Archive for the ‘Theory’ Category

Why Science Needs Fiction

Posted: February 28, 2014 by teresaheffernan1 in AI, Film, Sci Fi, Technology, Theory
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“Attitudes, religious beliefs, personality traits, and social habits—information on all of these can be the subject of a questionnaire to be filled out when a human orders a robot, or it could be acquired by the robot in the course of the conversation. Once the robot’s memory has acquired all necessary information about its human, the robot will be able to emulate sufficient of the human’s stated personality characteristics to create a meaningful level of similarity.” David Levy, Artificial Intelligence Researcher and CEO of Intelligent Toys Ltd, from his Love and Sex with Robots (2007).

Scientists working in artificial intelligence and robotics often comment on the inspiration they draw from fiction. Yet what role do literature and film play when it comes to questions about the future of the industry, social policy, and ethics? Social Robot Futures is a place that takes seriously the feedback loop between science and the humanities, and that restores fiction to the industry of robotics and AI. It opens up a space to imagine this technology as untethered by questions of profit or military funding.  (more…)