Insight & Analysis

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Published: Aug 2020

Somebody tell Shakespeare because the rise of the machines isn’t coming from the next film in The Terminator series, but rather a robot playwright.

The rise of the machines, Shakespear

That’s right, a team of artificial intelligence (AI) researchers have teamed up with theatre professionals in the Czech Republic to create the first play written entirely by robots.

The project, dubbed THEaiTRE, is a collaboration between Svanda Theatre, the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, and researcher Rudolf Rosa’s team from Charles University.

The website explains that the project will launch in January 2021 by a theatre to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the R.U.R. drama premiere. The R.U.R. refers to Rossum’s Universal Robots, a 1921 play by Karel and Josef Capek that is credited with originating the term ‘robot’.

Rosa explained to TechXplore that entrepreneur Tomas Studenik suggested the idea, “Tomas thought that this should be properly celebrated and came up with the idea of turning the story around: 100 years ago a man wrote a theatre play about robots; what if today, robots wrote a theatre play about men?”

He said the team is working with AI models that were previously successful in generating pieces of text, including poetry and dialogue, and the team aims to have a script finished in September to give the theatre group time to turn it into a full-fledged production.

As treasurers become increasingly aware of the potential for robotics in automating repetitive treasury processes, it’s exciting to discover where else the technology can take us. That is, of course, if we try to remember the lessons that the likes of The Terminator, The Matrix and Westworld have taught us about robots rising up and overthrowing humans…

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