Category Archives: robots

Science Fiction Themes Through the Decades

Taking this course was my very first introduction to science fiction. If I had to name one takeaway from what I’ve learned, it’s that science fiction is not about humans, but rather human nature. It’s about what issues us humans are facing in our current moment, and how those issues can be exploited through developments […] Continue reading

Posted in Aliens, Anderson, Artificial Intelligence, Asimov, Authors, books, civilization, ethics, evolution, Ex Machina, Fiction, gender, Heinlein, humanities, robots, Science Fiction, SF, society, technology, Van Vogt | Comments Off on Science Fiction Themes Through the Decades

The New Age of Technology and Sports

According to the National Federation of State High School Associations, the overall number of student athletes in high school sports has consecutively increased for the 29thyear now. As students get older, this increase in popularity for sports will likely extend into college and to the professional level. Consistent with this prediction, statistics from professional leagues […] Continue reading

Posted in Film Analysis, Films, Games, robots, Science Fiction, SF, Televsion | Comments Off on The New Age of Technology and Sports

Ted Chiang AI Talk Highlights: Singularity?

In his talk last Monday here at Vanderbilt, Ted Chiang joined a panel to talk about the future of Artificial Intelligence. He spoke about what A.I. means for humanity, and contested the possibility of the singularity (a.k.a. the technology explosion that occurs when computers begin programming smarter computers, with those smarter computers programming even smarter […] Continue reading

Posted in AI, Chiang, Fiction, humanities, Procreation, robots, SF, Singularity, Turing Test | Comments Off on Ted Chiang AI Talk Highlights: Singularity?

Science Fiction: Disrupting the Art World?

Some previous posts on the blog have discussed how culture – art and fashion – are represented in science fiction. But is science fiction ever represented in art? I have two words for you: Meow Wolf. Meow Wolf is an immersive, interactive art experience based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The inaugural exhibition, The House of […] Continue reading

Posted in anarchy, art, commerce, culture, Cyberpunk, Fantasy, Games, Multiverse, robots, Scientists, SF, speculative fiction, Time travel | Comments Off on Science Fiction: Disrupting the Art World?

Foreshadowing in “Ex Machina”

“Ex Machina” is a 2014 film in which programmer Caleb Smith, who works at a Google-like company, is not-so-randomly chosen for a private retreat at the CEO’s compound. The CEO—Nathan Bateman—lives alone, with the exception of a servant named Kyoko that doesn’t speak English and a humanoid robot named Ava. Caleb is brought to the […] Continue reading

Posted in AI, Artificial Intelligence, Ex Machina, Fiction, Films, gender, privacy, robot, robots, SF, Turing Test | Comments Off on Foreshadowing in “Ex Machina”

The Final Frontier of Privacy

Technology’s purpose is to make life more convenient for humans. From the advent of the wheel to the creation of the smartphone, continual innovation has made everyday tasks easier for human beings. Yet such innovation often comes at a cost, and in recent years, that cost has taken the form of a loss of privacy. […] Continue reading

Posted in AI, AlterEgo, Cyborg, privacy, robots, SF, technology | Comments Off on The Final Frontier of Privacy

“War Games”

Military Science Fiction is quite prevalent, and AI and robots are ubiquitous in Sci-Fi. Then what explains this rarity of AI as competent generals/commanders? I would argue that because Science Fiction is bound by the rules of telling a good story, there are certain technological concepts that the genre has not figured out how to include while still preserving the story’s familiarity to the reader. Continue reading

Posted in Aliens, Artificial Intelligence, Google Deepmind, Heinlein, robots, Star Wars, Starcraft, war, Writer's craft | Comments Off on “War Games”

Subverting Cognition: Surrealist Automatism and Brooks’ Intelligence Theory

In Flesh and Machines: How Robots Will Change Us, Rodney Brooks presents his unique take on the pathway to create meaningful artificial intelligence. To briefly summarize, he suggests that removing clunky algorithms aimed at simulating cognition, while simultaneously creating a direct link between sensation and action, supports more advanced general intelligence (functional intelligence). For me, Brooks’ […] Continue reading

Posted in Artificial Intelligence, Automatism, Humanity, learning, machine, robots, SF, Surrealism, technology | Comments Off on Subverting Cognition: Surrealist Automatism and Brooks’ Intelligence Theory

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, Ain’t No Uncanny Valley Low

Looking at the images above, how do they make you feel? Disturbed? Uncomfortable? Maybe even scared? The four pictures shown are all humanoid with a face,mouth, eyes, and every feature we as humans have. However, each photograph makes the viewer feel that something is off. They look human, yet there is something about them that […] Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, robots, Scientists, SF, uncanny valley | Comments Off on Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, Ain’t No Uncanny Valley Low

Rosie, I’m Letting You Go

I saw an opinion piece a few days ago in The New York Times about robots. The column by Thomas L. Friedman predicts that advances in robotics will launch an economic boom in the near future. Friedman posits that the field of robotics will effect this boom by increasing productivity and creating jobs. He likens […] Continue reading

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