Blood, guts and swearing robots
Victorian hospitals were known as 'houses of death' and their surgeons, who never washed their hands, were praised for their brute strength and speed. Lindsey Fitzharris tells Andrew Marr about the pioneering British surgeon Joseph Lister who transformed his profession. Anaesthesia was discovered in the 1840s but Professor Lesley Colvin says we're still learning about the complex relationship between the brain and the perception of pain, as well as understanding the potential harm of the increased use of strong opiates. Pain is common to all humans, but could - and should - robots feel pain? This is the question Dr Beth Singler poses in a new film exploring the limits of Artificial Intelligence. And if they are programmed to feel pain, should they also be taught to swear? Dr Emma Byrne looks at the science of bad language and why it can also be harnessed to reduce pain.
Producer: Katy Hickman.
The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister’s Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine is published by Scientific American
She has co-produced and contributed to a Cambridge University short film called “Pain in the Machine” which won Best Research Film of the Year at the Arts and Humanities Research in Film Awards 2017.
Swearing Is Good for You: The Amazing Science of Bad Language is published by Profile Books.
|Interviewed Guest||Lindsey Fitzharris|
|Interviewed Guest||Lesley Colvin|
|Interviewed Guest||Beth Singler|
|Interviewed Guest||Emma Byrne|