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GE Commercial, Robots, and the End of the World

General Electric has a new commercial that taps into both the apocalyptic angst related to a possible robot uprising, as well as the alleged Mayan calendar prophecy of doom, both of which have been in the news lately. An article on this on North Illinois University NIU Today website described the background behind the commerical:

The advertisement, created by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (the husband/wife team behind “Little Miss Sunshine”), depicts many of the iconic robots of science fiction traveling across great distances to gather before some brightly lit airplane hanger for what we are told is the unveiling of some new kind of machines – “brilliant machines,” as GE describes it. And as we see Robby the Robot from “Forbidden Planet,” KITT the robotic automobile from “Knight Rider” and Lt. Commander Data of Star Trek making their way to this meeting of artificial minds, we are told, by an ominous voice over, that “the robots are on the move.”

Although it doesn’t look like your typical robot apocalypse (e.g. “Terminator” or “Battlestar Galactica”), GE’s vision is an “end of the world” scenario. But what is ending is not the world per se but our deep-seated assumptions about the place and function of technology in our world.

Enjoy the video, and note how many of the robots you remember from pop culture.

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There are 1 Comments to "GE Commercial, Robots, and the End of the World"

  • Carl Rosenberg says:

    All this talk of apocalyptic prophecies stemming from religious traditions reminds me of an amusing story by Arthur C. Clarke, “The Nine Million Names of God.” It’s about the experiences of two engineers in a Tibetan Buddhist monastery. To say more would spoil it–do look it up. (It’s in his collection of the same name, and possibly others.)

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