Category Archives: Non-fiction

Alternate Yous

I’ve got an article up on the HarperVoyager UK blog, entitled Alternate Yous, wherein I discuss our long-standing fascination with fictional clones, as well as our unending obsession with nature vs. nurture.

Here’s a breif excerpt:

In Noumenon, I explore the concept of clones as a ‘fix.’  Early in the novel, clones are thought to be the best way to ensure an interstellar convoy’s success.  The mission planners believe if they take genetic information from well-vetted sources that it will give them more control over the many variables that could shift in the mission over the centuries.

But does it offer more control?  Would populating generation ships with genetically identical crews over and over actually create stability? Our experiences are part of who we are, and an Earth-based mission-control cannot regulate every incident aboard such a convoy.

It’s the classic nature vs. nurture argument: do our genes make us who we are, or do our experiences?

If you’d like to read the whole thing, head on over here!

Happy reading!

~Marina

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , ,

From Robby to Roomba: Article up at Tor.com!

Hello, all! Happy Earth Day! Do not fear the singularity, meaty Earth inhabitants!

In honor of Earth Day, Nicky Drayden (Author of THE PREY OF GODS) and I teamed up to do a roundtable interview with futurists and AI specialists to bring you a science-based look at our favorite sci-fi staple: artificial intelligence.

Our amazing participants include Felix Yuan (twitter), an AI engineer and sci-fi author; Ross Goodwin (twitter), an artist and technologist; and Martin Ford ( twitter), a futurist and non-fiction author.

Here’s a taste:

What are some common misconceptions about the current state of Artificial Intelligence?

ROSS: That AI should and will be human shaped, and that it will destroy us all. These are both wonderful fictional elements that have made many stories about AI the ones we know and love today, but they’re not healthy slices of reality. Real design requires real thought and consideration. (For example, ask yourself the following question: which robot makes more sense in real life: C3PO or R2D2? The answer should be obvious.)

MARTIN: Many people both under- and overestimate where we are regarding AI. They tend to underestimate the potential for specialized AI to have enormous impacts on society—in terms of white-collar jobs being automated, as well as in areas like privacy and so forth. On the other hand, many people overestimate how close we are to the true human-level AI you see in science fiction movies.

FELIX: I think the biggest misconception of AI is what AI actually is. I think there’s a grand expectation that AI is going to manifest itself as some sort of high level intelligence that is, if not human-like, will compete at the level of humanity or surpass it. The reality is that AI is already among us in way more mundane ways from playing ancient board games all the way to driving cars. It’s much more limited than the public perception of it, which makes it all the more fascinating.

Read the rest here!

You can look for more Earth Day science brought to you by Harper Voyager authors by following the #HVsciencefair hashtag on twitter.

As always, happy reading!

~Marina (author of NOUMENON…  😉 )

 

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Penumbra Article

I’m still on hiatus, really I am.  Just wanted to pop in to let you know that I’ve got a short article on grounding the reader up at Penumbra’s blog.

Hope you find it helpful!

~Marina

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: