Hyper Evolution: Rise of the Robots, explores if machines built to enhance our lives could one day become our greatest rivals.
In this episode, Professor Danielle George and Dr Ben Garrod investigate whether robots will ever become our friends, if we should trust them with our lives, and if one day they will even become conscious.
This second episode uncovers the roots of an essential ingredient of any relationship – the art of conversation. The presenters come face-to-face with a whole range of creations – from one of the first talking robots, Alpha a 1930s gun-toting womaniser; and the one-sided conversations with Siri; or Valkyrie – a heroic female robot designed to pave the way for us to set up home on Mars; to a little robot called Kirobo – designed to be a companion on the International Space Station. Unbearably cute, Kirobo even has the body language off pat – turning and nodding as he speaks.
Ben visits the first attempt to make a robotic brain – a 1940s tortoise born in Bristol - with a rudimentary awareness of its surroundings, before meeting its most advanced descendant – the driverless car. Can Ben overcome his inherent fear of robots and put his trust in a robotic car enough take his hands off the wheel?
Finally, we meet some astonishing robots who are aren’t simply pre-programmed with facts about the world, they learn about it for themselves. The one-metre-high iCub not only looks like a child, but he learns like one. Just like a two-year-old he is learning to count on his fingers and is forming his own unique understanding of the world.
As robots continue to evolve, Ben and Danielle consider the unsettling question of what it would mean if robots developed consciousness.
On The Art Show this week: Charming Baker heads to Pietrasanta in Italy, where skilled artisans are hired by artists to carve sculptures from the beautiful local marble. Carrie Scott meets Britain’s conceptual art supremo, Ryan Gander, as a new exhibition of his work opens at the prestigious Lisson Gallery in London. Will Best and Kate Bryan are in Mexico City, cramming two thousand years of art history into a weekend; visiting ancient murals made by Meso-Americans, and seeing the work of Mexico’s two most famous 20th century artists, Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. And, as a tribute to Aaron Young, the New York art dealer, who sadly died during the making of this series, we see him doing what he did best – buying and selling masterpieces.
The Tattoo Fixers have set up shop in the sunny Med and are determined to vanquish the nation’s most horrific holiday tats. This week, Alice helps Jack rid himself of a tat that reminds him of a romance he’d rather forget, Glen licks Gabriela’s tat into shape, and Sketch covers Eileen’s saucy self-portrait.
Elsewhere Kurt gets divorced from his mysterious marriage tat, Frazer covers his cheesy chat up line and Aimee gets an awesome original.