Ep. 53: About A Robot

Ep. 53: About A Robot

Episode 53, ‘About A Robot’, Part III of Robots, Cyborgs, and Artificial Intelligence

This week, Dave and Steve conclude their conversation about thinking machines by looking at robotic heroes, good guys, and protagonists. Was Her really a game-changer in in the robo-film movement? What was the cultural significance of 2005’s Robots and how has it influence human-cyborg relations? How does Robot Chicken fit into all this? These questions (and more) go unanswered in this episode.

  • Intro Clip: One of the Transformers movies, but the editor can’t be bothered to figure out which one.
  • Dave doesn’t care about Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s Geordi La Forge.
  • Robots aren’t aliens, Steve. They’re robots.
  • How easily we forget the trials and tribulations of Spike Witwicky.
  • “P-tags”, guys? Really?
  • Having watched Short Circuit, the editor feels like the film is closer to a bad improv show than a blockbuster movie.
  • Steve appears to have no idea how to pronounce “Neill Blomkamp”.
  • Is it strange to anyone else that Dave insists on using Data’s rank of Lieutenant commander every time he talks about him?
  • Dave calls WALL-E an “it”.
  • Steve and Dave have an absolutely essential conversation about the naming scheme of the Terminator franchise.
  • Dave says he’ll take Steve’s word on something and then immediately looks it up.
  • Seriously guys, just start a podcast about taking care of babies.
  • Dave tricks Steve into being poetic.
  • Remember back in the day when Dave and Steve cared if they were spoiling movies for you? Pepperidge Farm Remembers.
  • One host goes to great lengths not to say “my dick phase”.
  • Oh the casual droid racism of Han Solo.
  • Star Trek’s Data is really an example of machina ex machina.
  • Really, Steven? It doesn’t matter that Luke has his hand cut off and it is replaced with a cybernetic component so that, as Vader further tempts Luke to embrace the Dark Side of the Force, Luke has already physically lost some of his humanity only to have to replaced in a way that mirrors and draws our attention to the more drastic artificial replacements that Vader received after he joined the Dark Side so many years ago, serving as a painful reminder to Luke (and, by extension, the audience) that he cannot escape being his father’s son and that the struggle to simultaneously resist our nature and remain committed to the Light Side of the Force comes at a cost to one’s very humanity even if your mentors who brought you to the Light Side in the first place failed altogether to warn you about those costs — and, in some interpretations, lied to you about them altogether — despite the fact that those mentors knew full well the consequences of resolve when faced with the seduction of the Dark Side and, rather than facing them, they secluded themselves from the galaxy that they had sworn, as members of the Jedi Order, to protect? That doesn’t matter, Steven?!
  • And, no, Steven. You are not redeemed by pointing out that a blaster, while it may operate under similar principles as laser weapons, is not itself a laser.
  • Dave is probably talking about the Ship of Theseus.
  • Dave appreciates robotic abs.
  • Inspector Gadget really forces us to grapple with the fundamental questions of our time.
  • Steven really wants to talk about Robocop more.
  • Dave’s suggestion that a lightsaber represents “control of lasers” is somewhat forgivable, given that Young Anakin calls it a “laser sword” in The Phantom Menace — although it should be stated that Anakin is absolutely incorrect in his description.
  • Because all the cool kids are talking about it, Steven brings up Westworld.
  • Dave and Steven continue their trend of talking about Doctor Who without having seen any of it.
  • Is Steven talking about sewing?
  • Maybe The Jetsons was a bit racist?
  • Domo arigato for checking out The Style Guide‘s first series.
Robots, Cyborgs, and Artificial Intelligence
Robots, Cyborgs, and Artificial Intelligence
Ep. 53: About A Robot
Ep. 52: We’re People Too

Ep. 52: We’re People Too

Episode 52, ‘We’re people too’, Part II of Robots, Cyborgs, and Artificial Intelligence

This week, Dave and Steve continue their exploration of machines in fiction by delving into their use as villains and antagonists. Listen in as the duo comes down pretty hard on the human race in a futile attempt to be spared when the singularity occurs. At least Skynet will feel guilty when they find out that Dave and Steve tried to argue their case. You know, if Skynet felt guilt.

