They may not look like R2D2 or BB8, but in 2018, robots are an important part of our world.
This hour we talk about automation—new advances in “smart” technology during a period of time that’s been dubbed the “Fourth Industrial Revolution.”
We hear from a Connecticut-based manufacturer about how new types of automation have changed the way its factories operate.
Are you worried about robots making your job obsolete? We talk with a Swedish economist about how automation may affect employment in that country and around the world.
And is it possible for machines to be creative? We check in on a computer program called “The Painting Fool” that calls itself an aspiring artist.
Before the show, we asked The Painting Fool to make artistic portraits of our host Lucy Nalpathanchil. In the first portrait, it said it was feeling "negative" and "wanted to paint a bloody portrait."
In the second portrait, the artist was feeling more upbeat. But it called the result, "a miserable failure."
Our verdict: "The Painting Fool" probably won't be putting human artists out of business anytime soon.
- Sudhi Bangalore - Vice President of Industry 4.0 at Stanley Black & Decker and head of SBD’s new “Manufactory 4.0” in Hartford
- Mårten Blix - Research Fellow at the Research Institute of Industrial Economics in Stockholm
- Simon Colton - Professor of Digital Games Technology at Falmouth University, and Professor of Computational Creativity at Goldsmith College, University of London
Chion Wolf contributed to this show, which originally aired on January 5, 2018.