Robots & Pop Culture | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Robots & Pop Culture

Long before robots became a pop culture staple, artists were creating artificial humans in literature, images and early films. The introduction of the robot - and its evolution from fiction to reality - continues that rich tradition and allows authors and artists new frameworks and freedoms for exploring fundamental questions about humanity. We consider the role of these figures - whether cyborg, android or operating system - in our culture and what they tell us about ourselves.

Film's Best Robots

In "Her," Theodore Twombly, played by Joaquin Phoenix, falls in love with "Samantha," the personality behind an advanced operating system.

This is among the best scenes between Hal and Dave in Stanley Kubrick's 1968 film: '2001: A Space Odyssey.'

Film makers offered a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the 2004 dystopian action film "I, Robot," starring Will Smith and Sonny the robot.

And who can forget C3PO, perhaps the most famous and beloved of movie robots? Watch some of his best moments below.

NPR

Searching For Buried Treasure In China, A Writer Discovers Himself

During the Sino-Japanese War, Huan Hsu's great-great-grandfather buried his vast porcelain collection to keep it safe. Hsu went to find it 70 years later, on a trip about more than missing china.
NPR

Cheez Whiz Helped Spread Processed Foods. Will It Be Squeezed Out?

Turns out, the history of Kraft's dull-orange cheese spread says a lot about the processed food industry — and where it might be headed as Kraft and Heinz merge.
NPR

Proposed Payday Industry Regulations Must Strike Delicate Balance

The federal government is moving to reign in the payday loan industry, which critics say traps consumers in a damaging cycle of debt. A look at the possible effects of proposed regulations.
NPR

App That Aims To Make Books 'Squeaky Clean' Draws Ire From Edited Writers

Clean Reader — an app designed to find, block and replace profanity in books — has drawn considerable criticism from authors. This week, makers of the app announced they would no longer sell e-books.

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