Frances Ashcroft’s new book details how electricity in the body fuels everything we think, feel or do. She tells Fresh Air about discovering a new protein, how scientists are like novelists and how she wanted to be a farmer’s wife.
Tagged with “spark” (21)
Blogging pioneer, and former Spark guest, Anil Dash argues when companies push for intrusive Terms of Service, users need to push back. He speaks with Nora Young about why we should become Terms of Service activists and whether governments need to get involved to help companies stay in line.
Good interview with Andrew Blum on his new book, Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet, about the physical structure of the Internet.
This week on Spark: We find out all about Angelina, the AI program that designs simple video games from scratch. Also, how to make robots more lovable, how a Roomba can work in harmony with your cat, and whether humans are tempted to destroy robots if given the chance. More robot fever, on Spark!
Michael Cook is a PhD student at Imperial College, and he’s fascinated by video games. He’s also fascinated by artificial intelligence, and he’s fascinated by creativity. And so, he’s found the perfect research – exploring whether Angelina, an artificial intelligence program he’s created, can design video games from scratch.
We know that human beings attach emotions to robots. We tend to think of them as anthropomorphic, even if we know they’re not alive. Young designer Julia Ringler wanted to know if humans would actually hurt robots, given the chance and how humans would feel about doing it. She engineered an experiment to find out.
As we move towards a future with robots and smart devices everywhere, the focus is usually on designing these objects to be as smart as people. But what if we created them instead to be as smart as a puppies? That’s a design philosophy Matt Jones embraces. He’s a principal at a design company called BERG and he wondered if it was possible to develop user interfaces to be well, a little more loveable. He calls his design theory “Be as smart as a puppy” (or BASAAP) – instead of designing for “artificial intelligence” we should emphasize “artificial empathy”.
Carlos Asmat is a young Montreal engineer with an idea for a social networking service: a social network for robots. As we get more and more ‘smart’ objects in our environment – from sensors to Roomba robots – what would happen if you could connect those objects so they can share updates and data?
- Joanne McNeil of Tomorrow Museum explains her take on the iPad’s lack of multitasking
- Apple announces multtiasking in iPhone OS 4
- Nora mentions the Spark slow web toolkit and her full interview with Jeff MacIntyre
- Tom Lucier‘s social media baby moratorium
- Swiss Miss Tina Roth Eisenberg tries some extreme crowdsourcing (full interview)
- Mayor Nicolai Wammen considers changing the name of Århus, Denmark, to Aarhus, Denmark
- CBC Radio 3‘s Grant Lawrence uses failin.gs to ask, “What’s wrong with me?”
- Daniel Pink on motivation 3.0
- Daniel’s book is Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
Music and sound effects used in this episode:
- Countdown by Corsica_S “oneSidedConversation” by airtone
- “Slow Down” (1941) by King Cole Trio
- “Humming” by fLako Music from “Music for Underwater Listening” by Podington Bear
- “I’ll Never Fail You” (1938) by Teddy Wilson And His Orchestra
- “Backed Vibes (clean)” by Kevin MacLeod
For more information (and instructions) visit http://cbc.ca/podcasting
These days, authors are increasingly expected to do more than just, you know, write books. They’re expected to have a presence on social media, to have a public profile, and to connect with fans and potential new readers. Baratunde Thurston is taking that a step further. Actually, he’s taking it several steps further. He’s a comedian, Director of Digital for The Onion, and he’s the author of the forthcoming book, How to Be Black. He’s assembled a volunteer ‘street team’ to help market the book through word-of-mouth and social media, and is modeling the marketing of the book on a political campaign. Is this the future for all authors? And what if you’re a low profile person who just wants to write?
Jon Kalish brings us the latest DIY trend: hackerspaces popping up at public libraries across North America. He’ll tell us why the re-purposing of public libraries is revolutionizing the way we think about libraries, turning them into places where we can make things.
Cathi Bond is here to talk about the trend of niche publications – having a subscription that’s not to a magazine, but to actual physical objects that come in the mail. It’s a different, analog approach to customization. Hyper-curated almost. And Cathi and Nora wonder if it’s an example of a post-digital fetishization of artifacts.
Last week, Nora interviewed David Weinberger about libraries of the future. David is a writer, a senior research at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, and he’s the co-director of The Harvard Library Innovation Lab. Nora and David discussed two projects the lab is working on, both related to metadata – information about information – and how it impacts the ways we find and navigate knowledge.
So if you were waiting for a public radio podcast about library metadata (and really, who hasn’t?) today’s your lucky day.
This week on Spark: There’s been a sharp decline in the number of young people going into the field of Computer Science lately. We try to find out why so-called digital natives lack interest in how our digital world works, and why learning to program should be basic literacy for us all.
On this episode of Spark: Programmers, Hybrids, and Cyborgs – oh my!
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