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FROM THIS EPISODE

Robots are here to stay: in factories and homes — from real-world battlefields to popular culture. We talk about robotics and the increased interaction of robots with human beings. Also, hackers steal credit card info of 40 million Target customers, and a rare look at prison life for black Americans before emancipation.

Banner image: Baxter with (L) Rodney Brooks, founder of Rethink Robotics, and his partners, Andreas and Josh. Photo: Steve Jurvetson

Producers:
Caitlin Shamberg
Christian Bordal
Kareem Maddox

Making News Hackers Steal Credit Card Info of 40 Million Target Customers 8 MIN, 25 SEC

"Shop at Target, become a target." That's the response of just one out of 40 million holders of credit or debit cards whose data was stolen from America's third largest retailer. Investigators are impressed by the speed and sophistication of the crime. Target is worried about consumer confidence. Jim Finkle reports for Reuters in Boston.

Guests:
Jim Finkle, Reuters (@techwriterjim)

Main Topic The World of Robots -- in Love and War 33 MIN, 59 SEC

The first conversation between a human being and a robot might well have happened in 1968, in Stanley Kubrick's iconic film 2001: a Space Odyssey. Now, robots are a part of daily life, from factories to more and more homes. The new film Her depicts a romance with an operating system. But robotics often starts with the military. This weekend, the Defense Advance Research Projects Agency, DARPA, is running a contest for robotic emergency responders. Google, Apple, Amazon and many other companies already are deeply invested already in robotic technology. Robots are also finding their way into work places, homes and popular culture. So, it's not hard to imagine they'll penetrate our emotional lives as well. The interaction of humans and robots has become a serious study. When do they help? When do they get in the way? Who's responsible for their actions? Do we need a new code of ethics for dealing with robots?

Guests:
Mike Davin, The Business of Robotics (@BizOfRobotics)
Elizabeth Croft, University of British Columbia (@ecroft)
Kevin Kelly, Wired magazine (@kevin2kelly‎)
Ronald Arkin, Georgia Institute of Technology

Today's Talking Point The First Prison Memoir of Black Man Discovered 9 MIN, 19 SEC

Historians believe they've authenticated the earliest recovered memoir written in prison by a black American. It dates to 1858 — before the Civil War and emancipation.  The Life and Adventures of a Haunted Convict, or the Inmate of a Gloomy Prison, has been a mystery since it was discovered by a rare books dealer in upstate New York. Now it's authenticated under the name of Bob Reed, believed to have been born a free man who learned to read and write in reform school. Brenda Stevenson is a history professor at UCLA, author of The Contested Murder of Latasha Harlins: Justice, Gender and the Origins of the LA Riots, discusses its historical significance.

Guests:
Brenda Stevenson, University of California, Los Angeles

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