"Brains Matter" Podcast Has an Excellent Interview About the Philosophical Implications of Robotics

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Brains Matter is a podcast about science from Australia.  It was one of the shows on my ill-fated Podango™ Science channel, and it is now one of the charter members of SCIENCEPODCASTERS.ORG.  Unfortunately, I don't have a chance to listen to it on a regular basis, but I want to recommend the most recent episode, which is a discussion of robotics in history and in fiction.  The guest is Adam Parker, who is studying for a PhD in Robotics in Australia.  He has a surprising knowledge of the history of the field and brings that perspective to the conversation . I think that that is one of the things that makes the interview interesting.  This is not a technical conversation, but one that everyone can enjoy.  As I said on Digg™, if you liked Blade Runner, you will enjoy this interview.

Latest Episode of Talking Robots Explores Mirror Neurons

talkingrobotpodcastlogo.jpg Michael Arbib of USC discusses (Talking Robots 10/12/07) how the discovery of mirror neurons is inspiring attempts to design robots that can emulate human emotions. This is part of a larger trend in robotics which is called biological robotics in which designs are inspired by biological systems. It is significant that what is learned by attempts to design robotic animals can in turn shed light on how biological systems work. This kind of interdisciplinary work is at the intersection of neuroscience, artificial intelligence, and computer engineering. Dr. Arbib also discusses the challenges of doing interdisciplinary work in an age of exploding knowledge. You can find more about his work including links to a few of his numerous publications on his website.
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