Show 23 – First broadcast 17th Oct 2008
Science in the News
Is it a bird? Is it a pterodactyl? no its a spy plane. Noel talks to Dr Rick Lind from the University of Florida about his plans with paleontologist, Sankar Chatterjee of Texas University, to build a spy plane base on the Pterodactyl.
Ross asks Noel to explain the Turing test and then has a go at a conversation with the just won the Loebner prize for for fooling humans into thinking it is human with hilarious results. Noel and Ross were not impressed. You can try it out yourself here.
Noel and Ross talk about Noel’s latest piece for the Guardian Science Blog about a “cut and paste” journalism confusion that mixed up two stories and had the disable and elderly wearing a 1 meter tall android girl suit. The confusion was over the Android Girl, Repliee R1 developed at the Osaka University in Japan and the HAL robot suit for helping the disable to walk – the one we talked about in last weeks show. Are you confused – then read the article and see the video clips
Noel then talks to Android scientist Dr Karl MacDorman, an Associate Professor at Indiana University, USA who, until recently, worked at the famous Osaka labs where the made Repliee R1. They discuss the crazy story and go on to talk about Androids in general and the Uncanny Valley.
Increased pesticide resistance, air travel and climate change mean that bedbug infestations are on the rise. Ross speaks to Dr Klaus Reinhardt from Sheffield University about bedbugs, and why people can’t recognise them any more.
Feature: From Climate Change to War: a report by a UK think tank
Noel tells us about a provocative report published by a British NGO, Forum for the Future, which carries out strategic analysis on sustainable development on behalf of business.
Then Noel talks to Rear Admiral Chris Parry, a strategic analyst and predictor of future conflicts, on the line to put the story into perspective.
Music on the Programme
Intro: Element 105 by DBL JUG studios followed by Polar Bear’s Dim Lit
News: Matthew Herbert music
Feature: Mean ol’ bedbug blues by Bessie smith
Outro Track: Belfast Train by the legendary Henry McCullough (Grease Band with Jo Cocker and Wings with Paul McCartney)
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