Award-winning journalist David Ewing Duncan considers 24 visions of possible human-robot futures - Incredible scenarios from Teddy Bots to Warrior Bots, and Politician Bots to Sex Bots - Grounded in real technologies and possibilities and inspired by our imagination.
What robot and AI systems are being built and imagined right now? What do they say about us, their creators? Will they usher in a fantastic new future, or destroy us? What do some of our greatest thinkers, from physicist Brian Greene and futurist Kevin Kelly to inventor Dean Kamen, geneticist George Church, and filmmaker Tiffany Shlain, anticipate about our human-robot future? For even as robots and AI intrigue us and make us anxious about the future, our fascination with robots has always been about more than the potential of the technology - it’s also about what robots tell us about being human.
“A refreshing variation on the will-intelligent-robots-bring-Armageddon genre...this colorful mixture of expert futurology and quirky speculation does not disappoint.” (Kirkus Reviews)
Until we have a non-fiction robot that writes brilliant, insightful books (I give it 25 years), we can thank God we have David Ewing Duncan. Thanks to David’s book, I have a healthy mix of wonder and panic about the future. But more important, perhaps: I feel a bit more prepared for this radically different landscape, one where robots change everything from politics to parenting, from coffee to sex." (AJ Jacobs, author of Drop Dead Healthy)
“This book is a brilliant chronicle of encounters with our future selves, even as we already experience the vertigo of changing. Drawn from real conversations with living visionaries, Duncan takes us to the crossroads of the inevitable merging of human and machine. Splendidly written, passionately argued, and well-researched, this book is a divination tool for the arrival of either the utopia or the apocalypse.” (Andrei Codrescu, author of Raised by Puppets Only to Be Killed by Research: Essays from NPR )