TELEPRESENCE IN POPULAR CULTURE

A study of portrayals of presence

Heartbeeps

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ABOUT THE WORK

MEDIUM:

Film 

YEAR:

1981 

WRITER(S):

John Hill 

OWN COPY?

No 
 

ABOUT THE STORY

SUMMARY:

from imdb.com Val and Aqua are two household servant robots who start feeling emotions for each other. After falling in love, they decide to escape from their servitude and attempt to start a family of their own. Summary written by Jean-Marc Rocher {rocher@fiberbit.net}  

ERA/YEAR:

Distant future 

CHARACTERISTICS
OF WORLD:

robots are commpplace servents and police. 
 
ABOUT THE PRESENCE-EVOKING TECHNOLOGY
NAME:
Aqua, Val 
DESCRIPTION:
Aqua and Val are robots. They resemble humans in size, shape, speech and mode of walking, but their faces are clearly not human, rather made of plastic and metal. Their skin is a gold color. They interact with humans as humans do, although they are programmed to be subservient. They can practice and learn more about thier programmed functions, such as how to converse. They can walk far distancse and run on energy packs. They can also create and modify other robots. They are also programmed to never break the law. 
NATURE OF TASK OR ACTIVITY:
The robots are servents in homes - they serve and clean as a butler or maid. Some are also designed to enteratain by telling jokes, or conversing in a manner that makes the human fell smart. 
PERFORMANCE OF THE TECHNOLOGY:
Works well, although the robots develop a sense of independence and run from their human keepers. Actually, then they never perform as they ought to, and are ultimately scrapped. 
 
ABOUT THE CREATORS OF THE TECHNOLOGY
DESCRIPTION:
unknown. 
MAJOR GOAL(S):
to serve and entertain people. 
 
ABOUT THE PEOPLE WHO EXPERIENCE PRESENCE
DESCRIPTION:
Anyone who can afford a robot own one. The robots interct with male and female white people at a party, and 2 white men search for the run away robots. 
 
ABOUT THE PRESENCE EXPERIENCE
TYPE(S) OF PRESENCE:
Social presence 
DESCRIPTION:
Pleasant. The robots are well mannered and behaved. They are trained to serve humans. 
USER AWARENESS:
yes. 
VALENCE:
they typically enjoy it. however, the police robot does crash a party looking for the robots. literally, he crashes through a window. 
SPECIFIC RESPONSES:
Eventually, two humans develop social relatioships with the robot family, a parasocial relationship. 
 
ABOUT THE CONSEQUENCES OF PRESENCE
LONG-TERM CONSEQUENCES:
Happy ending. Because the robots cannot perform properly, they are sent to the junk yard. There, the humans presumably turn them back on, and the 2 robots in love create a family, living? happily ever after. 
 
AND FINALLY...
OTHER INFORMATION:
robots as people. people who can love and be familial. 
CODER NAME:
Amanda Scheiner 
CODER E-MAIL:
amandags@temple.edu 
CODER AFFILIATION:
Temple University 
DATE CODED:
1/25/2007 

 


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