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The Horizon Guide to AI

Documentary looking at the perception of AI from 1964 to the present day. Can we be optimistic about all that AI can deliver - or fearful of its ability to control our lives?

The BBC's Horizon programme began in 1964, and since then has produced films looking at computer technology and the emergence of 'artificial intelligence'.

Our dreams always begin with ideology and optimism, only for this optimism to be replaced with suspicion that AI machines will take over. However, as the Horizon archive shows, throughout each decade once we have learnt to live with the new emerging technology of the time, the pattern begins again. We become once more optimistic, before becoming fearful of it. The dream for decades had been for a computer with AI to be embedded within a humanoid robot, but just as scientists began to perfect machines with these qualities, something happened nobody expected.

Today, AI systems power our daily lives through smart technology. We are currently experiencing a level of fear about the power of AI, but will we enter the next decade optimistic about all that AI can deliver - or fearful of its ability to control vast areas of our lives?

1 hour

Last on

Wed 30 Jun 2021 20:00


Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • 00:39

    Señor Coconut y Su Conjunto

    The Robots

  • 00:46

    Jon Hopkins

    Small Memory


Role Contributor
Producer Jeff Wilkinson
Executive Producer Steve Crabtree
Production Manager Kassi Jones
Editor Jonathan Cronin
Editor Alex Snelling
On-line editing Alexander Leask
Assistant Producer Sophie Walsh
Archive producer Martin West
Narrator Adam Rutherford
Re-recording mixer Danny Finn


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