Tezuka, “Self Portrait”
We’ve been talking a lot about differences in sub/dub versions of the same anime, and the extent to which cultural and aesthetic norms and censorship play determine such differences. Here’s an interesting discursus by kingplatypus4th’s ALT CHANNEL comparing two versions of an Astro Boy (2003) episode:
Two of the biggest differences between these two dubs are the soundtracks and screen ratio….
Another big difference are the scenes cut of Astro being emotional or childish. The English dub focuses much more on Astro’s heroism.
CAN we teach a robot to be good? Fascinated by the idea, roboticist Alan Winfield of Bristol Robotics Laboratory in the UK built an ethical trap for a robot – and was stunned by the machine’s response.
In an experiment, Winfield and his colleagues programmed a robot to prevent other automatons – acting as proxies for humans – from falling into a hole. This is a simplified version of Isaac Asimov’s fictional First Law of Robotics – a robot must not allow a human being to come to harm.
At first, the robot was successful in its task. As a human proxy moved towards the hole, the robot rushed in to push it out of the path of danger. But when the team added a second human proxy rolling toward the hole at the same time, the robot was forced to choose. Sometimes, it managed to save one human while letting the other perish; a few times it even managed to save both. But in 14 out of 33 trials, the robot wasted so much time fretting over its decision that both humans fell into the hole. The work was presented on 2 September at the Towards Autonomous Robotic Systems meeting in Birmingham, UK.
Winfield describes his robot as an “ethical zombie” that has no choice but to behave as it does. Though it may save others according to a programmed code of conduct, it doesn’t understand the reasoning behind its actions. Winfield admits he once thought it was not possible for a robot to make ethical choices for itself. Today, he says, “my answer is: I have no idea”.
Okay, last Tetsuwan Atom post before class. The pathos, the pathos!
"With the grass growing around him, gently enveloping him, he expired without anyone knowing and slowly began to disintegrate from the elements."
Takuma Nakahira, ‘For a Language to Come’ ,1970.