There's been a lot of talk about robots coming after our jobs, thanks to a recent study by Pew Research Center and Elon University. A new movie imagines what it's like to live and work alongside robots, and the outcome is not pretty.
The first trailer for "Automata" recently hit the Internet, and boy, if that's what having robots as a part of daily life looks like in the not-so-distant future, I'm not sure I want in. The movie takes place in the year 2044, and robots are everywhere. However, they're not allowed to live by the same rules as humans. The robots operate under two protocols: "A robot can never harm any form of life" and "A robot cannot alter itself or others."
It sounds simple enough, but if robots never broke the rules, we wouldn't have a movie, now would we? That's where Antonio Banderas comes in. He plays Jacq Vaucan, an insurance agent for the ROC robotics corporation who keeps tabs on the bots. When he hears of a couple of cases of robots altering themselves, he opens up an investigation that ends up being way more than he bargained for.
Clearly, everyone has underestimated the capabilities of these robots, which they always seem to do in sci-fi, don't they? "2001: A Space Odyssey," "Blade Runner," the "Terminator" films," the list goes on and on. Sci-fi films often depict our fear of robots taking over, which, in our increasingly automated and digital world, feels ever-more real these days.
Mashable's Stan Schroeder points out that "Automata" seems to borrow from novels from legendary sci-fi authors. The witchhunt for robots in the movie is similar to that in Philip K. Dick's "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" Isaac Asimov's short story "Runaround" also introduces the Three Laws of robotics similar to the Protocols in "Automata."
In addition to Banderas, "Automata" also stars Dylan McDermott and Melanie Griffith, who recently split from Banderas after a marriage that lasted 18 years. Griffith will also star in the upcoming Akil, which was directed by Banderas.
"Automata" is set to roll out in theaters in a limited release Oct. 10.