diane ackerman writes for SALON:
1- you've heard of google's robotics division? they own a medley of firms, including some minting life-size humanoids—because, in public spaces, we're more likely to ask a cherub-faced robot for info than a touchscreen.
2- apple and amazon are diving into advanced robotics as well.
3- the military has invested heavily in robots as spies, bionic gear, drones, pack animals, and bomb disposers.
4- robots already work for us with dedicated precision in factory assembly lines and operating rooms.
according to professor Hod Lipson, all this is child's play.
His focus is on a self-aware species, Robot sapiens. Our own lineage branched off many times from our apelike ancestors, and so will the flowering, subdividing lineage of robots, which perhaps needs its own Linnaean classification system. The first branch in robot evolution could split between AI and AL—artificial intelligence and artificial life.i like this one:
Taste buds rise like flaky volcanoes on different regions of the tongue, with bitter at the back, lest we swallow poisons. How hard would it be to evolve a suite of specialized “taste buds” that bear no resemblance to flesh? Flavor engineers at Nestlé in Switzerland have already created an electronic “taster” of espresso, which analyzes the gas different pulls of ristretto give off when heated, translating each bouquet of ions into such human-friendly, visceral descriptions as “roasted,” “flowery,” “woody,” “toffee,” and “acidy.”