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Introducing Machines With Brains: What it means to be human in a world that’s increasingly filled with robots

  • Lauren Alix Brown
By Lauren Alix Brown

Director of Special Projects

Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

Today we’re excited to present our most ambitious special project to date, Machines With Brains. It’s an outgrowth of our obsession with artificial intelligence, robots, drones, self-driving cars, and chatbots. While the obsession focuses on the latest news and advancements in robotics and AI, today’s project delves more deeply into what it means to be human in a world that is increasingly powered by these technologies.

The stories in this series took reporters from Milton, Wisconsin, to Chongqing, China. The result is 13 longform, interactive stories, with original photography, illustration, and video.

  • Chris Atkeson at Carnegie Mellon where he developed Baymax for Big Hero 6 and continues to be a pioneer in the field of soft robotics.

At the heart of each story is the very human desire to feel more whole.

This project combines the depth of a narrative magazine with the agility of digital media and Quartz’s mobile-native approach. The interface is heavily tactile and encourages you to interact by swiping and tapping through stories. Videos are made to work best on your phone.

The launch sponsor for this project is HPE. You’ll find their bot Hugo integrated in the project.

We hope you enjoy these stories and will let us know what you think at

📬 Kick off each morning with coffee and the Daily Brief (BYO coffee).

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