Tag Archives: robots

Robo-Journalist Wins The Pulitzer

Okay, so that hasn’t happened yet, but the folks over at Narrative Science, a company that has created software that performs “automated narrative generation,” confidently predicts that its computer program will win the coveted prize by 2016. Let’s back up … Continue reading

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Robots Can Get Themselves Together

Replication, including molecular assemblers and nanofactories, while impressive in and of itself, is also the first step to self-replication, an often apocalyptic trope in science fiction. Grey goo is perhaps the most dramatic end-of-days self-replication scenario, involving robots that consume … Continue reading

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Pacific Rim’s Jaegers Reflect a Departure from Hollywood Norms

In addition to the question of whether it’s possible to create mecha robots, my Slate piece addresses a cultural “could this happen?” question–namely, could we accept robots as companions rather than competitors?

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A Very, Very, Very Fine House

Ray Bradbury’s lovely, human-less chapter of the Martian Chronicles, “There Will Come Soft Rains”, features an automated house that cooks meals for its inhabitants, issues gentle reminders of when to wake up and go to sleep, draws baths, washes dishes, … Continue reading

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A Head of Its Time

Battlestar Galactica, the Terminator, Star Trek: TNG, and works by Ray Bradbury, Philip K. Dick, and Isaac Asimov, among many others, feature humanoid robots that are indistinguishable from humans. Such robots are discussed in more detail here. This post explores … Continue reading

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Cylons Shouldn’t Sweat

In 1950, Alan Turing sought to answer the question “can machines think?” He designed a test that involved a computer having a typed conversation with a human. If a third party couldn’t consistently tell the computer from the human, the … Continue reading

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