In the first RoboCop film, did the general public know that RoboCop was a cyborg? Or did they think he was a robot with a (partially visible) human face?

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    @Kyralessa: I don't think so. It happens in the first 15 minutes or so of the film and the tag line was, part man, part machine, all cop. – Reinstate Monica - Goodbye SE Dec 23 '11 at 20:01
  • Ha, I had no idea that this was topical. – Reinstate Monica - Goodbye SE Dec 23 '11 at 20:47
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    @Kyralessa You should really fix that. Go rent it now! Or buy a cheap DVD of it. – user1027 Dec 25 '11 at 1:17

After posting this question and reading Eight Days answer, I think he may be right but for a different reason. From the script:

He's a cyborg, you idiot! He recorded every word you said. His memory's admissible as evidence!

This implies that cyborgs were not unusual in the RoboCop world and their memory even has a legal status. In the dystopian world of RoboCop, the public probably didn't care much, as long as crime was reduced.

Update: in this deleted scene, Bob Morton's first two answers to the journalist's1 questions confirm to the watching world that Robocop is indeed a cyborg:

Journalist: "Mr Morton, is this a man or is this a machine?"

Morton: "Well he's technically an integrated cyborg. I'd be reluctant to categorise him as either, to tell you the truth."

Journalist: "And what about his intelligence? What is his intelligence quotient?"

Morton: [Laughs] "That's a funny question. I mean his memory is computer assisted. And we don't refer to computers as particularly intelligent. Fast, effective? Yes. But intelligent, per se? No, I wouldn't think so."

1 A journalist who sounds suspiciously like the director, Paul Verhoeven.

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  • The board knows that he's a cyborg, but that's because they built him. To the general public, did they know that from the discussion in the board room? – Eight Days of Malaise Dec 30 '11 at 21:10
  • @EightDaysofMalaise: My point was that, if his memory could be used as a testimony in court, then cyborgs would have some kind of legal recognition, meaning their existence was public. As soon as RoboCop's memory was used, his nature would be known publically. – Reinstate Monica - Goodbye SE Dec 30 '11 at 21:28
  • @Wikis - I fail to see how his video testimony would need to be treated any differently than a shoulder-cam (vmlip.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/ashland1_may2012_edit.jpg) or boring old CCTV footage – Valorum Aug 4 '14 at 18:14
  • @Richard: Clarence Boddicker did not realise he was being recorded until Dick Jones pointed it out. – Reinstate Monica - Goodbye SE Aug 4 '14 at 18:16

Strong leaning on yes.

In one of the news reports, the female anchor (played by Leeza Gibbons) introduces him with this:

Who is he? What is he? Where does he come from? He is OCP's newest soldier in their revolutionary crime management program. OCP spokesmen claim the fearless machine has crooks on the run in Old Detroit.

When OCP executive Robert Morton is interviewed on Mediabreak, he says this:

Here at Security Concepts, we're predicting the end of crime in Old Detroit within 40 days. There's a new guy in town. His name is RoboCop.

From these public facing news clips we can read that he is introduced as both a machine and a man. This strongly suggests that the general public then knows, or it's at least intimated, that RoboCop is a cyborg.

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    If anything, I'd say your first quote implies he is not a cyborg, since he is introduced as a "fearless machine". – Reinstate Monica - Goodbye SE Dec 23 '11 at 18:16
  • Throwing a he/she designation onto a machine makes it a bit muddy – Eight Days of Malaise Dec 23 '11 at 18:18
  • Oh, I see, good point. Though I think "he" tends to be used of robots generally. – Reinstate Monica - Goodbye SE Dec 23 '11 at 18:24
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    Most characters interact with him as if he were a human cop, rather than an artificial intelligence. If I were confronted with a pure machine that nevertheless passed the Turing Test, I wouldn't exactly react the way the other Robocop characters do. I think his nature was known. Enough people inside OCP and the police knew it. Even if not acknowledged officially, it must surely have leaked out. – HNL Dec 24 '11 at 8:22
  • Yea, I think a lot of androids and significantly sophisticated AI (whether in a robot or not) are referred to using personal pronouns. It just depends on how human-like the personality seems and whether others treat him as a peer/equal or sentient being. It doesn't necessarily connote a cyborg or cybernetic organism. – Lèse majesté Dec 24 '11 at 21:55

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