Can computers think? Since the 1950s we have been trying to make computers that mimic the brain's complex neural networks. There has been success with specific challenges, such as when Deep Blue beat chess champion Garry Kasparov in 1997, but consciousness and general intelligence remain long term goals. More recent developments such as IBM's question answering system Watson, and Apple's intelligent personal assistant Siri have focused on answering user's closed questions.
We speak to Sarah Kember, Professor of New Technologies of Communication at Goldsmiths University about the problems getting women into STEM, the rise of scientism and why Amazon's Alexa is like Joan from Mad Men.
Transhumanism is the subject of To Be A Machine, the the 2017 Royal Society Insight Investment Science Book Prize-shortlisted book by Mark O’Connell, which explores the philosophy and science behind improving our minds and bodies beyond what nature gave us.
As artificial intelligence starts to surpass our own intellect, robotics experts warn us of the risks of autonomous weaponry. So how human should we make machines and will we know when it is time to stop?
Songs about science – not the most likely genre to trouble to Top 40, but you’d be surprised as to how enthusiastic scientists are at teaching their art through song. Oh yes, and comedians also seem to be on a similar wavelength. Here are some of our favourite science songs.
Fear not musicians, Google’s new machine learning music and art project unlikely to replace you anytime soon.