In this morning stroll through Engadget I came across two stories that related to the science of Rubble and Ruin. When I wrote R&R I was trying to take modern science as seen from my perspective as a professional scientist and project to a near future where everything was cranked up to 11.
For AI brains being used to “man” automated weapons systems I give you http://www.engadget.com/2011/01/13/darpas-msee-to-develop-new-mathematical-language-race-of-senti/.
Of more interest to me, R&R has a “fantasy” element of nano-psionics. This was intended to represent some new discoveries coming out of the Second Global War that could not be predicted from our current vantage point – the idea being something like asking someone in 1910 to predict the atomic bomb. There were probably people thinking in terms of both big bombs and unlocking the power of the atoms, but I don’t think anyone had a clear idea of how it would be done. Likewise I don’t believe anything like nano-psionics will appear in our future, but I do believe there will be things we have yet to think of. Still, it was interesting to see that people are using tattoos of subdermal nano-particles to create biomonitors. See this link: http://www.engadget.com/2011/07/21/fluorescent-nanosensor-tattoo-monitors-glucose-under-the-iphone/