Sunday, April 17, 2016

Unit 3: Robotics + Art

As our world continues to advance technology and research various ways to further industrialization, robotics is playing an integral role in global modernization. One of the earliest noted forms of mechanical production is the printing press— re-invented by Gutenberg, but originating in China (Lecture Part 1). Another equally significant milestone in modernization is Henry Ford’s T-Model. This innovation utilized Ford’s idea of an assembly line that created the opportunity for cars to become available to those who originally could not afford the luxury (Lecture Part 2). This spurred the idea of robotic manufacture, which eventually shifted from humans being treated like machines, to machines replacing humans. The idea of assembly lines and “cookie cutter production” did not sit well with Walter Benjamin who believed that this industrialization would remove the aura of uniqueness, free-expression of creativity, and personality from the production environment; unfortunately, it did (Walter Benjamin). 
In an attempt to better acclimate robots into the environment while maintaining creativity, robotic mechanics have been attempting to program robots to embody human emotions. However, humans are becoming drastically more dependent on robots and the modern effect they have on the world. As artificial intelligent robots become the poster children for modernization, the fear of the unknown emerges amongst humans. As robots continue to advance, will they become the next generation of humans? Will we become so dependent we're unable to think and act for ourselves? These types of questions created a fear of industrialization amongst cultures. This fear is frequently portrayed in movies, and because movies have such a popular influence on our cultures today they play a large role in the perception humans have of robotic modernization (Professor Kusahara).

One movie in particular that embodies most stereotypes created by movie cultures is Wall-E. This Disney movie shows the threat humans are creating as we increasingly rely on robots to carry out daily responsibilities. In the movies, the robots have become the humans and the humans become mindless copies of each other. The robots have developed personalities, streams of conscious, and will. This movie discretely stresses the importance of developing technological independence, as the world grows increasingly reliant on robots. Although robots are vital in the advancement of technology, productivity, and industrialization, the human population must not allow the aura of intelligence, personality, and creativity to disappear. Unplug every once in a while, appreciate the world around you. 

Notice that even a robot is teaching the children,
there is no longer demand for any person to be employed.
1. Benjamin, Walter. The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction. London: Penguin, 2008. Print.
2. GaryTurkFilm. "Look Up." YouTube. YouTube, 25 Apr. 2014. Web. 17 Apr. 2016.
3. Uconlineprogram. “Robotics MachikoKusahara 1.” YouTube. YouTube, 14 Apr. 2012. Web. 17 Apr. 2016. <>.
4. Uconlineprogram. "Robotics Pt1." YouTube. YouTube, 15 Apr. 2012. Web. 17 Apr. 2016.
5. Uconlineprogram. "Robotics Pt2." YouTube. YouTube, 15 Apr. 2012. Web. 17 Apr. 2016.
6. WALL-E. Dir. Andrew Stanton. By Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon, Ben Burtt, Elissa Knight, and Jeff Garlin. Prod. Jim Morris. Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, 2008. DVD.


  1. I really liked how you incorporated Wall-E into you blog for this week. It's a great movie with a deeper meaning and you applied it to your argument in a very strategic way. You asked the question "will we become so dependent we're unable to think and act for ourselves?". This is a genuine problem that humans do have today, specifically at UCLA. When walking around campus you see that most people either have their headphones in or are looking down at their phone while walking through campus. The video you posted "Look Up" is great evidence to support your argument that humans are becoming dangerously dependent on machines. Overall great job!

  2. I loved how you opened up your blog post with a YouTube video about "Looking Up" from our technology or anything that distracts us and prevents us to engage in our world. By opening up with that, it made the flow of your entire blog run so smoothly. You made great remarks regarding our tendency to rely on technology or robots and by doing so, that as well prevents our engagement to other humans around us. We are constantly glued to our devices that we miss the beautiful things human nature and the people that surround us has to offer. Your reference to Wall-E was literally the icing on the cake as well because it supported everything you mentioned. How humans will be dependent on robots and having robots teaching humans. Your blog post was very inspiring, thank you!