NPR

Artists And Criminals: On The Cutting Edge Of Tech

Sci-fi authors like William Gibson foresaw what the Internet would bring. Inspired by their visions, NPR's Laura Sydell set out to see what artists and criminals think about and do with technology.
Sci-fi writer William Gibson says the best way to imagine new technologies and how they could affect society is not through current expertise but by talking to "either artists or criminals." Source: Ron Bull

Like a lot of science fiction fans, I read William Gibson's visionary novel Neuromancer not long after it came out in 1984. It painted a dystopian world where people spent most of their time on computers communicating across networks in "cyberspace."

When I read it, I thought it was an engaging fantasy. Now, over 30 years later, the prescience of Gibson's novel is unquestionable. In the intervening years, I've wondered how he and other artists were

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR6 min read
A Pop Cyborg With A Human Heart
As the voice of Chairlift, Caroline Polachek crisscrossed indie and mainstream tastes. Her solo LP adds digital flex to that voice, melding real and "enhanced" performance into one penetrating force.
NPR3 min read
Mattis Takes Swipe At Trump: 'I Earned My Spurs On The Battlefield'
In a speech blending humor with a serious message, the former secretary of defense also quoted a warning by Lincoln against a leader "unfettered by conscience, precedent or decency."
NPR2 min read
Summer Walker: Tiny Desk Concert
One week after releasing a record-shattering studio debut, the Atlanta native brings a glowing R&B set to the Tiny Desk.