Carrie Fisher conducts painful group therapy for robots

Technically Incorrect: A new IBM ad, released to coincide with Sunday's Oscars broadcast, shows Fisher entirely in her element, and robots who have a lot of problems.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


She feels their pain. She really does.

IBM; YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

In our currently fragile world, we worry what robots will do to us.

We forget, however, one little thing: what will they do to each other?

Once they have proliferated and gained power, do you really think they're all going to cope so easily?

They'll surely find us frustrating. And will they even like each other and live in perfect harmony? Or might they fall into the same pathetic traps into which we dive on a regular basis, such as jealousy and misery?

IBM has decided to raise these very issues in a pulsatingly intellectual new ad.

It's been released in time for Sunday's Oscars broadcast, when a number of robots will win acting awards.

Here we have Carrie Fisher, who's dealt with one or two robots in her time, conducting a group therapy session for robots. These robots are a touch on the ancient side. They're still nasty looking, all the same.

This is supposed to be a support group, for the robots feel unsupported. Unloved, even.

"I'm a sinister, world-conquering, artificially intelligent robot," says one small, freaky, big-eyed thing.

Another says: "Me too, and one day I wake up and it's like..."

"It's like the world doesn't need us anymore," interrupts a big boxy bag of metal.

And then they see Watson. IBM's slightly smarmy robot thinks he's a cut above. He intimidates these veteran robots with his talk of collaboration with humans.

They don't like this. They don't like this at all. Why they don't just zap him out of existence, I don't know.

Of course, some will be reassured that the new generation of robots has come here only to help us and to learn our strange ways of function and communication.

But after what this Watson did on "Jeopardy," lording it over the humans, IBM actually expects me to trust him?

It's not happening.

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