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Ties to Textbook Chapters

Chapter 3: Networked Communications

In the movie Robots, there is no real concept on the internet. We never see any communication between the characters that aren't either over the phone (pay phone or house phone) or in person. At one point, we even see Rodney receive a letter from his parents. We never even see hints of devices that could transmit information over the medium of the internet. This begs the question of whether or not computers could ever exist in the world of Robots. Where would they draw the line between a robot and a computer? If there were specific robots for doing computing then would other robots own them? This may explain why we don't see the internet present in Robots.

Chapter 4: Intellectual Property

In the movie Robots, the topic of intellectual property could be discussed in terms of Ratchet taking over Bigweld Industries and changing the trademark that Bigweld has worked to create. The motto "see a need, fill a need" that Bigweld had trademarked becomes overshadowed by Ratchet's switch to making only new things and not helping the old. 

Chapter 5: Information Privacy

Information privacy doesn’t seem to play a huge role in the movie, but there are scenarios like when Rodney calls his dad, he then starts to get ads that advertise phone plans based on his relationship with his father. His privacy is also invading when he enters Robot City as Fender takes pictures of him without his permission.

Chapter 6: Privacy and the Government

The movie Robots has a strong theme of the unjust abridgment of people's right to privacy. The parts that the robots are denied in the movie act as a metaphor for data mining. This term is defined in the chapter as searching for patterns in large amounts of data. Any patterns that emerge can help businesses to turn a profit. Money is the motivator of the societal changes in the movie, as Ratchet, who is the one in charge of Big Weld Industries, says that he will "[suck] every loose penny...out of Mr. and Mrs. Average-Knucklehead". The movie asserts that if there is no money in it, there is no reason to care for the common person. The chapter references the collection of information in order to improve profits as harmful when it does not take into account the implications on society. An example of this sort of profiling in the film is that those who are poor have an innate disadvantage because of the high cost of upgrades. 

Chapter 7: Computer and Network Security

In the movie Robots, there is no concept of the internet which means that there would be no need to have network security. The robots themselves are represented to have physical parts that make them work but there isn't a way for one to change them without providing some sort of physical modification. However, computer and network security could be seen in the context of Tim. Tim controls the gate to BigWeld Industries and does what he is supposed to and doesn't let those in who aren't supposed to be there, but he has his flaws in that he is easily fooled. He lets Rodney and Fender in when in disguise believing that they belong. This is a flaw in his ability to protect the gate. Although he isn't a computer, he is a security system for Bigweld Industries.

Chapter 8: Computer Reliability

In the movie, Robots, Rodney spends a lot of his time trying to fix old robots because they are in need of new parts but they can't get them. This calls into question the reliability of the robots. In one scene we actually see Rodney fixing the circuitry in Bigweld after he was hit in the head by Rachet. Since the robots possess human qualities, then we can assess their software reliability based on how good the decisions are that they make. Given that they have human-like qualities, the robots make many right and wrong decisions throughout the film. Bigweld made a poor decision to quit and leave the company in Rachet's hands but then made a good decision to help Rodney and the gang fight back against Rachet and his mom. 

Chapter 10: Work and Wealth

In the movie, Robots, they live in a society very similar to one in which we do. However, they don't have the same worries about robots taking over their jobs since they are all already robots. We see that their society is dominated by Bigweld Industries, which is the sole provider of parts for the bots. This monopoly doesn't create much competition but it does mean that inventor bots have a chance to show their work off to Bigweld himself. This helps to motivate a "Winner-Take-All" society since only those are successful will have a lot of wealth.

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