Robots

From the Vault: Beyond the Uncanny Valley

From bad CGI characters to creepy humanoid robots, everyone knows the uncanny valley effect when they see it. But where did this idea come from and to what extent is it actually a thing? Join Robert and Joe as they descend into the uncanny valley and explore just what's going on in our minds when we lock eyes with less-than-human simulacrums. (Originally published April 6, 2017)

Flatus Ex Machina, Part 2

Why is it so hilarious when robots and artificial intelligence fail? What does it reveal about comedy itself and our technological anxiety? Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore in this Stuff to Blow Your Mind two-parter. In this second episode, the joke's on us. 

Flatus Ex Machina, Part 1

Why is it so hilarious when robots and artificial intelligence fail? What does it reveal about comedy itself and our technological anxiety? Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore in this Stuff to Blow Your Mind two-parter. 

Talos: The Bronze Automaton

Among the many humanoid gods and bestial monsters of Greek mythology, one finds a peculiar outlier: Talos the bronze automaton. Said to stalk the shores of Crete, Talos pelted suspicious ships with rocks and immolated enemy soldiers with its smoldering embrace. Does this myth reveal Greek attitudes toward technology? What existing technologies can we decode in its description? Robert and Joe explore in this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind.

Beyond the Uncanny Valley

The far side of the uncanny valley rises steeply, assaulting our psyche as our artificial human likenesses creep ever closer toward perfection. But what happens when we actually emerge on the other side? What happens to human society when video footage is no longer the gold standard? Robert and Joe investigate.

Into the Uncanny Valley

From bad CGI characters to creepy humanoid robots, everyone knows the uncanny valley effect when they see it. But where did this idea come from and to what extent is it actually a thing? Join Robert and Joe as they descend into the uncanny valley and explore just what's going on in our minds when we lock eyes with less-than-human simulacrums.

Retrofuturist Flashback: Rise of the Mobot

Mobots impress us with their pouring skills and possible lady-murder in this edition of Retrofuturist Flashback...

Are terminators real?

Are robots alive?

Future Shock: Part II

Future Shock: Back in 1970, Alvin Toffler's book "Future Shock" envisioned a future human civilization outpaced, overstimulated and mentally stunned by relentless technological and social change. Today, we live in the very future Toffler warned everyone about. How did his predictions hold up and how can we stave off the terrors of future shock? Find out in this two-part episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind.