In honor of Earth Day, Harper Voyager authors are sharing their scientific knowledge in the form of the virtual science fair—follow the conversation on Twitter at #HVsciencefair.
Artificial intelligence has long been a staple of science fiction, but now we’re at the turning point where it’s quickly becoming our reality. Marvin, the mopey robot from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, was probably once considered by readers to be a laugh-fetching gag, but now it’s prudent to ask how modeling such emotions can affect how AI is perceived. Johnny Cabs and Rosie the Robots are practically on our doorsteps, but what will their presence mean for our economy? Certainly, some human job loss will occur, but will having AI in the workforce be a boon to other entrepreneurs and creators?
Authors Marina J. Lostetter (Noumenon) and Nicky Drayden (The Prey of Gods) set out to answer these questions and more. Both of their novels feature sentient AIs—Lostetter’s a super intelligent interstellar convoy charged with the transport and care of a volatile crew, and Drayden’s a secretly sentient personal robot whose misguided antics might spark a liberation movement. In an attempt to separate science from science fiction, these two AI fanatics gathered an engineer, a hacker, and a futurist to pick their brains about the minds of tomorrow.