The theme of machine intelligence and self-awareness is becoming an increasingly popular topic of conversation, and for good reason: we seem to be approaching a point in the development of artificial intelligence where something very important may happen, and soon.

Proto is a short film written and directed by Nicholas Pittorn that explores this idea.  It’s a sci-fi action adventure, about a child-like, experimental robot, set in the robotics lab where he has been built. Although PROTO has been made to fulfill the ambitions of his creator, Professor Andrews, he learns to find his own dreams and ambitions, and also the strength needed to realize them.

The main theme of the film is freedom, both literal and in the ability to choose one’s own destiny – to break free of expectations and find one’s own path. The film also captures a sense of magical wonder. What PROTO does is not only beyond his originally defined scope as a machine, but as the person he becomes as well.

Proto is about fifteen minutes long, so prepare enough time to watch it all the way through. Also, be sure to temporarily pause the music player in the upper right, so that you don’t have that old “dueling soundtracks” problem.


Here’s the IMDB page:

For more information on the project, visit their project page on

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