Yes, it’s true.
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The past few decades have seen robots occupy numerous occupations once purely under the sole purview of humans. This trend towards a de-peopled workplace shows no promise of slowing down anytime soon. In fact, a new project appearing at NYC’sTribeca Film Festival is proving that robots may have yet another role that they can take off our carbon-based hands: documentary filmmaker.
The Blabdroid project aims to be “the world’s first documentary shot and directed entirely by robots.” The project pairs tiny adorable robots with human subjects who are then questioned and filmed by their automated counterparts. The questioning includes sometimes pointed queries such as “What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done to someone,” “Who do you love most in the world,” and “Tell me something you’ve never told a stranger before.”.
The bots were designed by Alexander Reben as part of his MIT Media Lab master thesis under a project originally titled Boxie The Story Gathering Robot. The team sees Blabdroids as being an open-source project that can be uploaded with customizable questions that can be repurposed for other projects.
Aside from artistic purposes, one could imagine Blabdroid-like bots being used as location-specific polling mechanisms or even as replacements for wedding videographers.
While Blabdroids still require a human editor to sort through the footage to appraise the quality of the content, they represent a new and exciting way the human condition can be represented through our newest technological tools.
- Tiny robots shoot documentary film (cbc.ca)