Next up in our exploration of this BBC series is ‘Robots‘. It’s the revolution on everyone’s minds, and believed to be a somewhat inevitable part of our future. However, perhaps more so than with any of the other inventions we’ve learned about, robots’ long history might surprise you.

Since ancient times humans have been fascinated by mechanising human capabilities. Presenter Jim Al-Khalili calls this the “idea of artificial people”.

Throughout the programme we see scientists and enthusiasts looking to lighten their load or just feed their curiosity by seeing if a machine could perfect perceived human ‘mistakes’.

The path traces a concurrent line with the integration of nearly all aspects of our lives with computing and programming. Ada Lovelace and Alan Turing play a part, fuelling the journey to the artificial intelligence present in so many of our interactions today.

Revolutions‘ ultimate question is one we’ll likely be working out in decades to come: what are rights and statuses of a free-thinking machine in our society?

 Watch the episode and learn more on BBC iPlayer.

Posted by:Sophie Sabin

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