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‘Robopocalypse’ author to visit Sycamore, NIU

Published: Tuesday, June 17, 2014 6:53 a.m. CDT

Are you smarter than your smart phone? Can you outdrive a self-driving car? The technology we rely on is becoming more and more sophisticated, but could humanity survive if that technology turned evil?

That’s the premise of Daniel H. Wilson’s novel “Robopocalypse.” Wilson will visit Northern Illinois University and Sycamore Public Library to discuss his writing, his work, and the possibility of surviving a future war against robots.

In “Robopocalypse,” a powerful artificial intelligence called Archos becomes self-aware and perpetrates a massive attack against humanity by taking control of the machines we rely on. Everything – children’s toys, self-driving cars, bomb-defusing robots – is used to bring humanity to its knees. The survivors of the initial attacks have to band together and find new ways to use technology to survive.

Wilson has a master’s degree in artificial intelligence and robotics and a PhD in robotics from Carnegie Mellon University. He is the author of several novels, and is adapting “Robopocalypse” for Steven Spielberg and DreamWorks.

Wilson will speak at NIU’s La Tourette Hall Room 200 at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 19. He will also speak at Sycamore Public Library at noon on Friday, June 20, as part of the library’s Lunch with a Legend program. Both of these events are free and open to the public. Free lunch will be provided at Lunch with a Legend. 

The events are hosted by NIU STEM Read, a program that encourages readers to explore the science behind science fiction. STEM Read creates live author events as well as online games, expert videos, and lesson plans to help readers engage with the science, technology, engineering, and math in their favorite books. Learn more about the program at stemread.niu.edu.

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