December 31, 2006

New York Times: Where the hell is Mike Myers?

Dear Ed Leibowitz,

Thank you very much for writing the informative article, "Mike Myers: Intentional Man of Mystery." Your piece had a very clever title. However, why did you have to call my book "obscure?" Why not something equally accurate but better? Like "shiny?" In any case, my goofy book about robot uprisings was featured in the science section of the NYT earlier this year. That piece was written by Cornelia Dean. For your information, I like Cornelia better than I like you. Wait, that doesn't feel fair. I guess I like you too, Ed.


Daniel H. Wilson

December 5, 2006

New Gig for Popular Mechanics Online

I scored a new writing job for popular mechanics online -- a bi-weekly column about robots and how totally sweet and awful they are. My first column went up today and I'll have more every other week from now on.

Click to read about my life in a robot ecosystem.

November 20, 2006

Wireless Catalog

The people at the Wireless Catalog are marketing geniuses -- if I do say so myself. And I do. They are selling HOW TO SURVIVE A ROBOT UPRISING alongside a toy robot that is moderately threatening (claw hands) and extremely useful (doubles as a pencil sharpener). Pretty neat!

Click here for pencil sharpening robot goodness.

October 6, 2006

Robot-A-Day (RAD)

Okay, my friend B.T. is a funny dude. His website at has me cracking up today.

Laser apes, indeed.

September 26, 2006

Corey Flintoff and why Americans fear robots

Corey sat in for Kojo on the Washington DC-based "Kojo Nnamdi" Show on 88.5 WAMU. The producers demanded that I speak from a land line, which I don't have, so I had to barge into my neighbor's apartment and steal their phone for an hour. Thanks, Trina. Anyway, my pal Timothy Hornyak was the main event on the show -- he has written a book called Loving the Machine that goes into why the Japanese ain't scared of robots. It's a fascinating book (and radio interview). But then, I'm a geek.

Check out the radio show here.

August 30, 2006

Popular Science

I'm a columnist for Popular Mechanics and I'm sort of convinced that I must be arch-enemies with Popular Science. Nonetheless, when PopSci writer Annalee Newitz gave me a call to talk about fembots (i.e., sexy female robots, woo!), I felt obligated to answer for the good of humankind.

Read the Popular Science article here.

August 22, 2006

Air America

I had a tidy interview with Air America today. It was fun.
"The book is about learning, sure, but it's also all about saving babies and kitties from robots."

Go on and give it a listen.

August 7, 2006

The Popular Mechanics Show

My man Ben Chertoff (an editor at PM), Glenn Derene (senior technology editor at PM), and I (a rake and a roustabout) had a chat about the future of television, electric cars, and robots on the battlefield. In-teresting stuff!

Give it a listen.

June 23, 2006

washington post online chat extravaganza

Concerned readers of the Washington Post once again had their way with me on topics ranging from sex with robots, to envisioned robot battles, to whether or not our metal friends can love.

Elkton, MD: What is the probability there will be a human savior who is the robot slayer?

Daniel H. Wilson: Of course there will be a human savior to save us from the robots. It will go something like this: A washed up alcoholic trucker who just wants to get his kid back will reluctantly take on the robots and ultimately win both the respect of his son and the robot truck of his dreams.

Check out the full transcript of my washington post interview.

June 21, 2006

Robot Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

Today I returned to my alma mater -- Carnegie Mellon University -- and delivered a short keynote address during the Robot Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. The event inducted David (from the movie A.I.), the Sony AIBO, Gort (from The Day the Earth Stood Still), the SCARA robot arm, and Maria (from Metropolis). It was nerd heaven. The Master of Ceremonies was none other than Anthony Daniels -- the guy who played C-3PO in every Star Wars movie. Needless to say, I had a very good time.

Here's a bit of my speech:

"Robots have always been a combination of fact and fiction. The fictional robots in movies inspire us to build real robots. And those real robots go on to inspire Hollywood producers to pay Arnold Schwarzenegger $30 million dollars to get naked in yet another Terminator movie. It's a beautiful symbiosis of imagination and technical skill."

June 20, 2006

Countdown... with Keith Olbermann

I was interviewed by Keith on Countdown tonight. He wanted to know about the ethics of having sex with robots. It was on MSNBC's mind because of this article in the Times. I had a good time, but some of the things I said are making me cringe now *just a little bit*:

"WILSON: We'll be having sex with robots long before they're actually conscious of it."


June 9, 2006

Doomsday Scenarios on SciFi Channel

I'll be on a SciFi Channel TV show Wednesday, June 14th at 9pm EST.

