Show 18 – First broadcast 12th September 2008
Science in the News
The biggest event on the science news this week, actually this millennia, was the Large Hadron Collider started up in CERN this week.
It starts with no problems but there are human problems – Indian girl commits suicide because she is scared about the big experiement. Professor Higgs of the Higgs boson has a public spat with Stephen Hawking.
Mover and Shaker:The Father of AI
Professor John McCarthy, the father of Artificial Intelligence and the man who gave us the term, talks to Noel about why he chose the name and what was going on in the mid-1950s at the birth of AI. Professor McCarthy answers questions about what is AI for the layperson. In the interview he talks about how he sees AI developing and his hopes for the future.
History of 20th century robotics part 8: Robbie
Noel gets to 1940 this week and introduces part 1 of Isaac Asimov’s first robot story, Robbie: Gloria Weston loves her robot childminder/companion Robbie. In fact she loves him too much for the liking of her mother and so she persuades her husband to get rid of it. Gloria is inconsolable and the mother is made out to be the villian of the piece. But is she really? Think about it – her child wont play with other kids or do anything else without Robbie. She is so bonded with it. Yet Asimov manages to make us take the side of the little girl and her dad.
The story comes from the Asimov collection, I Robot, and does not figure in the Will Smith movie.
Music on the show
Intro: Sound of Silence, Beastie Boys followed by Polar Bear
News: Mathew Herbert music
Movers and Shakers, Mathew Herbert.
History of 20th Century Robots: The theme music is Tic by Niall Griffith, Glen Miller – In the mood
Outro: Joe McKenna on Irish Whistles and Ullean pipes: Rowesome’s and The stone in the field
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