The Greek myth of Talos, the first robot - Adrienne Mayor
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This is a link that explains how Adrienne Mayor investigated ancient Greek myths that described automatons like Talos, self-moving devices, and replicants, in what could be called the first-ever science fiction tales. Introduction to Adrienne Mayor, Gods and Robots: Myths, Machines, and Ancient Dreams of Technology (Princeton University Press, 2018)
Talos was not just famous in ancient Greece. The story of the bronze robot continued to fascinate people in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, right up to the present day. Military scientists are inspired by the idea of an invulnerable guardian made of indestructible materials. Talos: The Bronze Robot of Ancient Greek Myth and His Afterlife
In this podcast theoretical physicist Sean Carroll interviews Adrienne Mayor about her book Gods and Robots. They discuss the details of Talos and his defense of King Minos's kingdom of Crete, the robot's inner workings and power source, and his ultimate demise.
Both Talos and the artificial woman Pandora were commissioned by autocratic rulers and they both brought harm to human beings. The myths foreshadow anxieties about automatons and AI.
Click here for more about Medea, the sorceress who hacked Talos's system.
Real self-moving machines and automatons were actually constructed by brilliant inventors beginning in the Fourth Century BC. This article tells how plans for automatons traveled between the ancient Greek world and India.
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