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.
The first full-length mainstream music album co-written with the help of artificial intelligence (AI) was released on 12 January and experts believe that the science behind it could lead to a whole new style of music composition.
What if the world suddenly lost all its wealth? It’s an intriguing idea, but rather than being the plot of the latest futuristic thriller, it’s an idea dreamed up by the What-If Machine, an artificial intelligence (AI) system that is learning to do that very human of activities – think creatively.
The world’s oceans are overfished, polluted and – for something that makes up 70% of the Earth’s surface – still little understood. This month, Horizon looks at some of the science that could help us take better care of our oceans, from robots trash collectors out at sea to finding ways to track the plastic that enters our waters. Plus, we look at how climate change is affecting plans for sustainable aquaculture, tech that can help divers reduce the cost of their dives by more than 50%, and the challenges facing research in the Black Sea.
To mark the European year of cultural heritage, Horizon explores how science is helping to uncover more about our past and to preserve our art, landscapes, buildings and ways of life for the future. We discover why prehistoric humans chose to paint rock art where they did, and how farming techniques from hundreds of years ago could help fight climate change today. Plus, we learn how cultural heritage feeds into European identities and what can be done to prevent the destruction of historical sites during wartime.
The world’s largest radio telescope, known as the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) and situated over two continents, will be able to detect the first stars and galaxies emerging from the ‘murk’ at the beginning of the universe and much more besides, according to Professor Phil Diamond, Director General of SKA. He spoke to Horizon at the opening of the Shared Sky art exhibition in Brussels, Belgium on 16 April, where indigenous artists from SKA host nations South Africa and Australia use traditional painting and folk art to explore the themes of astronomy, spirituality and a borderless sky.
Electric ferries and digital communication between ships could help in the quest to decarbonise maritime transport, a sector which is often perceived as being the green option but could still do much to lower its environmental footprint.
Astronomers could use giant radio telescope from 2025.
New tech could help shrink shipping emissions.
The EU’s research chief on his new role.