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I, Reboot?

The idea of artificial intelligence, from sentient robots to web-connected hive minds, has always played a significant role in SF, but there is still potential to explore new developments, says Alex Davis

It‘s not uncommon for sciencefiction of the past to later become science-fact – in fact given the volume of work put out in the genre‘s early days, and the number of authors involved with a strong understanding of science and technology, it was almost bound to happen. That‘s not to say that SF hasn‘t made a range of wild and outlandish claims to boot – as fiction it has to be imaginative and paint pictures of a certain future. And besides, who‘s to say that things that haven‘t come true yet may not come true some day? Our science and technology is advancing at a rate that is exponential and could lead us to any number of incredible advances not in the distant future, but in our own lifetimes.

One area where science-fiction has been pretty accurate – or at least it certainly appears to be shaping up that way – has been the development of artificial intelligence. A world where robots and computers are now capable of doing jobs that used to be done by humans, where AI can ‘out-think ‘ people in certain aspects, where human reliance on technology is growing and growing all the time.

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