Automate It

Chris Devers, Kismet MIT Museum via Creative Commons flickr

September 2, 2017
(was 11.29.2015)

Automated machines are taking over our lives. They're not the scary robots you see in movies, but more and more of today's technology - from smart phones to airplanes - is automated. And some of the world's biggest companies are racing to come up with a "master algorithm" - a formula that will let machines learn anything. This could lead to self-driving cars and even a cure for cancer. But do we want to give machines so much control?

  1. The Quest for the Master Algorithm

    Machines that program themselves are all around us and they get smarter every day. Computer scientist Pedro Domingos says there's now a race to create the one algorithm to rule them all. But are you ready for the master algorithm that can tell a machine how to learn anything?

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  2. App Intelligence

    App Intelligence? Santa Fe Institute president David Krakauer says we're on the verge of abdicating our free will to everyday apps.

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    4.375
    Average: 4.4 (8 votes)
  3. Is Automation Ruining Our Lives?

    Robots that clean the bathroom, cars that drive themselves, computers that diagnose disease. They may sound appealing, but technology writer Nicholas Carr warns that the new age of automation could mean we'll lose basic life skills.

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    3.25
    Average: 3.3 (4 votes)
  4. They Had Androids in the Enlightenment?

    Androids may seem like a modern idea, but there were life-size androids in the 18th century - beautiful robot women who could look around and even play the harpsichord. Historian Heidi Voskuhl tells this remarkable story.

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    Average: 4.2 (6 votes)
  5. Stephen Wolfram on Computer Creativity

    Will a computer ever write a great novel? Absolutely, says the pioneering software developer Stephen Wolfram. He believes there's no limit to computer creativity.

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    3.8
    Average: 3.8 (5 votes)
  6. Garth Hallberg's "City on Fire"

    Garth Risk Hallberg's "City on Fire" is this year's big debut novel. It's a sweeping 900-page story about New York City in the mid-70s, chronicling everything from the punk music scene to the rise of Wall Street's runaway hedge funds. Hallberg says he's fascinated by the idea of creative destruction.

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    2.5
    Average: 2.5 (4 votes)