Film series “Artificial Intelligence in Cinema”: When the Care Robot Becomes an Accomplice

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“Robot & Frank” is the second film in the film series “Artificial Intelligence in Cinema” and will be shown on April 1 at 6:30 p.m. at the cinema in the Filmhaus Saarbrücken. The story recounts the special friendship between a demented jewel thief and his care robot. Afterwards Jan Alexandersson, head of the Competence Center for Ambient Assisted Living (CCAAL) at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence, will comment on the American independent film from 2012. Admission is free. The film series is organized by the Filmhaus together with the Competence Center for Computer Science Saarland and the German-American Institute.

The tragicomedy takes place in America in the distant future. Frank, a reclusive former master thief, ekes out a living in a small town, increasingly affected by dementia. To help him, his children give him a latest-generation care robot. Frank is not enthusiastic. More and more, however, he begins to appreciate the abilities of his robotic buddy and uses them in his professional modus operandi. The character Frank is played by Frank Langella with great expressiveness and fine irony. In 2009 he was already nominated for an Oscar for his leading role as US President in the drama “Frost/Nixon”.

With “Robot & Frank”, screenwriter Christopher D. Ford and director Jake Schreier wanted to shed light on the rapid development of robotic technology and its possible impact on the everyday lives of ordinary citizens. Premiered at the renowned Sundance Festival in the United States on January 20, 2012, the film won the Alfred P. Sloan Prize that same year. This film award honors outstanding feature films about science and technology.

Following the film, Jan Alexandersson from the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) will distinguish facts from fiction. Alexandersson heads the Competence Center for Ambient Assisted Living (CCAAL) at DFKI and therefore researches concepts, products and services that use modern technology to improve people’s quality of life, especially in old age.

The series comprises a total of eight films, most of which were produced in the past decade: the “Morgan Project” from 2016, “Chappie” from 2015 and the now realistic film “Her” to name a few. With the animated film “Wreck-It Ralph”, which is rated for ages six and up, the series also appeals to children; the film “Robot and Frank” is intended for older audiences. The only exception in terms of production year is “Blade Runner” by director Ridley Scott. The classic produced in 1992 is shown as the “Director’s Cut”.

Further information:

Questions can be directed to:
Gordon Bolduan
Science communication
Competence Center for Computer Science
Saarland Informatics Campus E1.7
Phone: +49 681 302 70741

Die Öffentlichkeitsarbeit am Saarland Informatics Campus wird unterstützt durch das Kompetenzzentrum Informatik Saarland, gefördert aus Mitteln des Europäischen Fonds für regionale Entwicklung (EFRE) und Mitteln der Staatskanzlei Saarland.

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