I, Fashion Robot and Carla Bruni

Robot catwalk
Robot catwalk
It can always be said that something innovative lurks out from the unknown. But will the Japanese fashion model robot’ HRP-4C catwalk be the innovative One and revolutionize the near future of fashion shows?
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The fact is that the clumsy behavior of the Japanese  ‘fashion model robot’ HRP-4C, doesn’t left much space for my imagination. In his actual appearance, lacking ambiguity and mystery he is at most a curiosity  with a great potential for improvement. I quote ..” Japan has produced a walking, talking fashion robot. Standing at just over 5-feet tall and 95-pounds, HRP-4C, developed by Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, will make its catwalk debut next week at the Tokyo fashion show.”, see here .

If  innovation, mystery and human ambiguity are references points, then for example:

..Is it not still a long way until the Japanese new fashion model robot will have the look of former top model Carla Bruni and today’s wife of french president Nicolas Sarkozy. How can the french chic of such a beautiful women..be hardwired into a robot..

Carla Bruni on the catwalk
Carla Bruni on the catwalk

And further.  Who does not remember the beautiful android in “Blade Runner“,  the actress Sean Young  as Rachael,  a replicant with limited sexual memories.

Sean Young as Rachel in Blade Runner
Sean Young as Rachel in Blade Runner

Perhaps it’s not fair to compare the Japanese fashion robot with Sean Young as the replicant. In the love scene between her and  Deckard, the scene suggest, that despite her inexperience in love matters, she has a human magic suggestivity lacking in our robot fashion HRP-4C in the role of a top fashion model . Rachael, as a replicant, has surely Carla Bruni’s class and much more. Whole audiences in the screening theaters are and where overwhelmed by her pervading  emotional erotic charm.

The following comment ( You Tube) on the love scene between Rachael and Deckard, resume those emotions in a few keywords, love, human, android, soul, robot and technology. Our ambiguous feelings confered those attributes to Rachael and forget that she is pseudo human and not a perfect human replica:

“What I love the most about this movie and it’s” love” theme is two things: One… that, if human beings could reach such levels of technology and create a biological android does such creature have a soul? Or furthermore, Do they have a soul and second…can they love? Soul and Love. From a human perspective and as viewer we love Rachel and feel for her plight. We love her as a woman that potentially she is not from the outside but from the inside. Emotion is captivated more than a view. ” see here page 2.

The same can not be said about our new fashion robot:

..”For the first time ever, a robot walked a fashion runway today in Tokyo. Well it didn’t exactly walk, but sort of wobbled like someone waking from an anesthesia-induced stupor. Although this was a great feat in the robotics industry, don’t expect HRP-4C, the Cybernetic fashion model, to hit another catwalk anytime soon because her signature walk needs a lot of work.”.. see here.

So from the real   fashion model robot HRP-4C, back in time to  Philip K. Dicks novel  “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”  to Ridley Scott’s movie  ‘ Blade Runner’  where android Rachael with  the help of the Tyrell corporation is hardwired for humanlike  acting, we come again to our own days where real initiatives are taken to creating  acting robots. And indeed  here is an example of such an initiative:

…”Despite becoming increasingly lifelike in appearance, robots still have terrible body language.

But Bilge Mutlu and colleague’s team at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, is changing that with robots that “leak” non-verbal information through eye movements when interacting with humans. The eyes of a robot may not provide a window into its soul, but they can help humans guess the machine’s intentions.

Humans constantly give off non-verbal cues and interpret the signals of others – but without realising it at a conscious level, says Mutlu. The trembling hands of a public speaker betray their nerves even before a word is uttered, while poker players leak subtle signs such as eye flickers or twitches that can be used to spot bluffers.

But when faced with a robot all our interpretive skills are irrelevant. Robots leak no information, so it is virtually impossible to read their intentions, which makes them hard to get along with.”…

Anyway, human actors, like Sean Young as Rachael and Robin Williams in the ‘Bicentennial Man’, are playing the role of robots and androids much better than robots are playing the role of human beings. The bottom logic is that humans are programming the robots very badly,

But who knows what the future is hidden from us. It seems that to socialise with robots in Facebook in the future is not so unrealistic.. Or perhaps, in going one step further, humanlike robots will invent their own social network FaceRobots, where the real humans will be  considered as an old invention of some evolutionary Darwinian process.

