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“Pink Plastic Flamingos” by Colin West
A suburban stay-at-home dad builds an autonomous robot out of his mower, but when he finds out his creation is taking over his life he sets out to destroy it.
Life sucks for George. So he builds a robot to make it better. It gets better. Then… it gets worse.
There has been a lot of hype in the news lately about the rise of sentient AI. These stories conjure thoughts of dystopian wasteland futures seen in things like Terminator or I, Robot. But what we’re really aiming to do with AI, long term, is to make life “better” (whatever that means) for us humans. So, is it getting better? With Pink Plastic Flamingos I was trying to draw that narrative out, deliberately straying from the typical Asimov-ian robot dystopia and placing this story in a future that was much like our own, but not exactly– setting the film in a tone rather than a time. I wanted to give way for a kind of comedic fable about the potential human reaction to their own act of creation. I often find it quite ironic that humans are so headstrong about creating this new form of artificial intelligence yet are at the same time so utterly terrified of it. On a side note, I feel that if sentient robots were to write their own Grimm fairy tales, this might be one of them.
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