“The Venture Bros” Robots Show Us What Artificial Intelligence Might Become

On the season premiere of The Venture Bros., family robot H.E.L.P.eR.’s discomfort with his shiny new coworker is played for laughs. His internal conflict speaks to problems that will beset artificial intelligence, once intelligent products are self-aware enough to experience hits to their self esteem. H.E.L.P.eR. defines himself as a servant to the Venture family, and the fact that he can’t match up to a newer model is deeply distressing for him. Of course, H.E.LP.eR. was always an anxious robot, considering he was programmed as a nanny for young Rusty Venture. As a robot who was created to serve a wholesome adventuring family, he’s comically inept at many of the darker, more action-packed functions his family needs him to complete, like driving stick or keeping his cool under pressure. Rick…


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