Our Robots, Ourselves: Robotics and the Myths of Autonomy

A book review by David Mindell at Microsoft Research


All autonomous systems are joint human-machine cognitive systems.

There are no fully autonomous systems just as there are no fully autonomous soldiers, sailors, airmen or Marines.

From drones to Mars rovers—an exploration of the most innovative use of robots today and a provocative argument for the crucial role of humans in our increasingly technological future. Take a look at the cutting edge of robotics today, debunking commonly held myths and exploring rapidly changing relationships between humans and machines. Explore extreme environments —high atmosphere, deep ocean, and outer space—to reveal where the most advanced robotics already exist. Clarifying misconceptions about the autonomous robot, offering instead a hopeful message about what he calls “rich human presence” at the center of the technological landscape we are now creating.

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