Computers are changing. Soon the silicon chip will seem like a clunky antique amid the bounty of more exotic processes on offer. Robots are changing, too; material evolution and swarm intelligence are creating a new generation of devices that will diverge and disperse into a balanced ecosystem of humans and robjects (robotic objects).
Somewhere in between, we humans will have to change also… in the way we interact with technology, the roles we adopt in an increasingly intelligent environment, and how we interface with each other. The driving motors behind many of these changes will be artificial life (A-Life) and unconventional computing. How exactly they will impact our world is still an open question.
But in the spirit of collective intelligence, this anthology brings together 38 scientists and authors, working in pairs, to imagine what life (and A-Life) will look like in the year 2070. Every kind of technology is imagined: from lie-detection glasses to military swarmbots, brain-interfacing implants to synthetically grown skyscrapers, revolution-inciting computer games to synthetically engineered haute cuisine. All artificial life is here.
Also featuring stories by Dinesh Allirajah, Lucy Caldwell, Claire Dean, Andy Hedgecock, Annie Kirby, Zoe Lambert, Sean O’Brien, K. J. Orr, Joanna Quinn, Sarah Schofield, Margaret Wilkinson, Robin Yassin-Kassab, Adam Roberts, Adam Marek, and Toby Litt. Plus afterword’s by scientists J. Mark Bishop, Seth Bullock, James Dyke, Christian Jantzen, Francesco Mondada, James D. O’Shea, Andrew Philippides, Lenka Pitonakova, Steen Rasmussen, Thomas S. Ray, Micah Rosenkind, James Snowdon, Susan Stepney, Germán Terrazas, Andrew Vardy and Alan Winfield.
What will life look like in the year 2070?
(Audible Studios, 10 August 2018, 12 hours 30 minutes, @audibleuk Original Podcast, free with membership, various narrators, edited by @martyn_amos & Ra Page)
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I’m what you call cynical about AI and how much we’ve come and may grow to rely on technology in our lives. AI scares me a little. Can machines ever become better than us? Maybe they already are. I think AI can be useful in certain areas such as medicine or improving the lives of people with certain disabilities. Anyway, enough with the conspiracy theories. I enjoyed these stories, even though the concept of some of them made me uneasy. I must admit I started to listen to the notes that accompany every episode then got bored and stopped. What I liked about is the diverse way the stories consider all the possibilities of AI.