TELEPRESENCE IN POPULAR CULTURE

A study of portrayals of presence

The Outer Limits: I, Robot

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ABOUT THE WORK

MEDIUM:

TV episode 

YEAR:

1995 

WRITER(S):

Alison Lea Bingeman Brad Wright 

OWN COPY?

No 
 

ABOUT THE STORY

SUMMARY:

from imd.com Late at night, Dr. Link works on his creation, a powerful robot named Adam Link. Adam goes berserk and murders Dr. Link! Law enforcement issues an order for the robot's destruction, but the dead man's daughter Nina Link hires retired lawyer and full-time curmudgeon Thurman Cutler to defend the machine's rights as if it were a man! Cutler takes the case as much to mock the legal system that has made him a cynic as for any other reason, but can even his brilliant mind save Adam Link from destruction? Summary written by CommanderBalok  

ERA/YEAR:

Present day when produced 

CHARACTERISTICS
OF WORLD:

Present day 1995. 
 
ABOUT THE PRESENCE-EVOKING TECHNOLOGY
NAME:
Adam Link (a robot) 
DESCRIPTION:
Adam is an extermely strong, fast, and smart robot. He is built from super strong titanium. He is like a son to his creator and a brother to his creators daughter. He enjoys poetry, reading and learning. He has emotions similiar to humans. He odse not look human - he appears as a robot. However, he acts as human does. A sensitive, human. 
NATURE OF TASK OR ACTIVITY:
Adam is on trial for killing his creator. Rather, he is on trial to see if he will be allowed to stand trial as a human. 
PERFORMANCE OF THE TECHNOLOGY:
Works well, generally. However, sis kill creator and go beserk in courtroom when a certain element in his 'brain' is turned off. Then he becomes violent. The creator was trying to implents possible use for the military. So, in a sense, he was working as suppsed to, but in the wrong setting. 
 
ABOUT THE CREATORS OF THE TECHNOLOGY
DESCRIPTION:
A white, male, scientist in his 60's or so. He runs a lab and is well respected. However, he needs funding, so turns to the military.  
MAJOR GOAL(S):
Primarily, to further technology. although he does look into advancing miliatry technology. 
 
ABOUT THE PEOPLE WHO EXPERIENCE PRESENCE
DESCRIPTION:
Adam interacts with all sorts of people. He savess the lives of a police officer and the prosecting attorney. 
 
ABOUT THE PRESENCE EXPERIENCE
TYPE(S) OF PRESENCE:
Social presence 
DESCRIPTION:
The presence experience of interacting with Adam is generally plesent. However, if he becomes violent, then it is not. He could easily kill someone with his super strength and speed. 
USER AWARENESS:
Yes. He looks like a robot and cannot be mistaken for human. 
VALENCE:
Sometimes pleasent, sometimes lethal. 
SPECIFIC RESPONSES:
Poeple are stunned by the depth of personality, kindness and altruism Adam demonstartes. People are also stunned by his super sterngth and speed. 
 
ABOUT THE CONSEQUENCES OF PRESENCE
LONG-TERM CONSEQUENCES:
Well, its a happy ending in that the judge determines that Adam is human - human enough to stand trial for murder. Outside of the courtroom, Adam then saves the life of the prosecuting attorney by pushing her out of the way of a speeding truck. He is then destroyed by the truck. A bittersweet ending. 
 
AND FINALLY...
OTHER INFORMATION:
Leornard Nimoy was Adam's lawyer. 
CODER NAME:
Amanda Scheiner 
CODER E-MAIL:
amandags@temple.edu 
CODER AFFILIATION:
Temple University 
DATE CODED:
11/30/2006 

 


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