Mechanical Love

January 25, 2009 — Leave a comment

Can a human love a robot? Can a robot love a human? Mechanical Love is a documentary on the interrelationship between robots and humans.

The film portrays people who in different ways enjoy a close relationship with a robot. We meet an old German woman who desperately seeks to keep her memories alive through talking with a baby seal robot called Paro. We also meet Professor Ishiguro who is developing androids, and who, in his current work on his own geminoid, wonders what it takes to be human.

The film takes us from the high temple of robot technology, Tokyo, Japan, to Braunschweig in Germany, to Italy and back to Copenhagen in Denmark. By this world tour director Phie Ambo seeks to highlight the human need for love and our craving to be loved by others – perhaps the two most important aspects of life. Through the main characters, she also examines the cultural differences in how we accept emotional robots in the East and the West.

The robot is no longer just a mechanical gadget that sits inside your coffee machine or performs monotonous, mechanical work, but made to provide meaningful presence. Welcome to the brave new world.

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