Any geeks looking for the intersection of science and art should head over to InterAct Theatre’s (2030 Sansom St) world premiere of Uncanny Valley. This two-person play explores artificial intelligence and its ever-increasing ability to replicate the functions of the mind. In the first act, a scientist named Claire (Sally Mercer) is in the process of training a robot called Julian (Frank X) to adopt human qualities convincingly.
Reminiscent of the conversations regarding Data in Star Trek’s The Next Generation, they reach for what it means to be human. Funding all these efforts is a dying billionaire whose memories and personality will be loaded into the complete robot. This is Claire’s fourth time training a robot for such a purpose.
At the end of the first act, Julian is finished and heads off to become the “person” he was created for. Through examining the fusion of Robot Julian with Billionaire Julian, Uncanny Valley raises fascinating questions about the nature of humanity.
Geekadelphians should note that this Saturday, April 18, InterAct plays host to Bina 48, one of the most advanced robots in the world. She’s built based on the memories of the creator’s wife Bina Rothblatt. This first step in “mind cloning” could lead to the realization of robots like Julian in the future. Register for this free event and have a chat with the most lifelike robot in existence. In 10 or 20 years, it could be possible for you to upload a version of yourself.
The show runs until Sunday, April 26. Buy tickets on their website.