A robot offers some acorns to a squirrel, and a connection emerges between two life-forms—one artificial, one authentic. Empathy is part of an ongoing series by science-fiction artist Donato Giancola that centers on sentient robots that see the world with naiveté.
Giancola likes the robots because, he says, “they become a really broad representation of humanity and our technology,” though he concedes that “artificial intelligence probably isn’t going to be embodied inside a walking, talking robot.”
Nevertheless, the scene conjures a future in which A.I. is so advanced, it includes sophisticated emotion—like empathy for a hungry squirrel.
This article was originally published in the July/August 2016 issue of Popular Science.