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Dreaming robots and creative computation – the future of AI takes shape

Developed by the EU project RobotCub, the iCub recognises faces and has the proportions of a four-year-old child. Image credit: Creative Commons - ShareAlike 3.0

From Terminator to Blade Runner, artificial intelligence (AI) inspires fear and awe in equal measure, but how does the reality match up to the fiction, and what’s going to happen next?

On 7 June 2014, a chatterbot named Eugene Goostman passed the Turing test – the benchmark for AI that challenges people to decide whether an entity is human or machine, while earlier that year scientists in Germany simulated a simplified honeybee brain on a robot.

Horizon takes a look at the future of AI during August by speaking to researchers at the cutting edge of AI development.

We hear from researchers who are teaching robots to dream and to learn from each other in robot ‘kindergartens’, and we find out about creative computers who can come up with innovative ideas for books and films.