Humans aren’t the fastest or strongest animal, but we do make the best tools. From plows to pacemakers, we’ve always used technology to transcend our human limits. This week, we ask how far that project can go. We’ll tell you how the first farmers in history transcended the limits of meat and muscle, only to create a very different kind of boundary. And we’ll present the story of two scientists excited to leave their human skin behind. Also, the story of a man who cannot walk, but who can fly; why PCs can be our friends; and finally, robot phenomenology.
Host: Mischa Shoni
Producers: Charlie Mintz and Rachel Hamburg
Featuring: Ian Morris, Byron Reeves, BJ Fogg, Edward Maibach, Shyam Sundar, Laurie Mason, Henry Evans, Jackson Roach
Release Date: 20 May 2014
image via flickr
Intro story: Feeding Back Into Us
After the last ice age, we humans moved from hunting and gathering to farming. With the plow, farming became a whole lot easier — but there was a dark side too.
Producer: Charlie Mintz, Bojan Srbinovski
Featuring: Ian Morris
image via web
Story 1: Robots Are My Freedom
As an adult, Henry Evans suffered a medical trauma that left him paralyzed and unable to speak. Then the second half of his life began.
Producers: Eileen Williams, Miles S.
Featuring: Henry Evans
Links: Robots For Humanity
Image via web
Story 2: With 18 Arms and Compound Eyes
A scientist visits a relative in the hospital and finds the best available cures lacking. He and a partner go to work at the next frontier of medicine. They wind up bumping into the question of what makes us human.
Producer: Rachel Hamburg
Featuring: Xander Honkala, Andre Watson
Image via wikimedia
Story 3: Sympathy for the Dell
This story is a tribute to the late Stanford professor Clifford Nass. Friends and colleagues described him as one of the most human humans you could ever meet. He discovered ways that computers can be human too, and one consequence of that research is coming to a hospital near you.
Producers: Charlie Mintz, Josh Hoyt
Featuring: Clifford Nass, Byron Reeves, BJ Fogg, Laurie Mason, Edward Maibach, Shyam Sundar, Chris Corio
Link: Engineered Care
Music: Podington Bear (Lake Victoria, Formless), Broke For Free (Note Drop, Like Swimming, Luminous, Blown Out, One And); memotone (This Is The Room, Fractal, Sleeping With the Insects); 2ndMOUSE (Arc Reactor); Audionautix (Namaste);
Image via wikimedia
Story 4: The Simulation Deck
A radio play about the strawberry-sized gap between humans and machines.
Producer: Jackson Roach
Featuring: Andrew Brassel, Matthew Libby
Links: Robot voice created by Cepstral Voices