Science journalist and singer-songwriter Jascha Hoffman released his latest oeuvre today, “Limited”. The music video created by John Pavlus is a mash-up of classic science fiction movies about the relationship between humans and artificial intelligences. But while the films generally view the relationship from the organic beings’ points of view, here the song inverts the perspective and we feel the loneliness of the misunderstood machine. With spare electronic sounds, a catchy, loping beat and wistful vocals, it is oddly touching.
Filmmaker John Pavlus describes how he approached the music in a blog post (“How I Mashed “2001” And “Tron” Into A Tragic Love Story About Human-Machine Interaction”):
“Jascha describes the song as “something of a Pinocchio story, about a machine that wants to be a real human being.” I saw a story about interfaces and how they’re, well, limited. The stories of 2001, WarGames, and TRON–and to a subtler extent, Moon and Robocop–are all about this problem: misunderstandings between meat and machine, and the hurt it causes us humans. It’s a classic sci-fi trope. But what if the shoe was on the other foot–what if it was the machine who really got hurt in the end?”