Real Humans: Semi-Human Rights
September 1, 2014 2:46 PM - Season 1, Episode 4 - Subscribe

In which: We discover why it's not a good idea to drink and let your hubot drive; that however cool modern society might be with diverse couplings, there are always new prejudices (and new blows for equality to be struck); and that it might not always be a good idea to get someone to reprogram your partner to be more responsive in bed if you don't have any control over the nature of the response.

Odi crashes Lennart's car, which means that Lennart has to abandon him when the police take him away. By the time he returns, Odi is gone. Therese and Pilar and their hubots are banned from a disco, and decide to get Inger's help in suing for discrimination. Malte, Roger and Bea continue to organise for Human Rights. Malte shows Roger some of his toys and helps him find Kevin. Leo tries to find the men who took Mimi and modifies Rick so that he can be more helpful if Roger comes back, which he turns out to be. Odi meets Silas, as does Leo. We learn more about the history of Leo, Mimi and Bea.
posted by Grangousier (11 comments total)
Hope I did this right. I do like this series very much and I didn't want it to wither, but I'm a bit uncertain about posting. Less of the tribe this week - they're too busy gorging on electricity and Christianity - the episode is a series of things that can't turn out well in the long run. Mostly plot thickening, though.
posted by Grangousier at 3:05 PM on September 1, 2014

Well done, Grangousier! Thanks for posting. You're right, we're a bit behind with posting episodes. I do want to continue discussing the show, though.

It was a bit odd how lost Odi was. He really seems more like a boy than an adult. I wonder if this is a reflection of the evolution of hubots or if he was intentionally programmed that way. He's very dependent on Lennart. I mean he was helpful around the house, with shopping and driving etc. but his maturity level seems lower than Vera's for example.

I really liked how the actor portrayed Rick's personality change. Tone of voice and facial expressions changed from the passive, nice Rick to the dominant version. And it was amusing that Leo programmed that hubot not into a sex slave who cries out when hit but one who strikes back!

And I said it in the last post, it's striking how much more human Bea seems at the beginning. Now that it is revealed she is a hubot her acting becomes so much more stiff and mechanic.
posted by travelwithcats at 4:54 PM on September 1, 2014

Thinking about Odi - he's a very basic, obsolete model, probably as sophisticated as Pamela (is that right? - the receptionist) though not as modern (if she's an iPhone 5, he's an iPhone 3 or 3G, though probably not an iPhone but an Android. No pun intended. Honestly), while Vera is certainly a much more advanced model in a similar category. What's interesting about Odi is that whereas we have seen general purpose hubots and the DB models (both the augmented models such as Flash or Fred and the other other category - which is a bit of a spoiler, I suppose, so sorry - such as Bea or Mimi), Odi is an example of what can happen to a very basic hubot if you treat it as if it were a human being. He's very much an innocent (or even idiot) abroad, a Candide or Justine.
posted by Grangousier at 1:06 AM on September 2, 2014

IQ levels were kept low intentionally for certain hubots, like Max, the builder. And then there are more intelligent hubots but they are restricted by their programming. Once those are freed, they seem to have an intelligence level that is fairly close to humans - like Flash and the others of that group.
In the discussion of last episode Ik ben afgesneden said that it would be trivial to upload all kinds of knowledge to a hubot hard drive. Which is a fair point, so it must have been deliberate to keep hubots/AI "simple". At least in the beginning.
And then we get into a whole new category with the hubots that are basically "clones" of humans. I don't think intelligence is the deciding factor here though.
posted by travelwithcats at 5:39 AM on September 2, 2014

I'm surprised one doctor could do all that to a child by himself. Surgery takes teams and we only saw one Hubot nurse.

RH reminds me of IKEA commercials. Everything is incredibly pristine. 

I can very much see companies going wild with varying 'bot models as they do with phones. Totally agree. By the same token, why aren't there knock-offs?
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 8:18 PM on September 8, 2014

Yeah, it's interesting that there are supposed to be hubots all around the world but there is only one manufacturer/hubot market. Would that even be feasible for one company to supply all mobile phones, laptops or cars worldwide?
posted by travelwithcats at 8:27 PM on September 8, 2014

Not for that long, travelwithcats. Once a competitor gets their hands on your product, it's just a matter of reverse engineering. Or steal some of your scientists.

I feel I may be over thinking this show.
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 8:57 PM on September 8, 2014

A lot of nice subtle irony going on in this show. I love how, directly after the scene where the lawyer takes up the case that hubots should be given rights and not violated on behalf of Therese, Therese turns around and directly violates Rick just as much as you can violate anyone by changing his basic personality. As a lawyer this totally reads with my experience with how many clients are only concerned with their rights, and not with those inconvenient rights of others.

The way that all the "free" hubots seem to be the product of Leo at this point really is making me doubt that any of them have real emotions again. I'm beginning to worry that they are just displaying the "emotions" that Leo wants them to show because that's how he thinks they should "feel".

The reveal of the police officer as a hubot didn't strike me as a big reveal at all. Maybe I'm just shitty at telling blond swedish women apart, but I thought she was of the model that was in the factory all along and was wondering why Rodger didn't notice. Also it was hard to come up with any other reason that she didn't give away the hubots in the attic.
posted by bswinburn at 11:26 PM on September 21, 2014

Do you mean David Eischer instead of Leo, bswinburn? Or do you mean the hubots Leo manipulated during his stay at hubot heaven? Because for those Leo did just the basic "hacking", he did not use the original code to give them free will.

Therese struck me as not very bright tbh. And she goes on to make questionable choices later in the season/show.
posted by travelwithcats at 8:58 AM on September 22, 2014

Well, at the moment I mean Leo. I see, from Wiki, that David Eischer shows up next episode. Which I haven't seen yet. I quickly turned away once I confirmed I wasn't getting names wrong.

Leo is the only main character I've seen hacking Hubots so far, and as the other "wild" hubots all seemed to trust him I thought he was the one who gave them "free will". I use quotations because I'm not at all certain they're actually free yet and not just programed to act out someone's idea of free will. Maybe that will be more clear later.
posted by bswinburn at 11:18 AM on September 22, 2014

Oops, sorry if my comment was spoiler-y! Yes, some things become more clear as the show goes on but many questions remain unanswered for a while. :-)
posted by travelwithcats at 11:32 AM on September 22, 2014

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