  • Intro Clip: Virtuosity.
  • If you came for an in depth discussion of 1995’s Virtuosity, starring Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe, you will be disappointed.
  • Steve and Dave’s next project will be The Child Guide where they talk exclusively about parenting styles.
  • Dave brings up that ol’ robot classic Jurassic Park.
  • Dave drops some Sam Harris.
  • Dave thinks governments are the real villains.
  • Hey Dave, isn’t Steve already your best friend who lives in the Internet?
  • “Unsentient”.
  • Dave sided with the replicants in Blade Runner.
  • For two guys who spent an hour defining their terms, Dave and Steve are awfully carefree about the term “robot”.
  • Dave forces the editor to go down a rabbit hole to fact check something. Turns out, Dave was right.
  • Steve sided with the Matrix in The Matrix.
  • Turns out Steve wasn’t paying attention to any of the boring plots bits of The Terminator and Terminator 2
  • Hey Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer! Please don’t sue us!
  • “Don’t you remember Voyager, man?” versus “Don’t you remember Voyager Man?”.
  • Steve was right.
  • As usual, Dave feels compelled to drop some 19th century philosophy into the podcast.
  • A.B.T. – Always Be Terminating.
  • Steve comes up with an idea for a movie. Dave misunderstands it and comes up with two better ideas. Possibly three.
  • For an extended and thoughtful perspective on Ex Machina by someone whose name is neither Dave nor Steve, check out Mike’s take.
  • No, Dave. “Roy Batty” does not “start with an ‘A'”. Neither does “Rutger Hauer” for that matter”.
  • Steve tells a joke so hilarious that it stuns Dave into continuing his sentence uninterrupted.
  • Michael Bay doesn’t make Steve question his humanity.
  • The last 1:30 of the podcast is a present from the editor to all of you.
Robots, Cyborgs, and Artificial Intelligence
Robots, Cyborgs, and Artificial Intelligence
Ep. 52: We're People Too
Ep. 51: What’s Wrong With A Robotic Nose?

Ep. 51: What’s Wrong With A Robotic Nose?

Episode 51, ‘What’s wrong with a robotic nose?’, Part I of Robots, Cyborgs, and Artificial Intelligence

This week, Dave and Steve shake things up with their first multi-part episode. For the next three weeks they’ll be talking about the rise of machines in fiction. This week is all about how to tell you’re dealing with a robot — and then the more important questions: What’s the difference between the Terminator and (the?) Robocop?; What are the barriers to sentience and artificial life?; and Why does a Roobma cost $300? Note: at no point do your intrepid hosts talk about the 1983 hit WarGames, the 1986 flop Maximum Overdrive, and 2014’s entirely forgettable Transcendence. If that’s a problem for you, they sincerely apologize.

  • Intro Clip: I, Robot.
  • In a rare move, the editor has included a brief clip of outtakes. While the editor recognizes the absurdity of linking you to an audio clip when you’re listening to a podcast, he thinks the opportunity to make fun of Steve and Dave is worth it. So, enjoy.
  • Steve talks about parenting skills a lot for someone who sometimes forgets to wear pants.
  • Dave confesses to taking zumba lessons.
  • This episode probably owes a lot to the absolutely fantastic (bite-sized) podcast Robot or Not? — and the occasional side-episodes Sandwich or Not, such as episode 78 “Hot Dogs”.
  • Bite-sized wasn’t a pun, but maybe Dave and Steve should start an offshoot podcast about food.
  • Dave suggests that this dude looks human.
  • Steve prefers the term “fembot”.
  • Steve quotes from a term paper he wrote back in 2010.
  • Dave decides to cut off his hand and sews a camera in its place.
  • Steve makes a ridiculous mistake: he says “adamantine”, which is indestructible metal of the Gods with magic and psychic properties that was bonded with Earth-12025 James Howlett’s bones prior to his adventures with Hercules. He clearly meant “adamantium”, which is a mostly indestructible metal alloy with no magic or psychic properties that was bonded with Earth-616 James Howlett’s bones prior to his adventures with the X-Men. Two completely different things.
  • Dave and Steve are not racist against Steampunk Robots.
  • Dave defines a term by using the term.
  • Turns out Steve has this whole “I’m quoting from the dictionary” voice.
  • Regarding dogs and AI.
  • It should be noted that the entire discussion about animal intelligence is coloured by the fact that Dave is a vegan and Steve hangs out with vegans sometimes.
  • There is a brief discussion in which Dave uses the word “breeding” and we all feel just a little bit uncomfortable.
  • For whatever record there is, Steve is right: there is a working Cylon detector.
  • Dave humours Steve’s question about Toy Story.
  • Because they apparently didn’t settle the topic the first time they brought it up, Dave and Steve again talk about the differences between Toy Story, Toy Soldiers, and Small Soldiers.
Robots, Cyborgs, and Artificial Intelligence
Robots, Cyborgs, and Artificial Intelligence
Ep. 51: What's Wrong With A Robotic Nose?