SF/F legend Connie Willis pours a preview of a near-future version of the story of backstage back-stabbing, " All About Eve" with "All About Emily
" for Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine.
In 2010, Judea Pearl was honored with a symposium on his work
. He gave a talk on how to use causal models to evaluate counterfactuals
. (He takes the first 14 minutes to thank people and reflect on his intellectual debts. Skip it if you really want to get to the meat of the talk, but it is well worth watching.) [more inside]
Worried about robots? You should be.
Artificial intelligence superior to our own is, by some estimates, only thirty years away. What could possibly go wrong? The answer: everything.
was recently released suggesting a pre-emptive ban on fully autonomous weapons
- robots that can pick and choose whom to fire on. If this sounds vaguely alarming
to you, don't worry - the Department of Defense issued a directive
indicating that fully automous robots may only decide to tase you
Television Without Pity
re-capper Jacob Clifton
has written a short steampunk story for Tor.com. “There’s a level on which the story is an indictment of using steampunk as a fashion or trend. It came about because I wanted to see what would happen if you substituted Jane Austen for Jules Verne in the steampunk equation...” The Commonplace Book
"Welcome to the Zion Archive. You have selected Historical File #12-1: The Second Renaissance.
So begins the short film of the same name by Mahiro Maeda [Flash: 1 2 - QuickTime: 1 2]
-- a devastating yet beautiful work of animation.
Originally produced to explain the backstory behind the Matrix
trilogy, Maeda's project ended up telling a story far darker and more affecting than any blockbuster.
Using a blend of faux documentary footage
and visual metaphor
, his serene Instructor relates in biblical tones the saga of Man and Machine, how age-old cruelty and hatred birthed a horrifying, apocalyptic struggle that consumed the world.
Packed with striking imagery and historical allusions
galore, this dark allegory easily transcends the films it was made for.
But while "The Second Renaissance" is arguably the best work to come from the Matrix
franchise, it's hardly alone -- it's just one of the projects made for The Animatrix
, a collection of nine superb anime films
in a wide variety of styles
designed to explore the universe and broaden its scope beyond the usual sci-fi action of the movies.
Click inside for a guide to these films with links to where they can be watched online, along with a look at The Matrix Comics
, a free series of comics, art, and short fiction created for the same purpose by some
of the best talent in the business. [more inside]
Got a question for God? Tough. But godsbot the Christian Robot
might be the next best thing. A $10 donation (minimum)
will get you one year of access--or at least click the Google ads. More in the press release
. Oh, and via
No one believes me when I told them that the swarms of robot cockroaches
are out to get me.
Thank you very much, Mr. Roboto.
Both Honda and Sony have unveiled the newest versions of their humanoid robots. Honda favours a more practical design, while Sony's is geared for entertainment. Having just watched AI
the other night, I'm wondering when and if people would want to have one around the house.
The Robots Are Coming (Yawwwn...)
. Yet another corporate futurist (with a bizarre 1996 Mosaic-type website
) telling us that A.I. will deliver the "homework" robot by 2006 (now, is that January or December?). Also, look out for an emotionally responsive Barbie
"We already have technologies that can measure stress, using simple cues like skin condition and temperature and it will be easy to put these in Barbie dolls which will be able to talk to little girls when they are upset and ask what is wrong." Ech