The technological singularity has a human ambassador in Boston University writing professorJoelle Renstrom .
Speaking at HubWeek , Boston’s weeklong festival on art, science, and innovation, Renstrom brought the radical rise of modern technology front and center, then asked the audience to think about what comes next. Owning a driverless car? Having sex with robots? “Hiring” machines to care for your kids or elderly family?
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While these scenarios might sound a little silly at present, she illustrated that they are lurking just around the corner for all of us.
In 2011, Renstrom began publishing CouldThisHappen.com , a blog that picked apart science-fiction nuggets to get at their scientific truth and feasibility. She took a crack at good old-fashioned teleportation . She visited a California biohacking group to investigate their sight-enhancing eyedrops . When a ” Star Wars” scene famously saw the characters navigate an asteroid field, she raised questions about how easily those asteroids could be mined for their resources.
“The only thing I’ve ever really wanted to be is a writer,” says Renstrom. She emerged from academia with a English and writing degree from the University of Michigan, then got a master’s degree in fiction from the University of British Columbia. “The science stuff happened because I’ve always been a big sci-fi nerd, but I have zero science background — I haven’t taken a science class since, like, tenth grade, so that’s where my impostor syndrome kicks in.”
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