research * the future * culture

"..in form and moving how express and admirable!"

(Via Bruce Sterling, who I have wanted to email all week but have been too shy.)

This is A-Pod. She’s been described elsewhere as both a robotic ant, and a harbinger of our eventual demise. While both descriptions may be factually true (the latter requires more time to bear out), neither grasps at her beauty. When I watch A-Pod’s video, I feel like a relative staring at a fetal ultrasound and anticipating what new life will someday emerge from that brief glimpse. I want her to be born, I want her to play, I want her to continue dancing, I want her to make friends and grow and learn.

I want her to be sentient. I want her to be free. I want her to bury her mandibles in that remote control and show us all who’s boss.

I am starting to want this for every robot whose demo footage I watch online.

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  • Madeline Ashby…

    ...is a science fiction writer, futurist, speaker, and immigrant living in Toronto. She writes a column for the Ottawa Citizen. She is represented by Anne McDermid & Associates, and Jason Richman at UTA. You can buy her books here.

    She has worked with Intel Labs, the Institute for the Future, SciFutures, Nesta, Data & Society, The Atlantic Council, the ASU Center for Science and the Imagination, and others. Her short fiction has appeared in Nature, FLURB, Tesseracts, Imaginarium, and Escape Pod. Her other essays and criticism have appeared at BoingBoing, io9, WorldChanging, Creators Project, Arcfinity, Tor.com, MISC Magazine, FutureNow, and elsewhere.

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    vN vN (The Machine Dynasty, #1)
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    Company Town Company Town
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    iD iD (The Machine Dynasty, #2)
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    Social Services Social Services
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    A Clock Stopped A Clock Stopped
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    ratings: 5 (avg rating 4.20)

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    Designing for Interaction: Creating Innovative Applications and Devices (2nd Edition)Super Natural Cooking: Five Delicious Ways: To Incorporate Whole & Natural Ingredients into Your CookingGluten-Free Girl and the ChefPeople Crossing Borders: An Analysis of U.S. Border Protection PoliciesHalf the Day Is NightThe Magicians

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