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I saw this on TV when I was a kid in the 70s.

It started with the next iteration of the robot learning everything about the world and history. He's surrounded by screens that rapidly display history and other topics. I don't remember much else. It was a male robot that we'd now call an android. I think it was supposed to teach and help people, but no one was supposed to know it was a robot. There had been generations of them and this was the most recent.

Does this ring any bells?

5
  • 3
    Reminiscent of "The Questor Tapes" but enough is different that I am dubious it is a correct ID so only posting a comment en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Questor_Tapes Dec 20, 2023 at 1:55
  • Did the robot look like a normal human or was it visibly inhuman? If the latter, in what respect did it appear inhuman? Dec 20, 2023 at 2:06
  • 2
    I think it's the Questor Tapes
    – Andrew
    Dec 20, 2023 at 2:46
  • I was just about to post the same.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Dec 20, 2023 at 3:32
  • 1
    @StevenCinNYC: You can accept a correct answer by clicking on the checkmark by the voting buttons, as per the tour.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Dec 20, 2023 at 3:57

1 Answer 1

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Since no one is posting it, this might be Gene Roddenberry's The Questor Tapes

Project Questor is the brainchild of the genius Emil Vaslovik, Ph.D., a Nobel laureate. Vaslovik had developed plans to build a superhuman android. A team of the world's foremost experts is able to build the android even though they do not understand the components with which they are working — they are only able to follow the instructions and install the parts left by Vaslovik, who has disappeared. Attempts to decode the programming tape were worse than merely unsuccessful—they also erased approximately half of the tape's contents. They decide to substitute their own programming, over the objections of Jerry Robinson (Mike Farrell), the only team member who had actually worked with Dr. Vaslovik. He is overruled by the head of the project, Geoffrey Darrow (John Vernon). When the android's body has been finished, the new tape is loaded, but with no apparent results. In desperation, Robinson persuades Darrow to allow Vaslovik's tape — what remains of it — to be loaded. Again, the team is disappointed, as there appears to be no response.

....

Robinson and Questor reach a cave concealed inside Mount Ararat with seconds to spare. Questor's timer is made safe, and he has found Emil Vaslovik (Lew Ayres), who tells Questor and Robinson that he, too, is an android. Questor is the last of a series, going back to "the dawn of this world," left there by "Masters" to serve and protect mankind. They functioned by a law which Vaslovik quotes to Questor:

"We protect, but we do not interfere. Man must make his own way. We guide him — but always without his knowledge."

Each of the Masters' previous androids had a lifespan of several hundred years, at the end of which each assembled its replacement. The unexpected, rapid advent of nuclear physics and the radioactive fallout from above-ground nuclear testing had damaged Vaslovik. Questor's design corrected these failures, and finally Vaslovik is able to die in peace, after asking Robinson to help Questor learn about humanity.

Watching rapidly changing screens

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