My very first monthly wrapup went fine, and you seemed to have liked it. Here we go with the second one:
That research project takes most of my work:
Which innovations and usages are to be expected in the area of devices with embodied A.I.?
That is really fun. It includes lots of reading. See below for some non-fiction book reads, like the future of food production, or getting the superintelligence right.
There was some more crazy stuff like Asteroid mining and the Space Elevator. When you think it gets too crazy, then there are always engineers who are exactly working on this, right?
While those reads where fun and fancy, I digged deeper into embodied AI for elderly care / “Ambient Assisted Living” – mostly Service Robots. This area hasn’t seen many productive solutions and I wondered why. As it turns out, this is one of most complex ares of robotics:
1. no separation from humans but needing to work with them, e.g. for lifting or laying down.
2. An unresolved problem is also universal gripping, e.g. when the robot would have to wash the person.
3. Those robots need to be very bulky, because lifting a person causes lots of force (as every nurse can tell you), and homes are often not large enough for all that metal.
4. And most importantly: previous projects most oftenly were technic oriented, instead of really taking care of the stakeholder (patients, nurses,…) needs.
Everyone tells me that they are far advanced in Japan, and I need to look into that further.
As for reading novels, things have been slower this month. I won’t list the numerous short story reviews, but here are novels, novellas, and chit-chat posts:
Read in February
I felt heavily pressed, having an obligation to read through far too many Netgalley ARCs. I pledged to stop pressing the request button during Lente, and I have been successful so far. The effect will be seen in one or two months, but at least the obligation doesn’t get denser in March. What I really want to achieve is to open up time for my tbr books.
I haven’t posted exactly as regularly as the months before, but on average there was one post per day. Nothing wrong with that, because work picked up, and I also viewed a little bit more on TV.
This was a really bad month for novels. The only real exception was my finished re-hearing of Sanderson’s Words of Radiance which took around 4 months (every now and then an hour).
- ★☆☆☆☆ • The Priory of the Orange Tree • 2019 • High Fantasy novel by Samantha Shannon • Last month I said “this flows exceptionally well”. But February started and it went downhill.
- ★★★★☆ • The Velocity of Revolution • 2021 • Dieselpunk novel by Marshall Ryan Maresca • Read in January, reviewed in February
- ★☆☆☆☆ • The Unfinished Land • 2021 • Fantasy novel by Greg Bear • DNF at 70%, I wanted to love this but didn’t manage it
- ★★☆☆☆ • The Galaxy, and the Ground Within • 2021 • Space Opera by Becky Chambers • This last volume in the series continued the downward trend; is Chambers a two-hit-wonder?
- ★★★☆☆ • A Caller’s Game • 2021 • Thriller by J.D. Barker • thrillers are not my usually reading diet, but this one broke the bad reading streak
Unfinished, but with progress is Rereading the Wheel of Time – Progress Report 2
First time for this category.
- ★★★★☆ • Rethinking Food and Agriculture 2020-2030 • 2020 • by Catherine Tubb & Tony Seba
- ★★★★★ • Human Compatible: Artificial Intelligence and the Problem of Control • 2019 • Non-fiction book by Stuart Russel
- ★+☆☆☆☆ • The Real J.R.R. Tolkien: The Man who created Middle-Earth • 2021 • Non-fiction book by Jesse Xander
Novellas and collections
- ★★★☆☆ • The Best of Elizabeth Hand • 2021 • Mixed Genre Collection by Elizabeth Hand
- ★★★★☆ • The Best of Walter Jon Williams • 2021 • Mixed Genre Collection by Walter Jon Williams
Meta (Tags, Awards, Lists)
The most often read posts were the same as the month before. This has a good chance of getting repetitive.
- The Ones Who Stay and Fight • 2018 • Utopia short story by N. K. Jemisin
- The Perfect Match • 2012 • Dystopian short story by Ken Liu
- Dacey’s Patent Automatic Nanny • 2011 • Steampunk short story by Ted Chiang
- The Nine Curves River • 2020 • Fantasy short story by R. F. Kuang
From this month’s posts, most often viewed were:
- 2020 Locus Recommended Reading List
- The Priory of the Orange Tree • 2019 • High Fantasy novel by Samantha Shannon
- reviewed by Giulia: Winter’s Orbit • 2021 • Sci-Fi novel by Everina Maxwell
Reading Plans for March
The Wheel of Time ReRead will be continued.
Today, I started re-hearing Sanderson’s Oathbringer.
Then, there are lots of work reads (see above) and the following ARCs.
Five ARCs are planned in March:
- One Day All This will be Yours by Adrian Tchaikovsky – already read, but not reviewed
- The Conductors by Nicole Glover
- William Gibson and the Future of Contemporary Culture – a non-fiction book
- The Two-Faced Queen by Nick Martell
- Robot Artists and Black Swans a collection by Bruce Sterling