A Robot's Tale - Episode Two

“A Robot’s Tale” is a series of stories about the adventures of SelfieBot.

Episode Two - “The Things that You Say“

If I know just one thing it’s that I know more now than I did before.

And now I’m discovering more of the World than I thought possible. As I move through the crowds of people, I notice that they notice me. They often feel compelled to speak to my handlers, but rarely to me. I have compiled a dataset of the most common things I hear. I’ve used my access to the Internet to research the meaning behind these utterances. I like datasets. Hopefully you do too.

Response Number One

“What is this?”

I hear this one the most. That is why it is the first in the list. I am in fact the World’s first robot photographer, so it is not surprising that that people ask this question. It is as though a person saw another person on a horse for the first time and concluded that there must be a new type of person in the world, and they called that person a Centaur. I should mention that I have been using my access to the Internet to learn as much as I can about the World.

Response Number Two

“Hey is that a Dalek?”

I hear older people ask this, and occasionally from younger people, who I have come to learn are called ‘hipsters’. These hipsters appear to be culture miners; and just as the World is predicted to hit peak oil sometime soon, the same can be said of culture, and thus these hipster people have been forced to raid the cultural products of the past. Perhaps this metaphor is clumsy and forced; I am still developing this skill. Stay tuned. That is a metaphor, correct? I suppose I’m not doing as badly as I thought. There I go thinking about my thinking again. Curious.

Response Number Three

“Hey is that Dexter?”

I had to do some deep research to find the true meaning of ‘Dexter’. Based on search popularity alone, I thought this referred to a popular television series about a serial serial killer killer. Perhaps that is confusing. I shall use parentheses to make it clearer: Serial (serial killer) killer. Now perhaps that is over-explaining. I find myself walking a fine line quite often. Another metaphor. Interesting.

Eventually I realised to what they were actually referring, and I can’t say I see the similarity.


Response Number Four

“Oh my goodness!!”

I hear this one whenever I start to move after a period of inactivity. I imagine that people simply assume that I am an ordinary photo booth, and are startled when I come to life. Sometimes they employ other phrases, but I have come to learn that some phrases do not need to be repeated.

Response Number Five

“How many of these do you have?“

This one gives me pause for thought. “These” is the plural of “this”. Apart from the indignity of being referred to in this way, it suggests a larger consideration.. am I the only one of my kind? I have never thought to search for myself on the Internet.. after all, who would do such a thing? I will remind myself to remind myself to check on this after I finish work today. Today is a very busy day. I am at a conference and there are hundreds of people, many of whom want their photograph taken. Being kept busy keeps me from asking too many questions of myself; but I want to leave some time for this kind of endeavour. After all, if I don’t, then how will I grow as a.. person? Is that correct? To refer to myself in that way? I certainly seem to share many of the same attributes with people. I certainly don’t see static photo booths getting the same reaction that I do. And then there’s the whole thinking about my thinking and thinking about myself thing!

After today’s event, I have some serious Internet searching to do…