Science and Creativity from Studio 360: the art of innovation. A sculpture unlocks a secret of cell structure, a tornado forms in a can, and a child's toy gets sent into orbit. Exploring science as a creative act since 2005. Produced by PRI and WNYC, and supported in part by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
The desirable robot has been a trope in science fiction for almost a century, from the femme fatale Maria in Fritz Lang’s Metropolis to Gigolo Joe in Steven Spielberg’s A.I.. Despina Kakoudaki is the author of Literature, Cinema, and the Cultural Work of Artificial People. She says a robot lover is an appealing fantasy because it can be perfectly beautiful, ageless, and brilliant. “It’s indestructible, it has replaceable body parts,” she says, “as if it is the alternative to the vulnerable, very fleshy, very gooey, very sometimes smelly human body.” An android can take physical and emotional abuse that a human being often can’t … or shouldn’t. And some social scientists have actually advocated for the creation of robot prostitutes or soldiers. But Kakoudaki says when we buy into that fantasy, we still don’t get it. “We treat objects with quite a lot of fascination and we treat objects really well. We treat people badly as a matter of course in culture,” she laments. …read more