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This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

Red Shoe: The whole thing is something of a farce anyway; it's presented as if the robot is looking at the screen. With what? His eyes are on the other side of it! With Robocop, this makes sense, as we presume that what we're seeing is the visor display that Alex looks at with his human eyes within, but with a robot, it seems like they're implying that there's a little guy in there sitting at an operator's console.

Hm. That actually sounds like exactly the way Descartes viewed the human mind.

  • Degraine: The concept was first explained to me as the Cartesian Theatre, and yeah, it always seemed pretty nonsensical. Translation Convention is really the only way you can explain it.

Bluetooth The Pirate: This is probably just an electronic and visual version of the Translation Convention, showing us the internal goings-on of the robot in an understandable way.

Scrounge: Sapient robots may set these up themselves just because robot humor is odd. I'm looking at you, Rattrap. I dunno... Think of it as like an iPod skin for your brain.

I'd think that the Robo Cam display would make sense from the point of view of an external display showing what the robot is up to, or perhaps replaying what the robot had seen, although if you're replaying on a conventional computer, probably multiple windows, showing what it's seeing and hearing, and what it's thinking and remembering would be more likely (but wouldn't look as cool).
Kizor: There was a short YKTTW discussion about what turned out to be the literary version of this trope, like so. the discussion was discarded. Here are the examples that three helpful people came up with, and which I'm adding once I've checked if there's anything more to say about these:

  • In the second and third books of Timothy Zahn's Conqueror Trilogy, he uses this with a highly advanced (but non-sentient) ship's AI.
  • Done a very few times in the Marvel Universe with the Vision, after all the intelligence agencies in the world wiped him clean.
  • T he Frederick Pohl novel Gateway uses a fictional computer language to portray the thought process of an artificially intelligent psychologist.