airline if they could just send me to where my luggage was, but unfortunately, all they could do was bring it back to me in Oakland.)


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