A Curious Robot Breaks Out of Its Shell in Clever Sci-Fi Short System Error

Illustration for article titled A Curious Robot Breaks Out of Its Shell in Clever Sci-Fi Short System Error
Screenshot: Dust

On a near-future Earth, advanced alien technology has made the world a fully automated but pretty dull place. In a generic convenience store, a man (David Quirk) buying ice cream attempts to befriend the “service unit” who rings up his order—triggering an identity crisis for the robot, George (Nick Nemeroff), who realizes maybe being able to, say, laugh at a joke wouldn’t be so bad.

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Trouble is, George’s robot overlords are not too jazzed when he starts tinkering with his own programming. Look out!

Posted by Dust, System Error is by writer-director Matt Vesely and offers some pretty clever observations about what it means to be human. Giving George a giant blue dot—making his “face” way more approachable than Hal 9000's familiar glowing red orb—is also a nice touch.


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