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FROM THIS EPISODE

Artificial intelligence threatens to "destroy human history and culture," wrote a Korean journalist after champion Go player Lee Se-dol lost to Google’s AlphaGo A. But IBM offers a friendlier picture: with a little help from Watson’s cognitive computing, we will have more interesting cocktails and gift choices. Is that what we need, and does Watson get it right? Plus, a new opera dramatizes the epic battle between Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs, and Janette Sadik-Khan continues the fight over the streets of New York, employing the might of Moses and the human scale of Jacobs.

Photo: Pepper, the face of AI

Producers:
Frances Anderton
Avishay Artsy

Do Androids Dream of Cocktails? 13 MIN, 38 SEC

Remember Watson, the IBM supercomputer who beat out a Jeopardy champion a few years back? Last week he was back, at an interactive display at South by Southwest, helping visitors with crafting cocktails and choosing gifts. Sounds fun, but what does it mean to have "cognitive computing" seeping into our daily lives?

Guests:
Cameron O'Connor, IBM (@kamoroon)

More:
This DnA post explores the experience with IBM Cognitive
American Libraries on "welcoming our new robot overlords"
IBM's description of Watson
The IBM Cognitive Studio at SXSW

'A Marvelous Order' 5 MIN, 36 SEC

Robert Moses was the super-powerful planner who built pools and parks for New Yorkers but also engineered a car-based future for the region. He met his match in Jane Jacobs, a mother of three living in Greenwich Village, who went on to write the highly influential book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities. Now their epic battle has been dramatized in an opera.

Guests:
Joshua Frankel, animator, filmmaker and visual artist (@frankelfrankel)

More:
The New Yorker reports on 'A Marvelous Order'

Streetfight 9 MIN, 10 SEC

Janette Sadik-Khan was Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s transportation commissioner from 2007 to 2013. Under her watch, she led a very public battle to add 400 miles of bike lanes and establish more than 60 pedestrian plazas in the city, most notably -- and controversially -- closing five blocks of Broadway to cars in Times Square.

She tells her story in the new book Streetfight: Handbook for an Urban Revolution. In a blurb on the back cover, Bloomberg refers to her as "the child that Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs never had." Sadik-Khan discusses lessons learned from the epic opponents.

Guests:
Janette Sadik-Khan, National Association of Transportation Officials (@JSadikKhan)

More:
Policy Innovations considers 'Streetfight'
New York Post columnist channels the anger at Sadik-Khan felt by some New Yorkers

Streetfight

Janette Sadik-Khan

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