Headscratchers: Almost Human
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- Is it me or are all the MX units either white or asian? I don't recall any that were made to look black, hispanic, etc. That's not a criticism, it just seems weird. Why just those two varieties and no others?
- There are actually 3 actors who portray the MX units we have seen so far. One is white, another black and the third half-Chinese.
- As far as why, it's probably 1) budget savings for the show, 2) to show and emphasize that MXs are robots rather than individuals (if they were more unique, it wouldn't be as funny to see them eat it) compared to Dorian, and 3) having a limited number of unit types makes logistics easier.
- I wonder what Dorian has against the MXs personally, besides the argument that they have lifeless-eyes and are only logically-based. So far no one has given a second thought about the way MXs are treated. They are clearly expensive yet disposable and replaceable machines. They also have a different type of structure than the DRNs and the IRCs.
- As of Episode 8 we see some MXes have enough of an 'ego' per se, to consider the DRNs obsolete machines and therefore unnecessary. And there was at least one who had a visible reaction that could be described as "disconcerted" when Kennex made a joke about shooting them in the same manner as he did to the one that noted Dorian's obsolescence.
- It may be a result of a kind of robotic uncanny valley. M Xs are very close to DR Ns and other androids (human-like, designed to work and be attentive to humans) and yet also designed to be very much 'artificial' (few emotional tells, stiff posture, etc). He might actually be discomforted by the idea that they're only one step removed from himself and is somehow trying to cope with that.
- The MXs appear to wear their police gear over a skin-tight inner layer of clothing with their unit number printed on the shirt. We also see that they have a flesh-tone "Ken doll" physique underneath. Since the MXs are designed not to seem too human, why bother giving them a "nude" form instead of just making their skin in the design of their innermost clothing layer (with unit number)?
- Easier to manufacture, I guess. Same reason why Barbie and Ken dolls don't come with molded plastic underwear over their naughty bits.
- maybe to help maintenance or something similar? it'd be more economical to replace worn clothing (form normal use, not necessarily combat) then actual components/ casing? alternatively, maybe its intended to help them fit in with the human officers socially?
- DRN androids are pretty cool (problem solving, situational analysis, value based reasoning) but one would think they'd be shut down due to over engineering instead of "crazyness" i.e. super strength, durability, and speed might be useful on occasion but why would he need to be able to analyze blood, change their voice, detect lies, handle lots of telephone calls, have removable surveillance drones for eyes, et cetera. When less expensive and complicated machines can be built to do these things and in The Future would probably be wearable by police.
- Maybe DRNs are (or were) like astromech droids in Star Wars, a Swiss Army Robot full of all kinds of tools. The DRN carries all of it so the human officer doesn't have to.
- It's suggested that the DRN's creator is in love with the tech. He probably did it because he got a kick out of it, not because it would ordinarily serve any purpose. Considering his company at the time was the best in the business, most probably were either enthralled by the idea of a swiss army robot or didn't really have any ability to say that the DR Ns might be over doing it. And when Dorian talks about his eyes, it's suggested that this was something either he got post-creation or otherwise gained off the police budget.
- Also, how come no one came to the conclusion that maybe treating an android designed to be as human as possible like a toaster might cause them to go a little nutso?
- Assuming that was the reason why the DRNs went nuts, I'm sure there were some who tried to point this out, but they were stymied by anti-android bigotry. Robots in this universe seem to be universally considered tools and nothing more. That's a lot of ingrained prejudice to overcome.
Lack of consequences for John's actions
- So am I the only one mildly curious about how John can keep slagging M Xs and getting away with it with barely a slap on the wrist from Da Chief? Even assuming they're reasonably cheap to mass-produce (that is reasonable for a functional synthetic being which likely means a bit more than your average new Apple device), he's still destroying police property which would logically lead to an investigation/sanctions. Hell him needlessly discharging his weapon in a public space occupied by other officers to destroy Richard's MX should at warrant some kind of hearing, especially given John's acknowledged damaged mental state.
- Fridge Logic suggests that with cops at a premium against the rising crime rate and the general Crapsaccharine World nature of the setting, accountability for police misconduct is probably at an all-time low. Also, with an active crime-scene investigation ongoing in the transit station, there might not have been any civilians around to witness Kennex's shot. Which implies that the Blue Wall of Silence is alive and well in 2048. If Kennex weren't considered mentally unstable and having damaged police property, he might not have been reprimanded at all.
- Also, Captain Maldonado says in the Pilot that she needs Kennex around because she suspects Insyndicate has members of the police force in their pocket, and he's the only cop she can trust 100%. Given that, she has to give him some leeway on things like this or she'll have no one to rely on.
- How did Bitcoin go from something that various governments are trying to limit or ban to a regular form of payment that even the poorest people can use?
- How did we go from ASIMO to a robot like Dorian who could easily pass for human at a glance? Clearly this show operates under the assumption that the technical, practical, and legal hurdles have been overcome in the intervening years.
- In Are You Receiving the thieves were using facemaker technology that overlaid a holographic face over the real ones, thus allowing them to be misidentified by the police drones as members of a known terrorist group. It's good enough to fool people in person at close range (as used by John at the end of the episode). A few episodes later, a man is on trial for murder with no motive, no fingerprints, no DNA, and no case against him except for two eyewitnesses. The man's clones try to kill the eyewitnesses. Wouldn't it have been easier for his lawyer to argue that the killer used one of those facemaker gizmos to project his client's face during the killing? The clones even tried plan B (exchanging a hostage for the guy) later in the episode, something they could have tried even in the unlikely event he'd be found guilty on zero evidence.
- One episode revolves around people being kidnapped so their skin can be taken for use in sexbots, because no one can make a sufficiently realistic artificial skin. Another episode revolves around the use of a biological printer, that has been available for decades, which can copy the outside of a human body to the point that it took dozens of autopsies before anyone realized they weren't real bodies (and that realization had nothing to do with their skin). Maybe there's a solution here that doesn't involve murdering people.
- Maybe. But it might be so expensive that sexbot companies are willing to use alternative sources of realistic human skin.
- It's possible that the bio-printer skin can't function the way the sexbot companies would prefer. It copies the skin exactly but that skin is already dead as compared to the skin from real people.