Friendship’s Death

I was taken by the moment in Peter Wollen’s Film Friendship’s Death, where the visitor, a robot speaks about being a machine. Yes the image below is the robot, superbly played by Tilda Swinton. It seems the 2002 Teknolust film continues a theme that began in 1987 – 15 years earlier – with this movie. We have had other moments of machines talking about what it is like to be a machine, this one must rank with Hal in 2001. I snapped the image off my TV and transcribed the dialogue from the video.

“What will happen when your machines have intelligence? When they become autonomous, when they have private thoughts?

“You humans look down on your machines because they are manmade, they are a product of your skills and labour. They were not even tamed or domesticated like animals were. You see them simply as extensions of yourself, of your own will. I can’t accept that!

“I cant accept sub-human status simply because I am a machine based on silicon rather than carbon, electronic rather than biological.”

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