Ancient World

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

Paperback

Price:
$18.95 / £15.99
ISBN:
Published:
04/21/2020
Pages:
296
Size:
5.25 x 8 in.
Illus:
11 color + 75 b/w illus.
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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, Greek mythology was exploring ideas about creating artificial life—and grappling with still-unresolved ethical concerns about biotechne, “life through craft.” In this compelling, richly illustrated book, Adrienne Mayor tells the fascinating story of how ancient Greek, Roman, Indian, and Chinese myths envisioned artificial life, automata, self-moving devices, and human enhancements—and how these visions relate to and reflect the ancient invention of real animated machines. Revealing how science has always been driven by imagination, and how some of today’s most advanced tech innovations were foreshadowed in ancient myth, Gods and Robots is a gripping new story of mythology for the age of AI.


Awards and Recognition

  • One of BookAuthority’s Three Best New Robotics Audiobooks To Read in 2019