The poster boy for our superabled future is Oscar Pistorius, an increasingly famous South African sprinter who happens to have had both of his legs amputated below the knee. Using upside down question mark-shaped carbon fiber sprinting prosthetics, called Cheetah blades, Mr. Pistorius can challenge the fastest sprinters in the world.
Looking ahead, future generations may learn their social skills from robots in the first place. The cute yellow Keepon robot from Carnegie Mellon University has shown the ability to facilitate social interactions with autistic children. Morphy at the University of Washington happily teaches gestures to children by demonstration.
Sometimes a technology is so awe-inspiring that the imagination runs away with it - often far, far away from reality. Robots are like that. A lot of big and ultimately unfulfilled promises were made in robotics early on, based on preliminary successes.
For people who have been raised on text-based interactions, just speaking on the telephone can be high bandwidth to the point of anxiety.
In movies and in television the robots are always evil. I guess I am not into the whole brooding cyberpunk dystopia thing.
You write about what you know. It makes everything easier, and also more truthful. In this case, I grew up in Oklahoma, and I grew up in the Cherokee Nation and I'm a member of the Cherokee Tribe. Oddly enough, I know a lot about robots and Oklahoma, and so that's what comes out in my writing.
I was writing a scene where a guy was choking another guy to death. You can go online and type 'chokeholds' and watch scenes where martial artists choke each other out. You can hear what noises they make when they go unconscious, see how their bodies flop and everything. YouTube is amazing for the more detailed stuff.
The dissemination of advanced implantable technology will likely be just as ruthlessly democratic as the ailments it is destined to treat. Meaning that, someday soon, we may have a new class of very smart, very fast people - yesterday's disabled and elderly.
'Robopocalypse' explores the intertwined fates of regular people who face a future filled with murderous machines. It follows them as humanity foments the robot uprising, fails to recognize the coming storm, and then is rocked to the core by methodical, crippling attacks.
As a society, I think we express our cultural mores through our politics. We're trying constantly to figure out what's OK and what's not OK. And it's hard, because our society is constantly buffeted by gale force winds of technology. Things are always changing.
The fear of the never-ending onslaught of gizmos and gadgets is nothing new. The radio, the telephone, Facebook - each of these inventions changed the world. Each of them scared the heck out of an older generation. And each of them was invented by people who were in their 20s.
You can graph human evolution, which is mostly a straight line, but we do get better and change over time, and you can graph technological evolution, which is a line that's going straight up. They are going to intersect each other at some point, and that's happening now.
In the end, perhaps it will be the true romantics, not the nerds, who choose to flee from a world of impersonal, digitized relationships and into the arms of simulacrums with manners imported from simpler times.
In my books the technology that I choose to talk about has to serve the themes. What that means is that I end up having to cut out a lot of cool technology that would be really fun to describe and play with, but which would just confuse everybody. So in 'Amped,' I focus on neural implants.
Right now, I think robots are where it's at. And yes, I'm biased. Robots and space, because with home rocket kits and Lego Mindstorm sets, people can get involved. I was raised on Transformers and GoBots, so I can't imagine what kids who are building real robots are dreaming about.
We humans have a love-hate relationship with our technology. We love each new advance and we hate how fast our world is changing... The robots really embody that love-hate relationship we have with technology.
Zombies, vampires, Frankenstein's monster, robots, Wolfman - all of this stuff was really popular in the '50s. Robots are the only one of those make-believe monsters that have become real. They are really in our lives in a meaningful way. That's pretty fascinating to me.
The complicated, ambiguous milieu of human contact is being replaced with simple, scalable equations. We maintain thousands more friends than any human being in history, but at the cost of complexity and depth. Every minute spent online is a minute of face-to-face time lost.
You don't want to stand too close to a robot arm; it can turn your head to mush.
Each new generation builds on the work of the previous one, gaining new perspective. New verbs are introduced. We Google strange and dangerous places. We tweet mindlessly to the cosmos. We Facebook our own grandmothers. I, for one, don't want to be left behind.