Robotic Existentialism - Comic Book Review

July 25, 2018

Robotic Existentialism is a 172-page book containing collected artwork by Eric Joyner.  The artwork in the book focuses mainly on two things: robots and donuts, or more specifically, paintings of toy robots and existential diabetes. 

Robots in the book are often found doing pretty much what ordinary people do—eating lots of donuts, enjoying life, taking a walk in the woods, thinking, reflecting, working, drinking, eating more donuts, and sharing their wonderful existence with cats.  However, unlike people who become what they eat, the robots, in general, appear to be unaffected by the over-consumption of sugary snacks.  But perhaps there is more than meets the eye here.  Although they tend to look healthy on the outside, this may belie the internal clogging of gears and joints, or the sugarification of circuits—which may, in turn, cause existential crises. 

 

With that said, the book leaves us with either much to think about, or very little—depending on how much you like artwork.  One interesting piece in the book is called "Submerged" which shows a robot sitting underwater thinking.

According to the book, it is a revisit to a previous piece called "The Collator" which was originally commissioned by MIT and based off of Auguste Rodin's sculpture "The Thinker".

 

Another intriguing piece is called "Too Many Choices", where the image depicts a robot holding a gun to its head.  We've all been there, lost in the overwhelming possibilities life has to offer, and their unclear paths to the future. 

Overall, as noted in other posts, both the advancement of AI and robotics should cause humanity to pause and think.  Defining the meaning of life may now be the most crucial questions we face as a sentient species.  After all, if we cannot define it for ourselves, what then what of our AI creations? 

 

If you like art, robots, and donuts, buy the book on Amazon.  You may not get any closer to answering the meaning of life, but it will make your life a little bit better. 

 

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