WAMU 88.5 : The Kojo Nnamdi Show

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.


No Meekness Here: Meet Rosa Parks, 'Lifelong Freedom Fighter'

As the 60th anniversary of the historic Montgomery Bus Boycott approaches, author Jeanne Theoharis says it's time to let go of the image of Rosa Parks as an unassuming accidental activist.

Internet Food Culture Gives Rise To New 'Eatymology'

Internet food culture has brought us new words for nearly every gastronomical condition. The author of "Eatymology," parodist Josh Friedland, discusses "brogurt" with NPR's Rachel Martin.
WAMU 88.5

World Leaders Meet For The UN Climate Change Summit In Paris

World leaders meet for the UN climate change summit in Paris to discuss plans for reducing carbon emissions. What's at stake for the talks, and prospects for a major agreement.


Payoffs For Prediction: Could Markets Help Identify Terrorism Risk?

In a terror prediction market, people would bet real money on the likelihood of attacks. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with Stephen Carter about whether such a market could predict — and deter — attacks.

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