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Studio 360

DARCI: A Computer With Great Taste

Friday, December 16, 2011

To make art, a computer first needs to understand what art is. A group of computer scientists at Brigham Young University is attempting this by feeding their program images by the thousands and describing those images. Digital Artist Communicating Intent (she goes by DARCI) recognizes ...

Slideshow: DARCI evaluates art

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Studio 360

Eve Sussman's Algorithmic Noir

Friday, December 16, 2011

A new film premiered this year that is truly one of a kind. whiteonwhite:algorithmicnoir was made by Eve Sussman and her collaborators, known as the Rufus Corporation.  They shot most of the footage in Kazakhstan, improvising the script and taking advantage of the Soviet Union’s ...

Video: watch the trailer

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Studio 360

Smart Programs Read Shakespeare

Friday, December 16, 2011

Patrick Winston is Principal Investigator at MIT's Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Lab. He believes that creating better artificial intelligence is not a matter of more powerful processing: we have to teach computers how to think more like humans. “We are a symbolic species,” he ...

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Studio 360

Large Hadron Collider Gets Closer to 'God'

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The press calls it the "God particle," about to be discovered by a "doomsday machine." Hyperbole aside, this morning at 8am EST, scientists operating the Large Hadron Collider on the Franco-Swiss border announced their biggest finding yet related to the elusive Higgs boson particle. Two independent teams of ...

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Studio 360

The Carsten Höller Experience

Friday, December 09, 2011

Don’t stand too close, hands away from the art, don’t talk too loud — you know the etiquette. But right now at the New Museum in New York there's a huge exhibition that breaks all those rules. There are pieces you can climb on, ride on, stick your head into, smell. Even swallow. Carsten Höller  ...

Slideshow: Carston Höller at the New Museum

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Studio 360

Hedy Lamarr, The Most Beautiful Inventor in the World

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Hollywood likes to cast model-type stars as high-level as high level scientists (remember Denise Richards as a nuclear physicist in a James Bond movie?). In this case, it’s true. Hedy Lamarr was a Hollywood ...

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Studio 360

Aha Moment: From Proto-Punk to Perception

Friday, November 18, 2011

Larry Rosenblum is a professor of psychology with a focus on perception — he’s written a book about the senses called See What I’m Saying. Rosenblum credits a musical revelation with leading him down that path. Growing up with 1970s prog-rock, he thought that virtuosity and spectacular showmanship were the hallmarks ...

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Studio 360

Greg Stock: Humans 2.0

Friday, November 04, 2011

Biotech entrepreneur Greg Stock tells Kurt Andersen he thinks technology may allow humans to break free of their natural life span. “We are like a dying animal,” he says, “we are stuck to our bodies and yet our minds can soar.” Stock believes therapeutic interventions to treat diseases ...

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Studio 360

The Posthuman Future

Friday, November 04, 2011

Everything we’re able to do today to enhance humans — from genetic engineering to artificial limbs — simply improves on the base model we were born with. But for some people, that doesn’t go far enough. They think we shouldn’t be stuck with the factory-installed settings in our DNA. And they're not satisfied with a lifespan ...

Slideshow: Transhumanist Art

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Studio 360

They’re Made Out of Meat

Friday, November 04, 2011

We humans are pretty hot stuff — the most highly evolved species on the planet, or so we like to think. This parable by science-fiction writer Terry Bisson suggests otherwise. To some space aliens who think they’ve seen it all, we’re not just primitive. We’re gross. Terry Bisson’s “They’re Made Out of Meat” was first published in ...

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Studio 360

Becoming the Bionic Man

Friday, November 04, 2011

Hugh Herr is a leading bionics developer at MIT and a double amputee following a mountain-climbing accident. Herr has developed legs that allow him to climb better than he could previously. With a generation of young injured veterans needing prostheses, the need to build mechanical ...

Video: iWalk PowerFoot Gait Animation

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Studio 360

Neil Harbisson, Cyborg

Friday, November 04, 2011

Neil Harbisson is a painter, a musician, and a cyborg. Born with a rare form of colorblindness, Harbisson can only see the world in grays. In 2004, he collaborated with a scientist to create a device called the Eyeborg, which he wears everywhere — even in his passport picture ...

Video: Neil Harbisson's Sonochromatic Portrait #1

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Studio 360

Greg Stock: Redesigning Humans

Friday, November 04, 2011

Nearly a decade after the human genome was decoded, scientists are only now beginning to understand its implications. One of the leading thinkers in this field is the biotech entrepreneur Gregory Stock. A biophysicist by training, his 2002 book Redesigning Humans: Our Inevitable Genetic Future ...

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Studio 360

Making Memories with a Microchip

Friday, November 04, 2011

Ted Berger is trying to build a microchip that can remember things for us. He teaches biomedical engineering at the University of Southern California, and his goal is to create a device that can take over for the hippocampus of the brain, translating thoughts into long-term memories. ...

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Studio 360

Making Better People

Friday, November 04, 2011

What traits could we engineer to “improve” people? Kurt Andersen talks with Greg Stock, a leading proponent of genetic engineering. We’ll hear from a double amputee and MIT scientist who walks using bionic legs of his own creation; and from a doctor and an artist exploring mankind’s ability to defy ...

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Studio 360

Your Occupational Tattoos

Friday, October 28, 2011

Last week on the show, we heard from people who are so passionate about their careers as scientists and mathematicians that they've tattooed equations and fragments of DNA on their bodies. So we asked: Do you have a tattoo related to your profession? Listener Cris Martin of Arlington, Massachusetts works at Harvard's Davis Center ...

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Studio 360

Steve Jobs, Forever Young

Friday, October 28, 2011

Every time a new Apple product is rumored, a fraction of the country goes into a frenzy. Every bit of new information is pored over by millions of Apple cultists. A new release is earning that kind of excitement right now, but it’s an old-fashioned book — a handsome, hardcover biography of Steve Jobs ...

Bonus Track: Kurt's extended conversation with Walter Isaacson

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Studio 360

Science Tattoos

Friday, October 21, 2011

Tattoos are the defining fashion statement of the present generation. A few years ago, the writer Carl Zimmer was at a pool party and found that a young scientist friend of his, a neurobiologist, had a double helix printed on his back — a little strand of DNA. Zimmer blogged about it, and before he knew it, dozens of scientists ...

Slideshow: Tats from Science Ink

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Studio 360

Understanding Creative Savants

Friday, October 14, 2011

We all know the Thomas Edison line: genius is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration. But there are those who don't seem to perspire at all. Their extraordinary gifts seem to come from no where. We often call those people savants. And some neuroscientists are trying to understand where their talents come from ...

Slideshow: Art by Joel Gilb, Age 12

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Studio 360

Imagine Science Film Festival

Friday, October 07, 2011

The fourth Imagine Science Film Festival (ISFF) will be held in New York City October 14-21. Venues in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens will host 80 films from 15 countries. They are diverse in style and subject, but the selection committee clearly placed a high value on striking visuals. The films may not have been created for wide commercial distribution, but ...

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