Still Better Than 'Twilight:' Robot With Artificial Intelligence Being Trained to Act for Upcoming Movie

Tuesday, 21 August 2018 - 10:08AM
Weird Science
Tuesday, 21 August 2018 - 10:08AM
Still Better Than 'Twilight:' Robot With Artificial Intelligence Being Trained to Act for Upcoming Movie
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Image Credit: Pixabay Composite
Westworld invited us into a world where the only way to tell if someone was a human or a robot was to tell them to "freeze all motor functions," show them a picture of Times Square, or shoot them. The actors/actresses who played hosts on the show did a great job of being robotic when they needed to be, and now it looks like one indie filmmaker is seeing if that can work in reverse. According to DeadlineAmerican History X director Tony Kaye is making a sequel to the 2018 film 1st Born (dir. Ali Atshani and Sam Khoze) and is casting a real robot as the lead actor.

According to online synopses, the first film is about two grandfathers from different cultural backgrounds who have to come together to save their first grandchild. The Deadline story does not include plot details for the sequel that would explain which role the robot is wanted for. It does say that "several of the original cast members are expected to return," so presumably the A.I. will not be replacing Val Kilmer, Denise Richards, William Baldwin, or Tom Berenger. The robot will reportedly be "trained in different acting methods and techniques," and the filmmakers are hopeful that it will gain recognition by the Screen Actors Guild for its performance.

We've seen robots walk, run, do flips, fire Glocks, and perform other tasks previously reserved for biological creatures, but acting would be a very different step in an uncomfortable direction. Talking robots have gotten better at conversation, but the uncanny valley is still a problem that developers have yet to overcome (as demonstrated in the hilarious video below of Will Smith on a date with Sophia the Robot). Having the robot read from a script may make things easier, but a big part of acting is emotion, which machines aren't great at replicating...yet. If the fact that the robot is a robot is written into the film then our reservations will probably go away, but the part about wanting the robot to get a SAG card suggests it's not going to be a Johnny 5 type of performance.

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Artificial Intelligence
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