Pocket worthyStories to fuel your mind

The Robots Already Among Us

Amazon is now one of the largest employers in the United States, but its empire was built partly thanks to a small army of robotic workers.

Pocket Collections

Read when you’ve got time to spare.

In partnership with

As WIRED senior writer Will Knight writes in a behind-the-scenes feature article, Amazon is now rolling out thousands of new, more advanced robots. The move could have profound implications for the company’s workers, for its customers, and for ecommerce as a whole.

“Amazon’s latest robots could bring about a company-wide—and industry-wide—shift in the balance between automation and people,” Knight writes. “Certain jobs will be eliminated while new ones will emerge [...] and competitors, as always, will be forced to adapt or perish.”

Knight has spent more than a decade chronicling developments in automation, robotics, and artificial intelligence. He explains that, despite recent excitement over AI programs like ChatGPT, most industrial robots remain remarkably dumb and inflexible—largely because of the incredible challenges that come with operating in the messy physical world. And yet, rapid progress in AI, steady improvements in hardware, and rising demand for automation mean that we may well stand on the cusp of robotic revolution.

Read on for more stories about machines that are marching (and flying and rolling) this way. And when you’re ready for more, check out Knight’s Fast Forward newsletter.

Image courtesy of Figure AI / WIRED

Here Come the Underdogs of the Robot Olympics

Tom Vanderbilt

“The inspiring story of a scrappy group of undergrads who take on the world’s leading robot researchers in a contest organized by the Pentagon’s research division, Darpa.” -Will Knight, Senior Writer

Robots Show Us Who We Are

Brian Gallagher

WK: “An interview with one scientist who believes we need to give robots the ability to ‘imagine’ and share a ‘culture.’”

Humanoid Robots Are Coming of Age

Will Knight

WK: “Building a robot capable of mimicking a human’s every move is insanely difficult. So why do several startups believe they can actually pull it off?”

Will Knight

Will Knight is a senior writer for WIRED, covering artificial intelligence. He writes the Fast Forward newsletter that explores how advances in AI and other emerging technology are set to change our lives—sign up here. He was previously a senior editor at MIT Technology Review, where he wrote about fundamental advances in AI and China’s AI boom. Before that, he was an editor and writer at New Scientist. He studied anthropology and journalism in the UK before turning his attention to machines. He is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.