A book! Checking the
Another book! Ten Things You Don't Know About Rhode Island
Judy press photos available here!
Reviews from places we've been
About the Author (that's me)
Writing about science and minds
Writing about public policy
What Is It Like To Be A Robot?
and Performed by
Since the dawn of the computer age, oceans of ink have
been spilt writing about the intelligence
of computers. Some researchers say that computers will eventually attain
super-human intelligence. Others call these claims... um, poppycock. Oddly,
in the search for the truth of the matter, both camps have overlooked an
obvious strategy: interviewing a computer and asking its opinion. Intrepid
researcher Sgouros has leapt into this lacuna, and presents some preliminary
findings in a new not-quite-solo show. (You could call it "My Dinner with
The central question is: if you build a robot smart enough to
do the dishes, will it also be smart enough to find them boring?
Judy herself was built in Tom's basement, over the course of
several months, from pieces of some old computers, a couple of
bicycles, a copy machine, marine stove, and yes, someone's kitchen
sink. After literally weeks of intensive tutoring in phonics,
elocution, and the elements of logic, Judy made her public debut in
January, 2000, at Providence's Perishable Theatre.
|The seventh in a series of possibly
comic monologues and solo dialogues, Judy is a story of a man and
his, um, companion, discussing such topics as imagination, consciousness,
stage magic, the uses of eyes, and what it's really like to wake up in
the morning and confront your aluminum-and-steel face in the mirror each
Here's a review
Here are still more
How about one from a distinguished
philosopher of mind? Here.
Here's one from an expert in artifical intelligence.
Here are lots more
"Judy is as much fun as a barrel of wind-up
cymbal-monkeys, and lots more entertaining."
Rodriguez, Providence Phoenix
"Take one clever human being and one clever (for a computer-driven) robot.
Mix them up and what you have is a pretty clever piece about who's smart
and who's really smart."
-Bill Gale, Providence Journal
"Tom Sgouros's witty play, co-starring the charming robot Judy, is an
imagination-stretcher that delights while it exercises your mind. If you
think you can't imagine a conscious robot, you're wrong--you can,
especially once you've met Judy."
-Daniel Dennett, author of "Consciousness Explained"
"...an engrossing evening...
Real questions about consciousness, freedom to act, the
relationship between the creator and the created are woven into a
"...I laughed a lot, the show is extremely witty and deliciously permeated
by self-referential and frame-breaking jokes. I took my two children
-- Danny, age 13, and Monica, age 9 -- along to the show, and
afterwards they repeated many parts of it to each other with great
amusement. And they argued in the car about what certain events and
statements meant, and what actually happened and what only seemed to
happen, and so forth... What an amazing thing!"
-Douglas Hofstadter, author of "Le Ton Beau de Marôt"
Here are several more
reviews from people who've hosted a performance.
Here are a bunch of reviews
that appeared in the press about the November 2003 run of the show at
About other shows by Tom:
Millennium: A Love Story
"...a brilliant bit, and wholly original. In 13 years
for the Post, I've never seen anything quite like it."
-Chip Deffaa, New York Post
Liar: An Evening of True Stories
"Sgouros reels in his listeners like a
fisherman setting bait:
first a tease of what
he's doing and then, whonk,
he lands them,
gasping for air in a completely different
-Johnette Rodriguez, Providence Phoenix
Judy is available to appear at your theatre, philosophy department colloquium, clambake, circus, or whatever. Contact her friend Tom, like this.