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‘Talking To Robots’: Book takes ‘funny and broad’ look at a fully automated future

| | July 26, 2019
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Image: Center for Generational Kinetics
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

In the decade or so since Siri and her compatriots first appeared, we’ve all gotten pretty used to having conversations with computers in various forms.

Time, robots and conversations are at the heart of David Ewing Duncan’s new book Talking to Robots: Tales from Our Human-Robot Futures. And if you want to see what that future might look like, Duncan’s book is a fun place to start.

The book is written as a series of essays by an unnamed future historian about the rise of the bots in all their forms. 

But Duncan is not really writing science-fiction as most of the chapters include interviews with scientists, engineers and other experts alive today (also known as the Early Robot Era or ERE). This allows Duncan to playfully explore the outlines, and outer limits, of far future human-robot relations while grounding those journeys in what’s happening now.

The darker aspects of our emerging future make its appearance in chapters like “Warrior Bot.” Duncan provides a pretty chilling vision of the strides the military is already making along the road to fully autonomous killing machines.

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But taken as a whole, Duncan’s book holds a lot of pleasures. It’s funny and broad and, in its way, asks important questions.

Read full, original post: An Imagined Future Speaks In ‘Talking To Robots”

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