Posts Tagged: robots

Weekly Geekery

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Why Finnish women matter to the history of science fiction. Holiday science books: let visions of squid and sarcophagi dance in their heads. Astronauts survive thanks to a black female mathematician. This robot could make your toddler Mark Zuckerberg. (Minus the billions.)

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Like Tears in Rain

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In a universe slowly sinking into entropy, writing can take the disordered pieces of our experience and fit their edges together into something organized. If the work of a writer is to tease out meaning from the tangled mess of life, many of these algorithms essentially do the opposite, taking meaningful human posts or experiences and reducing them […]

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Carving the Uncanny Valley

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Any Luddite with half a brain has already begun stockpiling nonperishables for the inevitable moment the robots rise up against us. Over at the Ploughshares blog, Joelle Renstrom recounts how writers were awakened to the threat of artificial intelligence: A certain likeness to humans inspires kinship, but when the line blurs, that kinship turns to […]

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Space Travel on a Budget

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Don’t miss the official trailer, just released last week, for Moon Shot, a web documentary series directed by Orlando von Einsiedel, and produced by Epic Digital and Bad Robot, surrounding some of the scientifically savvy entrepreneurs competing for the Google Lunar XPRIZE to send the first privately-funded robot to the moon.

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The Japanese Toilet Takes a Bow: A Personal History

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I’ve long been afraid of toilets in Japan, beginning with the one in the temple we visited every summer starting in 1975, when my mother and I began to regularly go to her homeland in a bid to make sure I was familiar with her culture.

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Humans Dream of an Electric Philip K. Dick

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Creepy robots were often at the heart of Philip K. Dick stories. The future is now: a company is building a realistic looking robot to haunt your dreams and it looks strikingly similar to the science fiction author. Electric Literature reports on the project from Hanson Robotics: On their website, Hanson Robotics highlights their desire to […]

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Weekly Geekery

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Your new lesson plan: Be smarter than a computer. John Henry. But instead of a railroad, it’s a computer. And instead of John Henry, it’s NPR’s Scott Horsley. Your stories may not persuade like you thought they did. The charming tale of a robot coming to destroy you. You aren’t measuring your baby right. This could be […]

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RoboNovelist

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Is it conceivable for robots to compete with the “flesh-and-blood novelist?” Over at the BBC, Hephzibah Anderson explores the possibility and the ethical ramifications of algorithms writing the next Anna Karenina. So far, however, Anderson suggests that developers of such technologies have hit a snag: Even if a string of zeroes and ones evolves to understand what […]

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