Every now and then, I read something very enlightening and surprising, and I find myself blown away that more people don’t know about it. It’s usually buried on the 15th page of a newspaper that seems far more front page worthy than whatever’s there. I wonder: why aren’t more people talking about this? Each month, I’ll call one out and provide a line of perspective. Send me any ideas you have!
The Writer Automaton, Switzerland
This story’s amalgamation of engineering, precision controls and life science made it very interesting to me. The fact that it resulted in a doll created 240 years ago that can write custom text up to 40 letters long…that is outright mind-blowing. And of course, as a writer I couldn’t help but appreciate the irony that a wooden statue operates autonomously as an author.
At first I just thought this was a cool idea, but the more I thought about it the more applicable to bigger-picture-thriller-type thinking I found the concept to be. If you believe there are limits to what scientists today can do to advance the fields of artificial intelligence and robotics, this story about what a watchmaker did two-and-a-half centuries ago might make you think twice.