Big Picture Science – Who’s Controlling Whom?

by Gary Niederhoff on October 13, 2014

Big Picture Science – Who’s Controlling Whom?
click to listen!

A single ant isn’t very brainy. But a group of ants can do remarkable things. Biological swarm behavior is one model for the next generation of tiny robots. Of course, biology can get hijacked: a fungus can seize control of an ant’s brain, for example. So will humans always remain the boss of super-smart, swarming machines?

We discuss the biology of zombie ants and how to build robots that self-assemble and work together. Also, how to guarantee the moral behavior of future ‘bots.

And, do you crave cupcakes? Research suggests that gut bacteria control what we eat and how we feel.

Listen to individual segments here:
Part 1: David Hughes / Zombie Ants
Part 2: Attack of the Zombie Ants!
Part 3: Mike Rubenstein / Kilobots
Part 4: Wendell Wallach / Moral Machines
Part 5: Athena Aktipis / Gut Decisions

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