Janelle Shane+ Your Authors @JanelleCShane I blog at aiweirdness.com/. My book "You Look Like a Thing and I Love You" is out Nov 5th! Research Scientist in optics. she/her. wandering.shop/@janellecshane Nov. 04, 2019 1 min read + Your Authors

On the feral self-driving scooters of NYC

The op ed is from 2031, written by a behavioral ecologist studying self-driving scooters with evolutionary programming, who have been evolving on the streets of NYC for 10 years.

Online reviews of the scooters are ...mixed

The scooter evolution is as realistic as I could make it - given the goal of maximizing fare and avoiding dead batteries, it only makes sense that the scooters would devise strategies that don’t, um, prioritize human convenience.

Think of them as giant blue beeping pigeons

I got inspired to write about feral scooter competition and lifecycles after this tweet by @mark_riedl

or west side story style dance fights between ThreeBeeps and BeepBoops

Fun fact: The company Interscone and the currency CloudBark were both named by a neural net I trained on startup company names

my secret hope is that people start leaving year-2031 comments and reviews on the nyt site like they did for @fran_wilde's awesome bioprinter story

i used the GROVER neural fake news generator to get more details on what the future feral self-driving scooters are up to.

actually really impressed that the neural net managed to adapt to such a weird headline


I write more about evolutionary algorithms, and artificial organisms adapting to really weird environments, in my book that comes out TOMORROW(!!):

It's all fun and games until you become a werescooter

"When you're a boop, you're a boop all the way, from your first boot up to you last dying day..."

You can follow @JanelleCShane.


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