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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The New Breed

The New Breed

What Our History with Animals Reveals about Our Future with Robots

Kate Darling

Henry Holt and Co.


The MIT Media Lab researcher and technology policy expert offers an optimistic look at our future with robots based on our historical relationships with animals.

People name their robot vacuum cleaners and feel bad for them when they get stuck. Participants in workshops refuse to strike baby dinosaur robots. Soldiers have been reported to risk their lives to save the robots they work with. Broken robot dogs get funerals.

The New Breed chronicles the past, present, and future of our relationships to animals to create a compelling vision of what our robotic future could look like. Darling argues that if we harness technology like we’ve harnessed animals in the past, we will start to see massive potential for new kinds of practices, achievements, and even relationships with machines—for the benefit of individuals and society at large.

As consumer robotics investment booms and human-robot interaction increasingly enters into workplaces and households all over the world, much space has been devoted to talking about robots as replacements for humans. The New Breed looks at our rich legal and cultural history of using animals for weaponry, work, and companionship to consider how people and machines will work together.

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Kate Darling

Dr. Kate Darling is a leading expert in robot ethics and policy. She’s a researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab, a former fellow at the Harvard Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, and the Yale Information Society Project. Darling’s work has been featured by the New Yorker, the Guardian, PBS, the Boston Globe, Wired, Slate, NPR, and more.