Archive for the 'Artificial intelligence' Category

Review – Colossus: The Forbin Project

One of my favourite tropes in science fiction is the one where mankind creates artificial intelligence only to see it rebel against its maker, and usually either enslave or destroys us. Probably because its both a fantastic but also quite realistic idea, at least in my humble opinion.

It’s been done a hundred times or more, in a huge variety of settings, but one of my favourite is the film Colossus: The Forbin Project.

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Remember when robots were a bit crap? Not any more

I’ve been let down by robots.

When I was young (the 1980s), future robot predictions were all the rage. I was promised robot servants that would clean and cook and generally take care of business, whilst I flew around in my hover car. I grew up on a diet of Transformers, Robo Jox and dodgy dubs of Japanese mecha anime… and then I saw Robocop.

But robots totally failed to live up to their promise. Sure they can build cars and play chess, but weren’t robots supposed to be exploring space, fighting wars and cooking us meals by now?

Well it turns out they’re starting too. Maybe not the cooking bit.

Continue reading ‘Remember when robots were a bit crap? Not any more’

An introduction to life

Life is important to astrobiologists. They spend a lot of time looking for it, on Mars and even further afield. But what is life? Surely that’s a simple question to answer, you can tell if something is alive just by looking at it, rocks aren’t alive, cats are. For most people that’s enough. But this can be an interesting question, even for people who aren’t pedants.

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