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May 12, 2021

AI research endured years of failure and frustration before new techniques in deep learning unleashed the swift, astonishing progress of the last decade.

Michael’s recent book A Brief History of Artificial Intelligence explores what we can learn from this history, and examines where we are now and where the field is...


Jan 28, 2021

The idea we have ‘innate knowledge’ seems quite wrong to most of us. But we do! And the intuitions leading us astray here also blind us to other aspects of human nature. 

We are all ‘blind storytellers’. Professor Iris Berent reveals what misleads us, and what we are missing.

18:55 Newborns have basic knowledge...


Dec 20, 2020

Vision is the best understood sensory domain. But smell is turning out to be wonderfully strange and even more complex than sight.

Dr Ann-Sophie Barwich joins me to explore ideas from her recent book Smellosophy. How is vomit related to parmesan cheese? Why do things smell so different depending on context? And what...


Nov 22, 2020

Despite multi-million dollar research programmes and impressive technical progress, neuroscience still can’t explain basic systems - like a maggot’s tiny brain or the grinding of a lobster’s stomach.

Professor Matthew Cobb joins me to discuss the intellectual history of neuroscience,  his frank assessment of where...


Jan 30, 2020

Could depression be caused by inflammation?  Cambridge psychiatrist Ed Bullmore makes the case for his radical new theory, from his bestselling book The Inflamed Mind.

Here's the breakdown...

6:12 There’s a Cartesian divide in the way we practice medicine.  Professor Bullmore argues that we need to find...