If you don’t believe me then please read this:

Vernor Vinge
Vernor Vinge

…”No name is linked more tightly to the idea of the Singularity, see here and here, than that of Vernor Vinge, 63, who for four decades has written stories about the ways humanity and its technologies are building a future that may be impossible for us even to imagine. “It seems plausible,” Vinge says, “that with technology we can, in the fairly near future, create or become creatures who surpass humans in every intellectual and creative dimension. Events beyond such a singular event are as unimaginable to us as opera is to a flatworm.”…see here.

 

Citizen journalism in Lebanon and Bread in Egypt

Some Middle East Arab countries, despite being in a most censored region of the world, try to join by all means, the cohorts of bloggers, social nets and now,  Citizen Journalism, I quote,..

..”Citizen journalism initiative launched in Lebanon.” (10.04.2008) 

The first alternative online publication in the Arab world has been launched in Lebanon, according to the Menassat Web site. The “e-newspaper,” called Jaridtak, meaning “your newspaper,” is directed at Arabic-speakers throughout the world and to the world at large through English- and French-language Web sites,”.. see here.Jaridtak, meaning ,,your newspaper-6

See here Jaridtak translated in English

“Meet your newspaper” is an interview   with Jaridtak founder Maya Rahhal, published in Menassat (literally means “platforms” in Arabic) , I quote,…

……”Jaridtak (Your newspaper) is the first Arabic-language experiment with citizen e-journalism; it is entirely written by its readers.Maya Rahal (Maya Rahhal). ..”M.R. : ‘No newspaper today reflects the opinion of the impartial citizen’ “…”MENASSAT: What kind of subjects will Jaridtak tackle? M.R.: We want to stay away from politics. The subjects are social, concerning every person, away from politics. However, this doesn’t mean that we won’t publish political articles. We study the real interest of the citizen. For instance, the most popular article today is about the first lady of France, Carla Bruni.”… see moreCarla Bruni2

 

‘Menassat’ ,the host site of the above interview, in the article ” From Beirut with love” issued a statement by his editorial team, highlighting the fears of censoring, and pointing to their common dilemmas as to how and what to publish, I quote:

 

..”Please allow us to introduce ourselves. We’re a brand-new website with a network of correspondents throughout the Arab world. Our modest mission: to defend press freedom and freedom of expression wherever we can find it. “..Sure enough, there is censorship in Lebanon. Somewhere in the towering General Security building in Beirut .. is a man with a black marker who routinely crosses out any mention of Israel in foreign publications. (Esteez, if you are reading this: we would love to interview you some day.) There is also a special unit whose job it is to attend every single theater premiere. (The Lebanese know never to go to the premiere – it is the toned-down version for the state censors.) But that’s about it for censorship in Lebanon. It is the reason why we are building the Menassat.com website here and not in, say, Damascus – where we would surely be shut down -, or in Baghdad – where we would likely be shot down,  see more.

A good example of the Internet’s irreducible essence is exemplified  by the “Bread Crisis” in Egypt .  Menassat brings her story of the riots in:  “Revenge of the art_egypt_bread_ap pyjamahedeen” (By John Ehab in Cairo and Alexandra Sandels in Beirut), and in some sense shows how a cyber guerrilla works..”In the old days when you wanted to suppress a general strike you just sent in the troops to crack some heads. Nowadays, Egypt’s security forces are facing an army of Internet-savvy activists using Twitter, Facebook, text messaging and blogging as their weapons.”..

And another  quote, ..”  Egypt’s outspoken bloggers constitute one of the most active blogging communities in the Arab world and their online activism has become a constant pain for the authorities. Waging war on the regime from their bedrooms, they sometimes proudly refer to themselves as the “pyjamahedeen.” for the full interesting article see here.  And finally, good news  for the contributors of  the Libanian citizen journal ‘Jaridtak’ will be, if they upload theirs articles  without too much censorship .

I published this story on NowPublic and add here the comments by  NowPublic editors and contributing members.
 
good stuff:korzac, I like this story. It’s good stuff. Very interesting!

amyjudd, thanks for the comment and the GS.

Great to see these initiatives taking hold in the Middle East.

Rachel, thanks for the comment.

BTW, there is a Citizen Journal in Israel…here http://www.scoop.co.il/, (In Hebrew).

Barry, thanks for the comment and GS.

I just posted a story from their web page, Saudi’s 1st Female Photojournalist “Shock and Awe”

I read your story and as always a good story.. see my comment on your post