The program is called "Doomsday" and it covers ten different doomsday scenarios. Guess which scenario I talk about? Oh yeah -- what if ROBOTS RUN AMUCK AND KILL ALL HUMANS? Not very likely, but preparation is key to survival...

Here is some text taken from

"Countdown to Doomsday provides a chilling look at the scenarios threatening to induce our planet's next mass extinction, and also how these catastrophes can be averted. Hosted by Matt Lauer, Countdown to Doomsday uses top of the line special effects to illustrate the knowledge and imagination of the world's leading scientists, viewers will experience the magnitude of each catastrophe as SCI FI brings the 10 shocking scenarios to life. In addition to the heart pounding "what ifs," potential solutions will also be explored. Shot around the globe, Countdown will reveal the potential consequences of ominous terrestrial threats like global warming, asteroid collisions and pandemic outbreaks. Countdown to Doomsday will premiere on Wednesday, June 14 from 9-11 PM."

May 17, 2006

WIRED Magazine Rave Award

How to Survive a Robot Uprising won a Rave Award from Wired Magazine. Over the months, the book quietly made the rounds at Wired and they evidently loved it. So did their families. Chris Anderson (the editor-in-chief) mailed over a fantastic drawing of the book's cover made by his five-year-old. It's on my refrigerator. I'm pretty much holding that kid responsible for my winning the award.

The awards ceremony was also a lot of fun. Grey Goose vodka was a sponsor of the event, which is the main reason that I talked to everybody and their mother. Literally. I spoke to Akiva Schaffer's mom for like, half an hour. (He's one of the Lonely Island guys working for Saturday Night Live.) It was just a wonderful drunken nerd-o-rama, with CEOs from and Second Life and the guy who made the World of Warcraft video game. Later, people blogged about the amazing dinner, but I never shut up long enough to pay attention.

April 27, 2006

it's like an orange on a toothpick

It's official -- Mike Myers is going to star in a movie based on my book,
How to Survive a Robot Uprising.

I'm speechless except to say, "Yeah baby!"

April 26, 2006

robots, guns, and hors d'oeuvres

Today I agreed to speak at West Point (aka the United States Military Academy at West Point). They are hosting a workshop with
30 hand-picked roboticists and military people -- all gathering to discuss robot language and machine-human interfaces.

There's even going to be a General there. Neat!

April 4, 2006

speech and debate, minus the debate

This cracks me up. A couple of highschool speech and debate kids from Duluth have adapted HOW TO SURVIVE A ROBOT UPRISING into a humorous duet. Essentially, this is about ten minutes of competitive comedy. The reason I love this so much is that I spent a lot of time in highschool as half of a humorous duet. Granted, we only competed in order to meet girls, but still -- good times!

The news story about these kids is about halfway down the page in this Hibbing Daily Tribune article. (dhw: Article no longer available...)

April 2, 2006

cat vs. robot vacuum cleaner

The cat always wins.

I received a hilarious email from Tyler, Niles, Isabella, and Griffin -- four children who market, make, and sell RoomBuds. These are bunny rabbit, ladybug, etc., - shaped coverings that fit over a Roomba to make the robot vacuum cleaner look cuter and more friendly. (And less likely to kill all humans.)

Luckily, I was able to skillfully negotiate a deal by which TNIG send me a LADYBUG RoomBud and I send them an autographed copy of HTSARU. So totally rockin'.

  My Roomba is going to be a wolf in ladybug's clothing.

February 18, 2006

journey to the center of LA

I just got back from sunny Los Angeles, where I met with my screenwriters Tom Lennon and Ben Garant on the set of their new movie Reno 911!: Miami. I saw a guy go after another guy with a weed whacker, stunt men falling from yachts, and a friend of mine wearing very short shorts. But who cares? What I really found out is that the ROBOT UPRISING is makin' progress and that the script is fantastic... woo hoo!

This time the mustaches are real. These cops are not playing around.

February 14, 2006

i (heart) the New York Times

Cory Dean wrote an extremely excellent (and fantastic) article about HOW TO SURVIVE A ROBOT UPRISING for the Science Times section of the New York Times.

Here is a link to the NYT article, subscription required.

The article was fortunately mirrored by CNET news.

January 3, 2006

now i'm a patent holder, sucka

The United States Patent Office approved my patent application and granted a patent on "System and process for selecting objects in a ubiquitous computing environment."

The patent is basically for a fancy remote control that you use by aiming and wiggling (no buttons). My friend and colleague Andy Wilson and I put it together three years ago at Microsoft Research. It's called the Xwand.