144: Parody Week: A Softer World

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Jump to: navigation, search
Parody Week: A Softer World
The robot is pregnant. It isn't mine.
Title text: The robot is pregnant. It isn't mine.

[edit] Explanation

This comic is a parody of Joey Comeau and Emily Horne's A Softer World webcomic. The first panel references the Kill command which would be used to turn off the robot every morning. This joke is a reference to the classic Science Fiction theme of robots taking over and killing humans.

The second and third panels then turn the comic to a more introspective thought per A Softer World's usual style. There are two possible meanings of these panels.

The first reference human's natural reaction to be afraid of love because it requires vulnerability and honesty, which is very difficult. In the comic, they are afraid to tell it to love, because then it would experience these same difficulties and fears.

The second meaning deals with Artifical Intelligence; specifically strong AI. The idea is that the AI agent would not only act as if it was intelligent, but truly BE intelligent and have emotions and feelings as well. There has been much debate over whether an AI agent could actually feel emotions in the same manner as humans, as well as much consternation over the ethical concerns and moral ramifications it would have. Thus the comic's "We're afraid to tell it to love."

The title text takes love to be an act of love-making instead of an emotional feeling, thus why the robot is pregnant.

This comic is a part of the Parody Week, just joking about other webcomics.

[edit] Transcript

[Above the first frame:]
x k c d
[A red robot in a lab standing below a poster and next to a table with a computer screen with unreadable text. The text covers most of the poster but the first word can be read.]
Poster: SAFETY
[Two panels with text is superimposed on the image:]
when we open the lab each morning, we tell the robot to kill
it's our little joke
[Zooming in on the center of the first frame between robot and table. Again two text panels:]
but secretly
we're just afraid
[Zooming further in.]
to tell it to love
[Below the first frame:]
r munroe

comment.png add a comment! ⋅ comment.png add a topic (use sparingly)! ⋅ Icons-mini-action refresh blue.gif refresh comments!


No comments yet!

Personal tools


It seems you are using noscript, which is stopping our project wonderful ads from working. Explain xkcd uses ads to pay for bandwidth, and we manually approve all our advertisers, and our ads are restricted to unobtrusive images and slow animated GIFs. If you found this site helpful, please consider whitelisting us.

Want to advertise with us, or donate to us with Paypal?