androids


In ten years, how will the machines that run your daily existence respond when confronted with life-or-death decisions? Matthieu Cherubini at the Royal College of Art offers prototypes of Humanist, Protector, and Profit-Based moral parameters for self-driving cars:

Many car manufacturers are projecting that by 2025 most cars will operate on driveless systems. How can such systems be designed to accommodate the complicatedness of ethical and moral reasoning? Just like choosing the color of a car, ethics can become a commodified feature in autonomous vehicles that one can buy, change, and repurchase, depending on personal taste.

Three distinct algorithms have been created – each adhering to a specific ethical principle/behaviour set-up – and embedded into driverless virtual cars that are operating in a simulated environment, where they will be confronted with ethical dilemmas.


We now know what ends the most advanced androids will serve: initiating marketing scans. TIME on incredibly creepy robo-calls from a person purporting to be Samantha West, a real live woman, to eerily convincing effect:

When Scherer asked point blank if she was a real person, or a computer-operated robot voice, she replied enthusiastically that she was real. But then she failed several other tests. When asked “What vegetable is found in tomato soup?” she said she did not understand the question. When asked what day of the week it was yesterday, she complained repeatedly of a bad connection.

When the number was called a second time, a real live employee of Premier Health Plans Inc., who gave his name as Bruce Martin, answered the phone. He described the company as selling life insurance, health insurance and dental insurance.


South Korean artist Wang Zi Won creates enlightened robots, including the Buddha and an idealized mechanical doll based upon himself, as a guidepost for a future in which technology lead to self-actualization:

Humans will evolve and adapt themselves to enhanced science and technology just as men and animals in the past evolved to adapt themselves to their natural circumstances. The artist sees this as our destiny, not as a negative, gloomy dystopia.

The artist considers it important to escape from human bondage in order to achieve harmony between men and machines. He thinks this harmony can be achieved through the process of religious practices and spiritual enlightenment.

The machine man was based on the artist, but this “I” is not a past “I” any more. His own existence vanishes, and a new being-as-machine man emerges. Z is thus a process of becoming the perfect “I”.




With municipalities desperate to reduce budgets, use of remotely-controlled robots for some law enforcement duties is an inevitability. CNET reports: Researchers at Florida International University’s Discovery Lab are working with a member…


How does one love something that is not alive? With humanity becoming both ever more socially awkward and more attached to its devices, the quest to invent the perfect synthetic romantic partner will only intensify. Wired on the film The Mechanical Bride and the history of consumerist technosexualism, which goes back further than you may realize:

“Advertising’s ideal woman is a fragmented body of replaceable parts, whose origin is the assembly-line logic of consumer capitalism,” said de Fren, a professor of media culture at Occidental College who honed her robotics chops in Paul Allen‘s future-tech think-tanks. “The RealDoll is the culmination of that kind of logic. It’s ordered in the exact same way as a car, with detailed customization including head and body type, hair and eye color, breast size and lips.”


We can all agree that it’s O.K. for robots to take over unpleasant jobs — like cleaning up nuclear waste. But how could we have allowed them to commandeer one of the…