Art meets tech to mark first 100 years of the robot

The Czech playwright Karel Čapek coined the expression for artificial men in 1921. Now they are far more than science fiction

“Listen Josef,” said the Czech playwright Karel Čapek to his brother. “I have an idea for a play.”

Josef, an artist of some renown, was painting furiously and unimpressed by his brother’s intrusion. “What kind of play?” he asked, sharply. Karel set out the plot. In the future, humans have created synthetic, humanoid creatures to increase productivity in the factories and fight wars on the battlefield. Built as slave workers, they will eventually rise up and wipe out the human race.

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