Automating Manipulation

I know how to control you with a robot. Or at least, I’m learning to. Though I suppose what I really mean to say is that my robots and AI are. If this doesn’t scare the crap out you, it should. Not because we suddenly have technology that we can use to subtly manipulate people…

The Choice Not to Think

To think, or not to think, that is the question. Technological advancements have nearly always come with the promise of making our lives easier, taking a burden off our shoulders, and freeing up more time and mindshare for us to use as we see fit. As the current wave of automation technologies (AI, robotics, IoT,…

Robot-Centered Design

The future of user-centered design with a new kind of stakeholder You’re a designer. You create products, experiences, services, buildings, and more. Each time you begin the design process, you consider the multitude of touchpoints and features of your design and how they engage with your intended user. This is the logic of the Human-Centered…

Robotic Scapegoating

As a robotics guy, the most common question I get is also one of my least favourite: “Are robots going to take over the world?” I hear it with such frequency that I’ve developed the formulaic response, “only if I tell them to.” While my playful side loves uttering this phrase with a half-maniacal grin,…

The End of Purpose: Robotic Implications

The whole point of robotics is to make our lives easier. Designers aim to take steps out of someone’s day (drive your car, prep your meal, brush your teeth, etc.) and transfer that responsibility to a machine of some kind. In theory, this setup sounds ideal – the more mundane tasks we can transfer to…

Artificial Bosses and Robot Employees

5 Tips to Getting the Most Out of Your Robotic Workforce.  So you’ve made the leap to automating part or all of your workforce with robotic employees or “roploys.” Congratulations, you are at the forefront of the robotics movement and are leading the charge forward towards a new era of workplace operations and productivity. However,…

Half Man, Half Machine, All Centaur

A robot is going to steal your job. AI is only a handful of years away from being smarter than you. The bot uprising is coming to enslave or kill us all. Deep learning is creating code that we can’t understand. The great digital divide is coming. Maybe. Or maybe there is another path forward….

Talking to Yourself: Deconstructing Chatbots

Scanning is a tool used in foresight to uncover weak signals that herald shifts within different industries, behavioral changes, and other emerging movements that will shape the future. To uncover the types of signals that give way to true breakthroughs, our goal must not simply be breadth of exploration, but also depth of analysis if…

Robotic UX is Playing God

And I, for one, am both wildly excited and extremely terrified. This isn’t simply because of my twisted delusions of supernatural infallibility, or the fact that I still daydream about taking over the world with an army of mechanized minions. Nay, I’m interested in experience design for robots because it gives us the opportunity to…

Biobotics: The Automation of Life

This article was written in 2014 for MISC magazine, but not that much has changed yet. When most people hear the term “robot,” they picture a mass of lumbering metal powered by batteries, motors, electrical wires, and circuit boards. However, recent advancements have forced me to rethink my own definition of a field I’ve been…

Sexbots and Terminators: Exploring Gender in AI

Article written with Victoria Scrubb and originally appeared in MISC magazine. We’re playing God again. Every day it seems that videos, articles, or images emerge of humanity’s latest triumph in the robotics world and, with each subsequent release, we inch closer and closer to looking at ourselves through a digital mirror. Our ability to push…