Gods and Robots: Myths, Machines, and Ancient Dreams of Technology
The fascinating untold story of how the ancients imagined robots and other forms of artificial life—and even invented real automated machines
The first robot to walk the earth was a bronze giant called Talos. This wondrous machine was created not by MIT Robotics Lab, but by Hephaestus, the Greek god of invention. More than 2,500 years ago, long before medieval automata, a...more
Here's the WSJ review, likely paywalled: http://www.wsj.com/articles/gods-and...
"You could be forgiven for rolling your eyes at the front cover of Adrienne Mayor’s “Gods and Robots.” It depicts a generic ancient Greek—pointy beard, knee-length tunic—using a hammer to fix an arm onto a dinky robot skeleton. At first sight, this looks very much like a variant on that tired visual trope of ancient marble statues wearing Ray-Bans and suchl ...more
Adrienne Mayor has written a book which provides further evidence of the versatility of myth. And another means to find new meanings in these (very) old stories.
As her book strengthens the case for the study of myth, she also shows how myth has helped scholars, scientists, cra ...more
Os mitos ...more
This is not so much a revelation is a reinterpretation, a different way of looking at those old myths and ideas through the lens of automation and artificial life. I know some might object to the idea of the ancient Greeks thinking in those terms, but there's no way to say for certain that none of them did. This notion that we can't think beyond technological precedent is absurd. Speak ...more
My favorite chapter, for a certain value of "favorite," was the one about how apparently a lot of men were sexually attracted to statues and it wasn't just a Galatea thing.