EI: Emotional Intelligence

By Dennis Sungmin Kim | Animation
2 robots are created to feel emotion. Then they fall in love.

A group of scientists uses artificial intelligence to create Arthur and E — the first “emotional intelligence” robots. They have the ability to feel and beam emotions to one another. But when E teaches Arthur how to love, he begins to develop romantic feelings for her.

Writer/director/animator Dennis Sungmin Kim’s short animation is a futuristic look into the rawest of human emotion — using robots to explore our own humanity.

Kim came up with the concept during his first year at the University of Pennsylvania. Despite the seemingly-simple imagery, the animation took him around 10 months to complete. With pencil and paper, he animated the characters and the surroundings, then used Adobe After Effects, Photoshop, Audition and Premiere to color, edit and combine the film.

“It all really started with the idea of what it would be like to be able to transfer one’s emotions at a particular intensity to another being directly,” he added. “However, that’s not necessarily possible as we are only human and the best we could do is to express empathy. That’s where the concept of the ’emotional waves’ came from, and then I realized only ’emotionally intelligent’ AI units might be able to do that in the future.”

Composer Nicholas Escobar provided the soundtrack with narration by Adam Parham.

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