December 11, 2017 8:47 pm

Tuesday, Dive into Artificial Intelligence and the Human Brain with Heather Berlin, Chuck Nice, and Gary Marcus

This week on StarTalk All-Stars we have, well, the brain on our brain. Neuroscientist Heather Berlin is back in the hosting chair alongside comic co-host Chuck Nice and neuroscientist Gary Marcus as they sit down and investigate artificial intelligence and the brain.

Ben Ratner's photo of Heather Berlin, Chuck Nice, and Gary Marcus in studio.

Heather Berlin, Chuck Nice, and Gary Marcus in the StarTalk All-Stars studio. Credit: Ben Ratner.

With Gary on the show, it’s nice to hear a different point of view on artificial intelligence given the popularity of the idea that when AI becomes too powerful it will destroy or enslave humanity. As you’ll hear throughout the episode, Gary isn’t too worried about an AI uprising. However, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a lot to offer on the subject.

You’ll hear about self-driving cars and whether we should be putting our full trust in the ones on the market today. Our trio seems to think not, and I agree. Besides, why would I want a car that could parallel park itself? That takes away the fun of clogging up traffic behind you, breaking out in a panic sweat, and wondering if your mirror will be smashed off after you park too far from the curb.

I really enjoyed hearing about recording dreams for playback and the technology we have today that could lead to that being reality. As Heather explains, we already do certain forms of image mapping from the brain, and eventually we might be able to map dreams.

As I said before, Gary isn’t too worried about an AI uprising; however, he does think we should be worried about a machine’s susceptibility to being hacked. As you’ll hear, instead of worrying about AI starting an uprising, maybe we should worry about the technology falling into the wrong hands.

You’ll also investigate the ethics dilemma involving AI citizens, like Sophia, cognitive implants and neural prosthetics, and what humans would do in a world run by artificial intelligence. All that, plus, find out why uploading your brain to a computer network doesn’t necessarily mean escaping death.

Please join us tomorrow night for Cosmic Queries: Artificial Intelligence and the Brain, with Heather Berlin at 7pm ET right here on our website, as well as on our All-Stars channels on Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, Stitcher, and TuneIn. If you’re an All-Access subscriber, you can watch or listen to this episode ad-free at 7pm, too. And remember that you can also catch next week’s StarTalk All-Stars episode one week early on TuneIn, at

That’s it for now. Keep Looking Up!
–Ian Mullen

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