Robots, aliens, corporate drones – who will be the citizens of the future?

In the 1940s, science fiction author Olaf Stapledon gave a talk to a school about the future. Addressing his audience as "you citizens of the future", he proposed three visions for this future: the "destruction of the human race", a "worldwide police state", and "an entirely new kind of human world"...
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Robot revolution: rise of the intelligent automated workforce

Losing jobs to technology is nothing new. Since the industrial revolution, roles that were once exclusively performed by humans have been slowly but steadily replaced by some form of automated machinery. Even in cases where the human worker is not completely replaced by a machine, humans have learnt...
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What science fiction tells us about our trouble with AI

Given that the reality of AI may be fast approaching, it's of the utmost importance that we work out what might a future with artificial intelligence might look like. Last year, an open letter with signatories including Stephen Hawking and Nick Bostrom called for AI to be of demonstrable benefit to ...
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Ethics of AI: how should we treat rational, sentient robots – if they existed?

Imagine a world where humans co-existed with beings who, like us, had minds, thoughts, feelings, self-conscious awareness and the capacity to perform purposeful actions – but, unlike us, these beings had artificial mechanical bodies that could be switched on and off.That brave new world would throw ...
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The Singularity and How to Avoid it

how governments can halt the rise of unfriendly, unstoppable super-AI The invention of an artificial super-intelligence has been a central theme in science fiction since at least the 19th century. From E.M. Forster's short story The Machine Stops (1909) to the recent HBO television series Westworld,...
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The digital human: the cyber version of humanity’s quest for immortality

​Immortality has been a topic of discussion since the legend of the Holy Grail.Some people have gone as far as cryogenic freezing after death in the hope that one day science will have advanced enough to resurrect them. Others believe the route to immortality lies in the digital realm.The theory tha...
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What is quantum machine learning and how can it help us?

Artificial intelligence refers, among other things, to machines' capacity to demonstrate some degree of what humans consider "intelligence". This process is being driven by the rapid advancement of machine learning: getting machines to think for themselves rather than pre-programming them with an ab...
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Robots and AI could soon have feelings, hopes and rights … we must prepare for the reckoning

 Get used to hearing a lot more about artificial intelligence. Even if you discount the utopian and dystopian hyperbole, the 21st century will broadly be defined not just by advancements in artificial intelligence, robotics, computing and cognitive neuroscience, but how we manage them. For some...
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Artificial Lawyers 'r' Us

I was looking at the increasing encroachment of artificial intelligence in industry and noticing that there isn't that much of a takeover of people's jobs in certain professions. Those where there is a need for creative or original thinking appear to be currently at least, a safe have...
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Humanity, Mark II

I love this picture of an alien and human interacting emotionally and physically because it sits at the heart of the sci-fi I write. Whilst there are alien enemies (aren't there always?) there are also opportunities for allies, friends and companions. In the Pattern Universe Zeke and Zirkos become f...
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The Mechanics of Evolution

​Will humanity evolve into AI?A Sunday morning chat over breakfast produced the rather nebulous discussion of a future world where humanity no longer exists as a biological entity, but rather has evolved into artificial life-forms. The very things we are terrified of might eventually prove...
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Let's talk AI

So, let's firstly define AI, or Artificial Intelligence.Artificial Intelligence, definition: the theory and development of computer systems capable of performing tasks normally requiring human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between langu...
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How to Build a Moon Base

Half a century after humans first walked on the moon, a number of private companies and nations are planning to build permanent bases on the lunar surface. Despite the technological progress since the Apollo era, this will be extremely challenging. So how should you get started?The conditions at the...
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