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The Joy of AI

   2018    Technology
Professor Jim Al-Khalili looks at how we have created machines that can simulate, augment, and even outperform the human mind - and why we shouldn't let this spook us. He reveals the story of the pursuit of AI, the emergence of machine learning and the recent breakthroughs brought about by artificial neural networks. He shows how AI is not only changing our world but also challenging our very ideas of intelligence and consciousness.
Along the way, we'll investigate spam filters, meet a cutting-edge chatbot, look at why a few altered pixels makes a computer think it's looking at a trombone rather than a dog and talk to Demis Hassabis, who heads DeepMind and whose stated mission is to 'solve intelligence, and then use that to solve everything else'. Stephen Hawking remarked 'AI could be the biggest event in the history of our civilisation. Or the worst'. Jim argues that AI is a potent new tool that should enhance our lives, not replace us.

Inside the Brain of a Trader

   2017    Science
After several rogue traders stories made the headlines these last years, revealing the human factor behind the global economy, neuroscientists have started to scrutinize traders' brain and stress management. What stimulates and motivates them? How can their brain cope with such a high level of stress and competition? This film investigates further into Neuroeconomics, showing how traders are being governed by unconscious psychological and biological processes which can trigger borderline behaviours and have disastrous financial consequences on the financial markets.

Is There Life After Death

   2011    Science
Everyone from the most simple-minded to the deepest thinking has pondered a question that strikes at the core of our existence: Is there life after death? What happens to the soul after we die? People who have had near-death experiences claim to have visited the other side before getting yanked back into consciousness. Now, some of the brightest minds in science are trying to understand how life can persist beyond the physical and what will it look like. It might be a quantum state based on the fundamental laws of the universe. Ultimately, it is a journey that struggles to decode the most complicated instrument in the universe: the human brain.
Series: Through the Wormhole

Is a Zombie Apocalypse Possible

   2014    Medicine
It is a nightmare that has stalked us for centuries: hordes of human beings transformed into mindless, cannibalistic monsters. Could this civilization-ending nightmare become reality? Scientists have discovered pathogens that turn insects into the walking dead. New strains of viruses are attacking humans every day. Mathematicians have calculated the likelihood of surviving a zombie virus outbreak: they’re not hopeful. Now neuroscientists are discovering how easy it is for us to lose conscious control of our bodies. Are we at risk of becoming puppets? If we were in the middle of a zombie apocalypse, would we even know it?
Series: Through the Wormhole Season 5

Beyond Thinking

   2012    Culture
We live our lives pursuing happiness 'out there' as if it is a commodity. We have become slaves to our own desires and craving. Happiness isn't something that can be pursued or purchased like a cheap suit. This is Maya, illusion, the endless play of form. In the Buddhist tradition, Samsara, or the endless cycle of suffering is perpetuated by the craving of pleasure and aversion to pain. Freud referred to this as the "pleasure principle." Everything we do is an attempt to create pleasure, to gain something that we want, or to push away something that is undesirable that we don't want. Even a simple organism like the paramecium does this. It is called response to stimulus. Unlike a paramecium, humans have more choice. We are free to think, and that is the heart of the problem. It is the thinking about what we want that has gotten out of control. The dilemma of modern society is that we seek to understand the world, not in terms of archaic inner consciousness, but by quantifying and qualifying what we perceive to be the external world by using scientific means and thought. Thinking has only led to more thinking and more questions. We seek to know the innermost forces which create the world and guide its course. But we conceive of this essence as outside of ourselves, not as a living thing, intrinsic to our own nature. It was the famous psychiatrist Carl Jung who said, "one who looks outside dreams, one who looks inside awakes." It is not wrong to desire to be awake, to be happy. What is wrong is to look for happiness outside when it can only be found inside.
Series: Inner Worlds Outer Worlds
The Nazis, A Warning From History
The Nazis, A Warning From History

   1997    History
Vietnam in HD
Vietnam in HD

   2011    History
The Sky at Night
The Sky at Night

   2018    Science
Prehistoric America
Prehistoric America

   2003    Nature
Becoming Human
Becoming Human

   2010    History