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One of my favorite podcasts, Radio Lab, recently posted this episode, Talking to Machines.  You can listen here, or click through to the program page.



This image is used on the program's web page, and if you listen to the podcast, you'll find out why.
Wire head (paul+photos=moody/flickr)
"We begin with a love story--from a man who unwittingly fell in love with a chatbot on an online dating site. Then, we encounter a robot therapist whose inventor became so unnerved by its success that he pulled the plug. And we talk to the man who coded Cleverbot, a software program that learns from every new line of conversation it receives...and that's chatting with more than 3 million humans each month. Then, five intrepid kids help us test a hypothesis about a toy designed to push our buttons, and play on our human empathy. And we meet a robot built to be so sentient that its creators hope it will one day have a consciousness, and a life, all its own."
I think this podcast will be of interest to all my geeky student friends at ISOCS (particulary the last segment)!