Man has created machines in the form of mechanical humans since antiquity. The sculpted faces of the early automatons gave us a glimpse of the future we currently live in. Some of today’s machines look like humans, move like humans, talk like humans, and at a rapidly increasing pace even think like humans. We marvel at the technological capabilities of these robots and how they are being integrated into our daily lives. At the same time, we fearfully watch how robots reach human potential. The process to create robots that aid and interact with humans in many aspects of life and work started hundreds of years ago and has led to robots in all shapes, sizes and utilities.
Today a technical revolution is taking place that changes life, work and relationships between humans and machines. Those in the know call it the fourth industrial revolution and say that the scale and complexity of this change is more impactful to our existence than what we have ever experienced in human history.
As a photographer Wanda is inspired to mark, document and visualize this important period in scientific development with an extensive series of robot images that define and describe the evolution of these robots.
Today’s advancing technology gives us, for the first time in history, the opportunity to give a physical and perhaps even a spiritual shape to our inexhaustible imagination. Until recently, we were only able to create Humanoids, a human-shaped robot. Since Humanoids do not give us the sense of human identity, they are fairly quickly accepted in our society. However, the Android robots, that look like humans with human emotional facial expressions and movements, are sometimes fascinating but also terrifying as subtle imperfections in appearance make them seem eerie. Japanese robotics professor Masahiro Mori described this phenomenon in 1970 as “Uncanny Valley”. As the continuously accelerating technological developments continue to anticipate the ethical and social implications of robots in our society, we live with an increasing inner tension between acceptance and rejection.