Kootenai River in NW Montana, near Canadian Border

Kootenai River in NW Montana, near Canadian Border
photo by Gene Tunick of Eureka, Montana

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Tip O'Day 230 - Robots in SciFi (Part I)

Guest blogger Gary Starta on sentient machines.

My inspiration to write the novel, Gods of the Machines, basically comes down to one word of inspiration: sentient. Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines sentient as “feeling or sensation as distinguished from perception or thought.” The ability to feel defines our consciousness as humans. It is what distinguishes us from other devices capable of thought or calculation, i.e. computers. And although that line of separation, the inability of your laptop to feel emotion, is pretty thick at the moment, there may come a time when that line will either be blurred or crossed. Maybe you are skeptical that robots or perhaps, androids – beings that resemble humans – will ever exist in the way we see them in movies such as I, Robot. But there are signs that technology is advancing and that robotics is becoming more and more integrated into our everyday life.

The latest cutting-edge cell phone operating system is called Android (Droid for short). Although a phone is a long way from a walking, talking android, it seems to show the very idea of such technology is seeping into the consumer consciousness. In Japan, actual android/robots have been created! They have skin made of silicon, and sensors allow them to react. They appear to blink and even breathe! But what they don’t possess is sentience. And because they don’t, I believe these creations will be ripe for exploitation. Robots are already in use in battlefields. Androids such as the life-like creations in Japan may be used for servitude as well, perhaps as nursing aides.
Gary's comments will continue on Dec 2, including the premise of Gods of the Machines.


  1. This blog reminds me of a Robin Williams film, where he plays a robot with feelings. From what I have heard over the years: There has been efforts to use robots into every day activities. Maybe researchers have all the bugs out, but I certainly hope it doesn't happen in my life time. We were not placed on this Earth for robots to take over even the task of washing dishes or your car.

  2. Let's Let It Be Said: NEW IS BETTER.
    You have the newest idea since sliced bread and butter. Then why not write about it?

    Non-fiction or true to life stories seem to be popular right now. Poetry and How To books and even Cook Books are also popular. And lately it has been, the scarier the better Adult Fiction stories.

    More and more people I have talked to, have claimed they do not have time to read. Even with these new reading devices, people just aren't reading like they use to. Including me: Oh I have used the excuse that I am reading the manuscripts of the new authors I mentor. I have even used the excuse that I am too busy reading my own books and my daughters before they go to the editors. Even buying or receiving a reading device would not give me cause to start reading again right now. I have certain books I use to love to read. I just recently started reading these blogs. I thought I did not have time, but I did. I still got my manuscript done before it's deadline. There are no excuses. Well most the books I like to read are hard for me to read, because the font is too small and they do not make them in large print. That is why I offer all my books in a larger print than normal font size books.