Created By: TheSchlub on March 21, 2011 Last Edited By: TheSchlub on October 19, 2012

Are you man or machine?

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Do We Have This One?? Needs a Better Description. Needs More Examples.

A trope appearing in certain science fiction works set in futures with lots of human-looking robots and androids. This is when characters have to test to determine if a given character is one or the other. Usually done by looking for clues in mannerisms and other tell-tale signs that someone is not quite human. Also can be done by asking questions only a human or a machine would be able to answer.

A classic example is the Voight-Kampff test from Blade Runner, used to differentiate between humans and replicants.
Community Feedback Replies: 6
  • March 21, 2011
  • March 21, 2011
    Man In The Machine would be inappropriate for this trope, for it specifically discusses a human consciousness within a robotic body, and They Look Like Us Now, discusses alien/monster impersonation of a human. Great suggestions otherwise.

    This trope seems to relate to a certain paranoia regarding the idea that robots might infiltrate a human society.

    In anime, the 2001 movie Metropolis, explores the concept of robots and humans uneasily co-existing. This is made worse by the fact that some robots look like humans. A good inversion might be the episode of Futurama when Leela and Fry try to infiltrate a city inhabited only by robots.
  • March 21, 2011
    There's an erotic CGI strip called "Planet of the Amazons" (NSFW soft porn link), where nude fembots are pitted against nude amazons. At one point one of the amazons asks whether her fembot opponent is woman or machine, and the 'bot says "I'm not sure". (Yeah, both sides eventually abandon the fight and get it on with each other - what did you expect?)
  • March 22, 2011
    Live action TV: In the reimagined [[Battlestar Galactica]], Dr. Gaius Baltar developed a cylon detection method to identify cylons (machines that impersonate humans).
  • March 22, 2011
    The recently launched trope page Turing Test covers this. However, it's in trope repair at the moment.
  • October 19, 2012
    Yup, duplicate of Turing Test, and that has the better name.