This whole project, “Robots and Humans”, was a project that linked my two final projects in my Printmaking 1 class and my modern, post-modern Russian literature class at Bowdoin College. The short movie, featuring James Jelin, was my final project for the Russian class where I explored the possibility of Robots becoming human. I then created a hand made printmaking book using copper plate etchings of direct screenshots of the film, linoleum cuts, and letterpress printmaking techniques. The pages of the book that have the etchings on them also have an embossed square with writing in them. This writing refers to the time in which the clip was taken from the film, the location of the shot, what lens was used, and what camera was used. Below you will find the film, a description of the project taken from my final paper, and photos of the book.

-Henry

            The stringent classification between robots and humans becomes increasingly difficult with the exponentially swift march of technology. As human beings come to greater understanding of precise, scientific measurements and creations, the potentiality of artificial life becomes all too possible. Then the question arises, as humans undergo a challenging identity crisis: what makes humans human and what are the defining characteristics between humans and artificial life? Many common responses to this are emotions, empathy, morality, and the ability to believe in a higher power etc. However, most of this can be classified as speculation. Until a true manifestation of artificial intelligence exists in the form of robots, humans will not know their full potential and what characteristics are inherently human. Instead, humans can study different literary works of fiction that create complex issues of morality through the inclusion of robots who posses human form and human capabilities and aspects. These texts are particularly important and critical to our understanding of technology and robots when the robots and technology blatantly have a very “human” trait. This creates a blended contrast between robots and humans and poses a serious obstacle in specifically delineating the two. Due to this lack of clear definition, it is best to think of the situation broadly and to detach humanity (my definition and the definition that I will use in this paper is a broad definition consisting of empathy, love, morality, pleasure, spontaneity, etc.) from the human form. This is of course a logical and fair action, because after all humans cannot expect to be the only creatures or life forms that have the propensity for any or all of these traits. Once humanity is detached, the human form is left. The vessel of humanity, the form of the human body is the easiest and most accurate way to distinguish humans from other beings, as those other beings could possibly poses traits of humanity. With the technological prowess exhibited today it is hardly a theoretical assumption that humans would be able to construct a functioning robot that appeared in everyway like a human. So, pragmatically robots can be humans.