Robots in the Zeitgeist

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Did you notice how robots took over the Super Bowl commercials? By robots, of course, I mean all manner of intelligent assistants, both traditionally robotic and in the cloud. There was the robotic child who lacked the empathy to be a TurboTax live advisor, the smart speaker that couldn’t enjoy all the flavors of Pringles, … Continued

The strandbeest as a metaphor for our role in machine evolution

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Theo Jansen’s “strandbeest” creatures captured my imagination. If you like these eldritch and fascinating machines you can copy his plans and make one yourself. Which makes me wonder: are we creating them, or serving them? Theo Jansen is an inventive Dutch artist who builds creatures called strandbeests (calling them “kinetic sculptures” doesn’t do them justice) out … Continued

How a Forrester analyst thinks about the robots taking your job

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Robots and other forms of automation are going to transform the job market, but how much? There are four points of view. And that’s a good way to understand what it means to be an analyst. The pessimist looks at the decline of jobs like secretary or factory worker and sees the same pattern in automation … Continued