Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Send in the Clones (and the AI) for May's Not Quite Human Edition

Welcome to the May edition of Broadly Speaking. This month Host Tracy S. Morris discusses Clones and AI with guests Phoebe Wray and Catherine Asaro. 

Phoebe Wray is the author of Jemma7729 and the forthcoming sequel, J2.  In addition, she is a past president of Broad Universe.

J2 is the story of a clone of Jemma from the first novel. Phoebe and Tracy talk about the science behind cloning, current issues that surround cloning and the future of cloning. 

You can find phoebe on her facebook page http://www.facebook.com/phoebe.wray

The International Cloning Society maintains a website at http://www.angelfire.com/la/jfled/ics.html

Catherine Asaro is the author of over 20 novels in Science Fiction and Fantasy, has won a hugo and has been nominated for both the hugo and the nebula. She has a Ph.D. in Chemical Physics from Harvard and has worked as a futurist with the science fiction writer's think tank Sigma predicting the future of Artificial Intelegence for both Homeland Security and the private sector. 

Catherine and Tracy talk about the definition of AI, the Turing Test, where AI stands now, where it is going in the near future and how human beings will adapt and change because of AI. 

You can find Catherine on the web at http://www.catherineasaro.net/

Sigma maintains a website at http://sigmaforum.org/

You can find out more about the Turing Test at http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/turing-test/

We hope you enjoy this podcast, be you android, clone, AI or just a regular old human. 

Not_Quite_Human2.mp3 Listen on Posterous

Sunday, May 13, 2012

May: Not Quite Human - Automatons, AI, and Clones

May2012BroadPod.mp3 Listen on Posterous
Greetings, and welcome to the May 2012 edition of the BroadPod.  Our theme this month is Not Quite Human.  Automatons, AI, clones.  They can look human, talk and perhaps even feel human.  But are they?  Can an Artificial Intelligence truly have sentience, or is it just clever programming that mimics conscious thought?  A clone may be a match for human DNA, but does a clone have a soul?  Is an android merely a possession, no more entitled to rights than a toaster?

Host Justine Graykin introduces this month's readers and their visions of these not-quite-human beings: first Jennifer Pelland, who shares another excerpt from her recently published book, “Machine”, the story of a woman who was recently downloaded into a mechanical replica of her own body so she can continue her life while waiting for her flesh to be cured of early-onset Alzheimer's.  In this excerpt, what happens when such a transfer goes wrong, but not wrong enough?

Kathryn Mankiller’s story, "Saving Alan Idle" is told from the point of view of a very resourceful AI who becomes aware of the peril faced by “his” programmer, and provides a lesson in what it means to be sentient (this story will be appearing in an upcoming edition of “Escape Pod”)

From Pauline Baird Jones, we have the old boy-meets-girl.  In this case, the boy—Robert Clementyne—meets the girl—Emily Babcock. Mix some time travel into some space travel, send them across a dimension or two, give them some microscopic, sentient nanites to fight against some mega-size automatons, add in liberal dose of Pauline Baird Jones' imagination (and sense of humor) and you get “Steamrolled.”

Bonnie Lee reads from chapter one of her book Akuma’s Spirit, in which a women receives a late night visit from her husband’s unsettlingly youthful replicant, and a little girl with a tragic mystery.

Finally, we have an excerpt from Phoebe Wray's  novel J2, coming out very soon from Dark Quest Books. It’s the sequel to Jemma7729—an action-adventure tale about a notorious rebel fighting a corrupt future government. J2 is actually Jemma’s clone: a brilliant lab rat who has escaped from the domes of Chicago, and joined the rebel army. 

The BroadPod is sponsored by Broad Universe, the voice for women writing speculative fiction.  Check out our companion podcast, Broadly Speaking, with interviews and discussions on the art of writing.  You can link to them both from the Broad Universe website.  This broadcast is copyright Broad Universe, 2012.  All readings are copyright their respective authors.  Music by Caligari’s Keyboard is used by permission, under Creative Commons Attribution, Noncommercial, Share Alike license.  Kindly respect everyone’s  intellectual property.  Thank you.

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