Will the robots of the future be so sophisticated they get depressed? It's an idea Douglas Adams explored in "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" with Marvin the Paranoid Android -- and now a funny original film from TED imagines if they needed therapy.
Created by Mother London, the film, which premiered last week at TED's conference in Vancouver, stars well-known U.K. comedy actors Rebecca Front, as a therapist, and Hugh Skinner as a depressed AI bot called Archie. Front's character explains that robots have evolved from doing menial tasks to taking on human bodies and doing amazing stuff ("They cured cancer. They re-froze the Arctic") but now the third generation have grown up privileged and miserable, "gravitating to fields such as art and DJing."
Skinner gives a hilarious performance as a character who spends six months a year in Bali and has his own line of toe-rings, while his mother at his age had performed 10,000 heart transplants. Chris Vernon and Emerald Fennell directed the film.
It's one of a series of films by TED that are designed to help bring TED's theme in 2018, The Age of Amazement, to life, by being both entertaining and thought-provoking. After its debut at the conference stage, the content is going online to drive traffic to TED.com and TED's social profiles.