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ANDROIDS ALL AROUND US

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landing of two NASA robotic planetary explorers on Mars), we have yet to find evidence of alien beings anywhere that our spacecraft and telescopes can reach. Perhaps we never will, so the creation right here on Earth of a race that complements humanity has special appeal.

No matter what emerges from controversies about robotic con- sciousness or the morality of making artificial beings, no matter what approach to artificial intelligence proves effective, one thing is clear: Without digital electronics and digital computation, we could not begin to consider artificial intelligence and artificial sensory appara- tus, the physical control of synthetic bodies, and the construction of interfaces between living and nonliving systems.Although the history of artificial beings has presented many ways to create them, animate them, and give them intelligence, now we are truly entering an era of digital people.

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