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by on December 10, 2012

Stephen Fry is a gadget man, and his new series of documentaries on channel 4 sets out to explore the ever expanding world of technology. The most recent episode in the series sees Fry’s gadget team build a robot which represents his physical being. Through mimesis, the robot is constructed to look extremely similar to Stephen Fry – moulding the robots mask to make sure its contortions are the same as the actual model, even going so far as to use human hair for its wig. 

Fry’s intentions for this robot is to get it as human-like and as representative of himself as possible; his ultimate goal is to create a doppelganger (an aid to help him skive work). The team succeeds in creating a humanoid robot, however, it’s movements  reactions and overall appearance is still distinctly robotic and an obvious aesthetic difference between the human and the creation can be noticed. 

A final thought though is that the robot is fitted with a microphone and camera with wifi installed so that whilst Fry is elsewhere he can see through the robot and talk live through it to others. Whilst the physical being is robotic and not that of human, the robot still seemingly possesses Stephen’s soul as it is interacting with others, talking and projecting Fry’s personality. With this addition, the humanoid robot has indirectly become very advanced – merging the soul and robot into one. Whilst Fry is still controlling the robot and the object does is not completely autonomous, Fry’s direct transfer of agency allows his personality to live through the robot, eliminating the need for his physical body.

Uncanny eh? Give it a watch


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