"If you wanna see the inside of it I'll show to you." Worker interviewed about office robot (1979)

Originally published at: "If you wanna see the inside of it I'll show to you." Worker interviewed about office robot (1979) | Boing Boing

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If The Americans has taught me anything, its you can’t trust mail robots.

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Ah, the days when Chicagoans had a distinct accent. Love it.

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Ok, this is probably a bad comment on my current level of observational/analytic skills, but when I saw the thumbnail (of the poorly/overlit young lady without eyebrows), I immediately thought “ok, it’s a little creepy, but that’s an amazingly well sculpted robot”… I’ve been awake for far too many hours.

Caffeine time!

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Reminds me of R.A.L.F from Flight of the Navigator

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Just another case of email taking jobs away from hardworking robots everywhere.

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They don’t?

Most people I run into outside the Great Lakes region assume I’m Canadian.

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Femail robots, on free other hand…

I’ll see myself out.

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Not as pronounced as this. But then again, I suspect migratory patterns among USians and media influence in recent decades might have something to do with it?

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It’s most likely nationally syndicated media, and the fact that accents shift from generation to generation, regardless of the accent.

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Mailmobiles

https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/mailmobiles-mail-robots-technology-retirement

I like how she refuses to anthropomorphise the robot. The filmmaker asks leading questions about " robot co-workers" but she resolutely calls Egor “it”.

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Well, it is an it. Like a horse or a child or a girl in German.

Grammatical gender isn’t the same as a sex.

Well, yeah, but when have you last seen anyone refer to ASIMO or Alexa as an “it”?

Even in German it would be strange to call a named entity “es”. Even stranger than in English, come to think of it.

“Das ist unser Postroboter Egor. Es stellt eine große Arbeitserleichterung dar”. Doesn’t that sound weird to you? You’d absolutely say “er”.

Not to mention it is “der Roboter”, “die Maschine”, “der Apparat”. I’m struggling to come up with a word that would be applied to Egor and be in the neuter.

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I had a friend who worked an office job at Alcoa Aluminum in Pittsburgh. They used a mail robot similar to this. After a brutal round of layoffs, he had the creepy experience of watching the robot continuing its rounds through entire rows of empty cubicles.

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Was she speaking German?

Didn’t think so.

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Egor looks like a pretty hefty fellow

The video makes clear its name is Egore. (Not Egor.)

As in, there’ll be e-gore all over the place when when some crazed loony with a hatred for job-stealing robots goes at it with a hatchet.

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Still plenty of folk in Chicago with that accent!

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I never seemed to run into them when I was living there, though!

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Most of them are in their 70’s now, living on the NW side, shopping at Jewel and watching the Cubbies from the comfort of their living room (or their corner bar). Our landlord in Wrigleyville had that accent–back when you could still occasionally find a parking spot on the street and our rent was $700/month (a steal even back then).

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