Automation and robotics


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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

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Automation and robotics
The golden age

The 15-hour working week predicted by Keynes may soon be within our grasp – but are we ready for freedom from toil?

John Quiggin

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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

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Automation and robotics
Preternatural machines

Robots came to Europe before the dawn of the mechanical age. To a medieval world, they were indistinguishable from magic

E R Truitt

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Automation and robotics
I, cockroach

Do insects feel pain? Are they conscious? A science kit for at-home cyborg cockroaches provokes the hard questions

Brandon Keim

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Automation and robotics
Automated ethics

When is it ethical to hand our decisions over to machines? And when is external automation a step too far?

Tom Chatfield

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Automation and robotics
Slaves to the algorithm

Computers could take some tough choices out of our hands, if we let them. Is there still a place for human judgment?

Steven Poole

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Automation and robotics
RoboCorp

Get ready for companies that run themselves. But will the autonomous economy set us all free, or just make the rich richer?

David Z Morris

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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

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Automation and robotics
Numbing the imagination

CGI has become wearingly dull and cliched. Can its deep weirdness be recovered and filmgoers’ minds stretched again?

Jonathan Romney

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Automation and robotics
How to design the future

As technological choices become ever more complex, design fiction, not science, hints at the future we actually want

Jon Turney

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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

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Automation and robotics
Robot evolution

Hod Lipson’s artificial organisms have already escaped from the virtual realm. Now he wants to send them out of control

Emily Monosson