The reality of robot technology is that we still have a long way to go before anyone can build a fully functional anthropomorphized robot that can truly think for itself. But the mere possibility of it can be truly frightening. That’s one of the reasons that sentient robots make such good villains in Hollywood. Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, Steve Wozniak, and several hundred scientists recently called for a worldwide ban on artificial intelligence in weapons. Everyone can joke about stopping Skynet, but nobody wants to live in that realty.
The new short film, N0-A, takes a different approach with its sentient robot lead. N0-A (Noah) can clearly fight and pick its own battles, but it chooses to rescue the unnamed young woman at any and all costs to itself. The ending credits confirm that the woman is N0-A’s creator, which may explain his devotion to her.
Now, the argument could be made that N0-A is simply acting as it was programmed to. Maybe it’s not really sentient at all. But would a robot without a consciousness will itself back to life if it didn’t have that spark? Would it lay down its very existence for its creator if it didn’t have a soul?
N0-A is an award-winning animated short film created and produced by students at the Savannah College of Art and Design. Over 30 students contributed to the creation of N0-A, and it was directed Liam Murphy, with Raed AlAmoudi, Matthew Benson, Andrew Finley, Michelle Misello Gao, Kevin Herjono, Matt Karan, Dayna Kelly, Chloe Mortensen, Liam Murphy, and Kai Paquin as the project leads.
For more information about N0-A, visit the film’s official web page at NOAfilm.org.
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IMAGE: Savannah College of Art and Design