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FROM THIS EPISODE

Artificial intelligence might be the death of humanity. That’s from no less an authority than Stephen Hawking—the world’s best-known physicist. Other scientists are heeding his warning that programs could outsmart their programmers—with unintended consequences that can’t be predicted. Massive investment by Google, Facebook and others, they say, is making that much more likely to happen, much sooner, than anybody expected. How do Americans feel about science fiction made real? Will developers agree not to go too far before it’s too late?

Also, reintroducing an overlooked civil rights leader…

photo credit: Alejandro Zorrilal Cruz

Producers:
Andrea Brody
Katie Cooper
Benjamin Gottlieb
Jenny Hamel
Caitlin Shamberg
Mike Kessler
Evan George
Sonya Geis

Highway Trust Fund 7 MIN, 32 SEC

Congress and the "Highway Trust Fund" a federal fund that currently finances over 100,000 projects across the country. How can the funds be replenished to keep the construction projects going?

Guests:
Barbara Bogaev, radio journalist

Artificial intelligence on the Loose! 33 MIN, 50 SEC

Artificial intelligence might be the death of humanity. That’s from no less an authority than Stephen Hawking, the world’s best-known physicist. Other scientists are heeding his warning that programs could outsmart their programmers with unintended consequences that can’t be predicted. Massive investment by Google, Facebook and others, they say, is making that much more likely to happen, much sooner, than anybody expected. How do Americans feel about science fiction made real? Will developers agree not to go too far before it’s too late?

Since Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, out-of-control technology has been a staple of science fiction. Remember when the computer Hal refused to let the astronaut Dave back into the spaceship that was orbiting Jupiter? It might become real much sooner than ever expected. That’s according to Hawking, who’s warning against what he calls “potentially our worst mistake in history.” From a man with advanced ALS, who depends on robotics to live, that has the rest of the scientific community paying attention.

Guests:
Dylan Love, Business Insider (@dylanlove)
Steve Omohundro, Self-Aware Systems (@steveom)
Bart Selman, Cornell University (@cornell)
Aaron Smith, Pew Research Center (@aaron_w_smith)

Reintroducing an Overlooked Civil Rights Leader 9 MIN, 21 SEC

Stokely Carmichael was a powerful civil rights leader in the 1960’s who became a black nationalist before leaving this country for Africa.  His biographer says he was as influential as Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Guests:
Peniel Joseph, Tufts University (@PenielJoseph)

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