Author Topic: EP582: Unit Two Does Her Makeup  (Read 5039 times)


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on: July 01, 2017, 12:37:13 PM
EP582: Unit Two Does Her Makeup

AUTHOR: Laura Duerr
NARRATOR: Andrea Phillips
HOST: Tina Connolly


Doctor Spencer has brought me an artist. My eyes on the outside of the building register the identity of everyone who enters, including her: Suzanne Chantal Salinas, age 26, licensed esthetician and makeup artist, amateur painter. I cut the feed after .3 seconds. The security feed could tell me more, but I have learned that it is impolite to collect extraneous details about a person unless they prove to be a security risk. Given that both Suzanne Chantal Salinas and Doctor Spencer are smiling, and appear to be in companionable conversation, the artist is not a risk.

I observe them enter the building accompanied by a brief burst of cold — it is 37.1 degrees outside. When I view them through infrared, they are glowing red faces encompassed in green and blue jackets. I have been monitoring the interior temperatures; Unit One has made appropriate adjustments to climate control. We are keeping the building comfortable.

The visitor stamps her feet, brushes sleet from her black curls. They shed their jackets, blooming gold and scarlet on infrared. Unit Three has mobile security platforms posted by the front door and the elevators. They do not react: they are faceless, they don’t feel cold, the visitor has clearance.

The artist’s heart rate is elevated. Her cheeks are flushed, and not just from cold: she’s nervous about meeting me. She keeps looking at the security platforms. Perhaps she fears my platform will look like them, featureless and alien.

I chose my face. Unit Three chose hers, too, in a way. Our platforms serve different purposes, and the faces we built reflect that.

Listen to this week’s Escape Pod!


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Reply #1 on: July 01, 2017, 03:17:09 PM
Right up front, 37 degrees F.  I'm stunned. A future that measures the temp in degrees Fahrenheit.  Has to be a dystopian future outside...


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Reply #2 on: July 06, 2017, 01:43:46 AM
Right up front, 37 degrees F.  I'm stunned. A future that measures the temp in degrees Fahrenheit.  Has to be a dystopian future outside...

Pity all of us who have already grown up in said dystopia...


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Reply #3 on: July 11, 2017, 03:04:01 PM
I liked the discussion of balancing other people's judgements and your own preferences. Understanding how your actions (or makeup choices) will change how others behave towards you and in general seems an excellent skill for a security and hospitality robot to have. It makes sense to me that this skill would be expressed in multiple ways as through makeup, word choice, and compromises.


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Reply #4 on: July 28, 2017, 04:00:19 AM
As a former "tomboy" I've had some fun getting into makeup while becoming more comfortable presenting femme, and I enjoyed the dialogue on appearance re: societal norms vs. one's own preference of expression. 

"To understand a cat you must realize that he has his own gifts, his own viewpoint, even his own morality."


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Reply #5 on: August 20, 2017, 01:48:46 PM
Wow, that was a great story.
Unit Two is the most scary in my opinion.
We all expect that robots will act as the other units, but these little things like makeup - are a sign of independent thinking, and make AI takeover possible.

Narration was excellent.


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Reply #6 on: October 26, 2017, 01:48:18 PM
Really nicely executed story with satisfying conflict resolution. I envisioned this as an AI awakening in Shadowrun's Renraku arcology, but a lot more pleasant.

All cat stories start with this statement: “My mother, who was the first cat, told me this...”


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Reply #7 on: November 27, 2017, 09:01:17 PM
This engaging story is rich in ideas, as is evident from the following list of tags that can be associated with it.

AI POV, android and gynoid AIs, human-AI interaction, AI-AI interaction, AI psychology, AI self-actualization, AI emotions, AI aesthetic sensibility, AI vs human time perception, philosophical/societal AI implications, AI response informed by deep real-time data analysis

It's not the's the glory of the ride.


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Reply #8 on: December 13, 2017, 04:29:08 AM
While I did enjoy this story, I found the messages of body image, fitting in, and being yourself to be a bit heavy handed.


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Reply #9 on: April 21, 2021, 05:39:08 AM
It doesn't matter whether you're a guy or a girl, everybody can look after themselves. The make up doesn’t make you look appealing. It can simply boost your self-assurance. I was astounded by how many women wear make-up on a daily basis. I discovered some fantastic statistics about the cosmetics industry, which were organized by countries and years. The reports are available here Personal Care Industry. If you don't understand something or have any other additional questions, feel free to contact me.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2021, 06:49:40 PM by Thomasrive »