Beware – Dangerous Robots!

Dan Kahan of the Cultural Cognition Project has been thinking about the possible ways of reacting to robots that kill. It's a relatively new set of technologies, but what happens when AI merges with weaponry to produce robots that want to kill you? He thinks the arguments could go in several ways and I tend … Continue reading Beware – Dangerous Robots!

The Four Cultures of Science Fiction

As a genre, sci-fi is par excellence concerned with culture. What would it be like to visit an alien world? How would its inhabitants operate, and how would they differ from us? In a way it's a kind of theoretical anthropology. Think of Ursula Le Guin's inquiry into a culture of hermaphrodites in The Left … Continue reading The Four Cultures of Science Fiction

Economics of the Singularity

Crooked Timber has been running a 'book event' on the economic ideas of science fiction writer Charlie Stross. In case you haven't come across him, Stross is a prolific (300,000 words a year) writer of extravagant ideas who lives in Scotland. His approach to  pulp sci-fi is reminiscent of  Philip K Dick's.  Sure it's commercial, … Continue reading Economics of the Singularity