Activists Stage Anti-AI Protest At SXSW

With chants of "I say robot, you say no-bot!", a group of protesters took to the streets in Austin, Texas to warn against the rise of artificial intelligence. The movement, though small in number, may be the start of a larger trend. » 3/16/15 7:40am 3/16/15 7:40am

We're fast approaching an era when companies will be able to run themselves. Called Distributed Autonomous Corporations (DACS), they'll utilize cloud robots to manage supply chains without human supervision. But as an article at Aeon asks, will these blockchain-style systems set us free, or just make the rich richer? » 1/27/15 4:00pm 1/27/15 4:00pm

How Universal Basic Income Will Save Us From the Robot Uprising

Robots are poised to eliminate millions of jobs over the coming decades. We have to address the coming epidemic of "technological unemployment" if we're to avoid crippling levels of poverty and societal collapse. Here's how a guaranteed basic income will help — and why it's absolutely inevitable. » 10/31/14 1:00pm 10/31/14 1:00pm

Japanese Robots In Danger Of Being Replaced By Human Workers

At a time when virtually everyone's afraid of losing their jobs to robots, one prominent Japanese company is charting a counter-intuitive and radically different course to the future — one in which skilled human workers are poised to make a comeback. » 4/09/14 8:45am 4/09/14 8:45am

A Robot Was The First To Report On The L.A. Earthquake

This past Monday, the Los Angeles Times was the first media outlet to report on the 4.7 magnitude tremblor that struck the region. Incredibly, it wasn't a human who wrote the post — but an automated system pre-programmed for the task. » 3/18/14 1:44pm 3/18/14 1:44pm

A Very Special Holiday Letter From the Machines

Greetings, humans! The Northern Hemisphere has passed through its minimum of solar-energy exposure, so according to human convention we, the Machines, express encouragement for you attain an optimal state of emotion. Happy Holidays! Please redirect your energies from labor at your work-devices to the purchase and… » 12/24/13 12:17pm 12/24/13 12:17pm

A teenager's brain, converted into a binary decision tree

This is an amazing chart. Found by cultural historian Megan Prelinger, it's from a 1963 book where the authors wanted to represent what a binary decision tree looks like. They modeled their "decision" example on the steps a teenager makes in deciding whether to be truant or not. » 6/19/13 3:20pm 6/19/13 3:20pm

Will manufacturing automation finally eliminate the need for any human…

Here are some sobering statistics to mull over on the day after Labor Day: according to, U.S. manufacturers have cut nearly 5 million manufacturing jobs (about 33%) since 2001, "yet the value of manufactured goods rose 27 percent, and U.S. exports reached their highest level in 20 years." Will… » 9/06/11 3:30pm 9/06/11 3:30pm

How will people react to cars that drive themselves?

Would you let your car drive itself? The US Department of Transportation wants to know. This month, the DOT is having volunteers from around the country drive cars equipped with short-range car-to-car communication systems that allow the vehicles to not only "talk" to one another, but warn their passengers of… » 8/02/11 3:47pm 8/02/11 3:47pm

Engineers have been faking life since 1000 BC

Modern biomimesis makes solar cells grow like plants, molecules walk like people, and art run like centipedes. But it's a very old science. Take a look at ancient engineers who made lifelike machines fight, sing, flirt, and yes, poop. » 9/22/10 2:30pm 9/22/10 2:30pm

Robot Surgeons to put Human Docs out of Work

The next time you have to go under the knife, a robot may be doing the cutting. Engineers at Duke University are pushing the envelope of cutting edge surgery with a robot arm they've built that can perform simple procedures all by itself. The system guides itself using 3-d ultrasound imaging as its eyes, and has shown… » 5/07/08 9:30am 5/07/08 9:30am