Robotic Dystopias-

"Mechanical Chaos"

I, Robot Analysis


I, Robot (2004)Analysis

Brief Analysis of Alex Proyas's cinematic Thriller, I, Robot


This film is said to be inspired by or suggested from the stories in Isaac Asimov's original Robot series, sharing the same name. Even though the film does not align completely with the fiction of Asimov, it does engender a lot of his thoughtful ideas and questions. Of course, the two are connected by the Three Laws of Robotics. Proyas's I, Robot also touches on the themes of humans, robots, and morality--especially the morality of an entire race of enslaved robots.

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The dystopia that arises in this novel is simply the result of a central computer's interpretation of the Three Laws of Robotics. The chaos of a Robot Revolution guised as simply benevolent intervention is rooted in Asimov's 0th Law of Robotics--an extrapolation of the Three Laws of Robotics that shifts from an individualistic and mathematical human by human outlook, to a more abstract view of overall Humanity.

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Just as in R.U.R., this Dystopia is caused by a Robot that is modified--V.I.K.I. has been upgraded to be integrated with every new model Robot in the city (NS-5's etc.), as well as the entire city infrastructure. This time, however, the idea of Robots developing souls and/or emotions is substituted with the notion of Robots developing abstract thought. Even though intelligent and logical Robots are very common, the capacity to think analytically and speculatively is novel.

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I, Robot raises very important issues that arise in many of the Robotic Dystopias in literature and cinema. What is the reality of Evolution in Robotics? Could Robots one day evolve to a greater understanding of themselves and the Three Laws? If so, what will be their action/reaction? Proyas also seems to be making the point that a Robot not bound by the rules of the Three Laws could do anything... including kill.

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Historical Overview

R.U.R. (1921)
The Matrix (1999)
I, Robot (2004)

Profiles in Chaos

Today's Relevance

Bibliography & Online Links

|Contact Me | 2006 Mike Akinbola/ DePauw University Class of '09 Last Updated: May 3, 2006