We explore the hidden history and super science of the wrist watch, the digital watch and the prosthetic leg.
2017 • Technology
Explore the hidden history and super science of hot air balloons, synthetic rubber and metal detectors.
2017 • Technology
Seaplanes saw the dawn of the aviation industry as they could accommodate large numbers of passengers between continents, and only required a smooth body of water to land. Since the 1920's, advances in floatplane technology saw metal hulls introduced, a cantilevered design and single engine. Seaplanes continue to be an extremely popular mode of transportation.
To respond to global demand and population growth, energy production will have to increase by 75% between now and 2050. The fossil fuels (oil, coal and natural gas) that we use currently use on a massive scale are becoming increasingly rare and are highly polluting, wreaking havoc on the climate.
The Boeing 737 twin-engine jetliner was to become Boeing's greatest success. It had one of the lowest approach speeds of any jet transport, a great asset when landing at smaller airports with shorter runways. It also required minimum equipment for use in refueling. However, despite all its advantages, the 737 was soon overshadowed by the new, improved 747 Jumbo Jet.
The decades following the First World War saw aircraft designers pushing the boundaries of aeronautical technology, moving the industry forward at a rapid pace. With new commercial markets opening up, it was the visionaries who held the key to success. Each invention promising a future filled with endless possibilities.
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.
2018 • Technology