Mark Stephen Meadows
Skywalker's Hand, Blade Runners, Iron Man, Slutbots, and How Fiction Became Fact
Palgrave Macmillan 2011
If technology is the site of digital culture, then robots are the future platforms of our social projections and interactions. In fact, that future is already here in small but fascinating ways. Mark Stephen Meadows is one of a handful of curious authors who have begun to explore the social ramifications of robotic engineering and his book We Robot: Skywalker’s Hand, Blade Runners, Iron Man, Slutbots, and How Fiction Became Fact (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011) is intended as a lively assessment of those implications and consequences.
The book sees Meadows touring the strange, wonderful, and unnerving production laboratories of Japanese roboticists, lifting unreal loads with the aid of an augmented limb, and being turned on by an uncannily sexy fembot as she smiles at him and moves her android features. In our interview I asked Meadows what we can expect from our machine compatriots of tomorrow, and why human intelligence might be slowly getting written out of the equation for the perfect bot.