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Inside The Future Of Artificial Intelligence

Despite the enduring narrative in pop culture of an impending apocalyptic robot-takeover, humans decided a while back to keep moving forward with plans to imbue intelligence into machines. 

Today, these efforts have brought about driverless cars, drone aircrafts, and the machine-learning prowess of computers like IBM’s Watson. But as developers design machines that teach themselves, questions remain over humans’ ability to effectively interact with artificially intelligent computers.

Host Frank Stasio speaks with AI experts for their perspective on the capacity and limits of artificial intelligence. Wired magazine senior writer Tom Simonite shares the latest news from the world of artificial intelligence and machine learning. 

"As a futurist, what I really want to see is a system that can cope with uncertainty."
- Missy Cummings

Mary “Missy” Cummingsdiscusses her work as a researcher tackling the questions surrounding the intersection between man and machine. She is a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science at Duke University and is the director of the Humans and Autonomy Laboratory. Her research focus on humans’ shifting role from operator to supervisor and how people interact with unmanned systems like drones and driverless cars. 

"They are like gods. And when they fail, they are like junk."
- Kurt Gray

Kurt Gray is a professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he leads the Mind Perception and Morality Lab.  He is also the author of “The Mind Club: Who Thinks, What Feels, and Why It Matters” (Viking Books/2016). Salman Azhar is a faculty member at the Duke Fuqua School of Business, an expert on data analytics and an entrepreneur.

Note: This program originally aired on November 15, 2017.

Laura Pellicer is a digital reporter with WUNC’s small but intrepid digital news team.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
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