When companies develop a new technology, do they ask how it might affect the people who will actually use it? That, more or less, sums up Brian David Johnson’s duties as Intel’s futurist-in-residence. In this fascinating book, Johnson provides a collection of science fiction prototyping stories that attempt to answer the question.
These stories focus on the same theme: scientists and thinkers exploring personal robotics as a new form of artificial intelligence. This isn’t fanciful speculation. Johnson’s stories are based on Intel’s futurecasting research, which uses ethnographic field studies, technology research, trend data, and science fiction to develop a pragmatic vision of consumers and computing. 21st Century Robot presents science fiction designed to bring about science fact.
Get real insight into technology and the future with this book. It will open your eyes.
The future is Brian David Johnson's business. As a futurist at Intel Corporation, his charter is to develop an actionable vision for computing in 2020. His work is called "future casting"—using ethnographic field studies, technology research, trend data, and even science fiction to provide Intel with a pragmatic vision of consumers and computing. Along with reinventing TV, Johnson has been pioneering development in artificial intelligence, robotics, and using science fiction as a design tool. He speaks and writes extensively about future technologies in articles and scientific papers as well as science fiction short stories and novels (Fake Plastic Love, Nebulous Mechanisms: The Dr. Simon Egerton Stories and the forthcoming This Is Planet Earth). He has directed two feature films and is an illustrator and commissioned painter.
This was a fun read with some interesting scifi stories included. I was disappointed that all the references to great stuff at the website were still "coming soon" when I actually went to the site. There was a $1600 robot kit available, but apps for the robot as well as the mentioned "brain" software links don't work yet. Will revisit if these links come up soon.
Bottom Line Yes, I would recommend this to a friend