Judge: Jenny Seagrove
This is a really interesting moral discussion on the capacity of ALL to love and it is written in a human and accessible way. It asks may questions of the reader and I think would be very exciting to see acted out.
I was able to engage with the different characters and be moved by the impossible situation.
Judge: JOAN LANE
ONLY HUMAN is a science fiction drama, as we become more and more aware of the increased use of artificial intelligence. It is a well-written, thought-provoking and entertaining play.
After turned to drink following his wife’s death Jack decides to buy a robot, “Artificial Intelligence”, or “AI”, to replace her, naming her Amie, with her duties being to care for the home and children.
All goes well at first , but we are introduced where she is getting on Jack’s nerves. Having given up drink after bringing Amie into the house, he is returning to his old habits. Amie is programmed to be rational; Jack is tipsy and not very likeable. When Jack says Amie has to leave, she takes him to court requesting custody of the children.
The writing is sharp and clever, which enhances our understanding of both Jack and the AI. During the trial, we sympathise with Jack as his human emotions spill out as compared to Amie’s cold programmed logic and are persuaded that she is acting merely to safeguard her own survival. The twist in the story is when Veronica is unveiled by Amie to be a kindred robot; the writer makes us feel uncomfortable about the possibility of Artificial Intelligence manipulating, mankind.
ONLY HUMAN is purposely left open-ended: Despite getting custody of his children, will Jack turn off Amie’s decommissioning button and render her useless – or not? While this innovative play is ahead of its time, it probably won’t be seen as such for much longer!