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Society

Essays and videos on social issues, history, political life and the future
The haunted city | Aeon
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essay

Cities

The haunted city

The city, for all its mechanical speed, artificial light and industrialisation, is the most uncanny of human habitats

Azania Imtiaz Khatri-Patel

Soft awareness | Aeon
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video

Computing and artificial intelligence

What’s it like to chat with an AI that mimics you? Uncanny conversations with Replika

13 minutes

Robogamis are the real heirs of terminators and transformers | Aeon
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idea

Automation and robotics

Robogamis are the real heirs of terminators and transformers

Jamie Paik

Mars habitat | Aeon
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video

Space exploration

How 3D-printing robots will get Mars home-ready for our arrival

5 minutes

Sure, it can backflip – but can a robot hold down a desk job? | Aeon
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idea

Automation and robotics

Sure, it can backflip – but can a robot hold down a desk job?

Amy LaViers

Robot says: Whatever | Aeon
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essay

Automation and robotics

Robot says: Whatever

What stands in the way of all-powerful AI isn’t a lack of smarts: it’s that computers can’t have needs, cravings or desires

Margaret Boden

Better humans | Aeon
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video

Automation and robotics

Human as a process: What awaits us in the coming age of bio-enhancement?

3 minutes

Robot cognition requires machines that both think and feel | Aeon
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idea

Automation and robotics

Robot cognition requires machines that both think and feel

Luiz Pessoa

All-terrain robot | Aeon
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video

Automation and robotics

The tiny robot that could wriggle its way across the perilous terrain of the human body

3 minutes

Science has outgrown the human mind and its limited capacities | Aeon
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idea

Automation and robotics

Science has outgrown the human mind and its limited capacities

Ahmed Alkhateeb

Raising good robots | Aeon
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essay

Computing and artificial intelligence

Raising good robots

We already have a way to teach morals to alien intelligences: it’s called parenting. Can we apply the same methods to robots?

Regina Rini

The body is the missing link for truly intelligent machines | Aeon
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idea

Computing and artificial intelligence

The body is the missing link for truly intelligent machines

Ben Medlock

Spring-making robots | Aeon
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video

Automation and robotics

Dance dance automation: music from the factory floor

8 minutes

Farewell: etaoin shrdlu | Aeon
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video

History of technology

The last day of hot metal press before computers come in at The New York Times

29 minutes

In proof we trust | Aeon
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essay

Information and communication

In proof we trust

Blockchain technology will revolutionise far more than money: it will change your life. Here’s how it actually works

Dominic Frisby

Consciousness creep | Aeon
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essay

Philosophy of mind

Consciousness creep

Our machines could become self-aware without our knowing it. We need a better way to define and test for consciousness

George Musser

ORIGINALStaying human in a machine age | Aeon
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video

Automation and robotics

If we are what we do, how can we stay human in an era of automation?

7 minutes

We have greater moral obligations to robots than to humans | Aeon
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idea

Ethics

We have greater moral obligations to robots than to humans

Eric Schwitzgebel

Lost and found | Aeon
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video

Design and fashion

Rustic automata – a world built out of spare parts powered by solar energy

9 minutes

Liar Robot | Aeon
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video

Cognition and intelligence

How do you get a robot to seem more like a human? You make it a liar robot

4 minutes

Can a thousand tiny swarming robots outsmart nature? | Aeon
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video

Bioethics

The mini robots that may show how to ‘programme’ cells for improved performance

4 minutes

Kempelen’s chess-playing automaton | Aeon
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video

History of science

A chess-playing machine hoax that beat the best and helped inspire the computer

10 minutes

Robot origami | Aeon
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video

Medicine

Could these printable, self-assembling origami robots transform medicine?

3 minutes

Humans need not apply | Aeon
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video

Work

The robots are coming… for our jobs! Why the human workforce is at risk

15 minutes