There are several articles about it, here and here (this one has the most information about Yutu's communications, but it was never updated to say that Yutu survived). The articles are good, although I recommend staying away from the comments. There are trolls and then there are trolls, and sooner or later they forget about the topic and just want to mud wrestle.
Now, being a former engineer, I know how very simple it is to program human-like responses to stimulus. So Yutu's stoicism about his situation was just the result of a programmer's choice to be different. And I might hazard a guess, that despite this programmer's rigid belief in science, they formed an attachment to the Jade Rabbit, an attachment that took on human qualities, making their status messages more intimately real.
My son wrote a song about Yutu, which he included in his senior vocal recital.
Yutu wasn't a life form. He didn't think of the messages he sent. He was programmed to send certain words as the result of certain stimuli. And yet...
Marcus spent most of his early childhood with a stuffed lion under his arm. Simba now sits on the top shelf of his closet.
|Yes, he sometimes wears doggie sweaters.|
Simba is an inanimate object, made of fabric and batting. And yet, when I look at him, I feel he is full of the memories of Marcus' childhood and losing him would be like losing a member of the family. He is our Velveteen Rabbit, and it would not surprise me to see a young lion running across our lawn one day, heading for blue skies and green fields.
Do you have any Velveteen Rabbits in your life?