Spark 439

Booker-prize-winning author Ian McEwan talks about AI and his latest book, Machines Like Me. CES restores its 'Innovation Award' to womens' pleasure product, The Osé. And are 'smart' prisons necessary for safety, or an invasion of privacy?

Bestselling author Ian McEwan's book, Machines Like Me, new prison tech, and CES restores an award

(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
Listen to the full episode53:59

Ian McEwan on his new book, Machines Like Me

In his latest novel, Machines Like Me, Ian McEwan tackles AI, a love triangle, and our all-too-human messy morals. Set in an alternative UK in the 1980s, where real life computer pioneer Alan Turing is still alive, and has led a technical revolution bringing hyper-realistic robots to daily life, the novel raises questions of what it means to be human.

Smart prisons may be an invasion of prisoners' privacy

Nila Bala, an expert on criminal justice policy, argues that we ought to proceed with caution when it comes to implementing 'smart' technology in prisons. She argues that, even if we can get an A.I. system to accurately tag 'abnormal' behavior, it would still represent an unprecedented invasion of privacy.

CES restores innovation award to hands-free sex toy for women

Back in December, CES rescinded an Innovation Award promised to woman-run sex toy company Lora DiCarlo for their pleasure product, The Osé. After accusations of sexism, the convention has now apologized and is restoring the award. Spark host Nora Young speaks with Lora Dicarlo founder Lora Haddock about addressing gender bias in the male-dominated tech industry.


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