Scientific American Frontiers TV Show Watchlist

Scientific American Frontiers

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Science, technology and nature are examined with insight, humor and an eye on the practical, with smartly paced reports on such subjects as the big-bang theory, robots, the relationship between stress and illness, and whether we are alone in the universe (more…)

Rating: TV-G

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Season 13, Episode 3 The Intimate Machine

First Aired: October 22, 2002

Host Alan Alda gets up-close and personal with computers as he tracks efforts at MIT's Media Lab to make them “act more like living things.” Included: a “virtual playmate” that one day, its developers hope, will be able to spot abilities in kids and nurture them; and computers programmed to act like dogs and wolves that enable scientists to study the nature of intelligence and emotion. Then there's Leonardo, a computer-driven movie robot that Alda calls “a collaboration between Hollywood chutzpah and MIT know-how.”