Posts Tagged: robots

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 fear.

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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. ...more

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 “realize the dream of friendly machines who truly live and love, and co-invent the future of life.” Philip K.

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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 it means to taste a childhood food in later life, or to feel the first splash of spring sunshine as a long winter loosens its grip, that algorithm won’t truly be able to know such experiences.

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Davis, Joshua - (c) Sebastian Mlynarski

The Rumpus Interview with Joshua Davis

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Joshua Davis talks about his new book, Spare Parts (now a movie playing all across the United States), backwards running, journalism, and entering the US National Arm Wrestling Championship. ...more

Author Roboto

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At Melville House, Liam O’Brien delves into the fictional and factual history of book-writing computers, from Roald Dahl’s “The Great Automatic Grammatizator” to the Russian computer that rewrote Anna Karenina in the style of Murakami. With some media outlets already using bots to pen articles, he wonders if the robots will be coming for literature next.

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