Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Currently obsessed with robots
I'm so glad I went to class yesterday morning instead of "accidentally sleeping through my alarm clock" like I thought I might. My prof made the brilliant choice (coinciding nicely with the day we had to fill in her evaluations) to show us TED videos all morning. The videos were, as per usual, engaging and thought-provoking, but I found one particularly inspiring. It was about robots, and about making them seem more human by having them recognize and reflect emotions (and making them look like Einstein or Philip K. Dick). My mind ran to the future, and I started inventing a world, one where my grandchildren come tell me that they are in love with their robots (and I wear powder blue to their weddings). I think that at heart I'm a sci-fi geek who doesn't really read much sci-fi... that needs to change. But I really want stories with heart. Literary fiction with robots. A Tale of Two Cogs, or some such. (After googling, I'm guessing I should start here.)
In a related turn I came across a retweet from Kris Krug about the Cyborg Reconstruction Fund, which led me to explore Amber Case's work as a Cyborg Anthropologist (um, awesome). I've been going on about how we're all already cyborgs for ages, in my own little I don't really know what I'm talking about but look at hearing aids and contact lenses way, so I'm glad there are people out there who can actually put these thoughts into coherent, academia-approved reflections on the world.
As I realized in class yesterday morning, it's amazing how deeply science fiction films have affected me, and to a certain extent I've already thrown up my hands and am just waiting for the day my robot companion turns on me. Somewhere deeper, though, I find this all so inspiring. I'm excited about the future. Oh wait, it's actually the present. Rad.