TRC #689: The Science of Dune’s Sandworms + AI Personal Assistants

Dune's Paul Atreides riding a large Sandworm Could the huge Sandworms in Frank Herbert’s Dune really exist? Adam looks at how scientifically plausible these odd creatures might be. In light of recent news about Open AI’s GPT-4o and Google’s Project Astra, Darren look at the latest advances in AI personal assistants, speculates where this could be leading and shares a passage from his book Uncontrollable on the topic.

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TRC #688: Interview with Spencer Greenberg

Spencer GreenbergSpencer Greenberg is the founder Clearer Thinking, a web site which provides tools for critical thinking, as well as Transparent Replications, which does rapid replications of papers in psychology and behavioural studies. In this interview he discusses the replication crisis in scientific studies, what’s causing it and what can be done to reduce these problems.

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TRC #687: Remembering Daniel Dennett

Darren McKee and Daniel DennettThis past Friday, April 19th, philosopher Daniel Dennett passed away at the age of 82. Throughout his life he has impacted many people through his work. On this week’s show Darren shares some of his thoughts on this great man and gives an overview of a few of his books. Thank you Daniel Dennett.

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TRC #686: The Stanford Prison Experiment + Is AI Taking Over Creative Jobs?

Guards walking in the Stanford Prison Experiment yard (1971)Adam looks at evidence that the popular Stanford Prison Experiment was not as well run as we’ve heard which raises concerns about the conclusions we make from it. Darren considers some recent events in the world of AI and wonders whether or not AI could soon be taking over some creative jobs.

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TRC #685: AI More Creative Than Humans? + Safe Solar Eclipse Viewing

A creative robot painting a dinglehopper during a solar eclipseArtificial Intelligence or Artificial Creativity? Can an AI be more creative than a human? Darren looks at a study which attempts to answer this question. With the upcoming solar eclipse occurring in North America on April 8th, Adam examines the risk of staring at the sun and gives some tips on how to view an eclipse safely.

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TRC #684: Aliens in Mexican Congress? + Book Review: Outlive by Peter Attia

I'm not saying it's an alien but it's an alien
I’m not saying they’re aliens but … they’re aliens. Adam uses hard hitting science to evaluate the validity of these allegedly non human mummified remains which were presented to the Mexican Congress in the fall. A shocking discovery which puts into question everything we know about our world or a hoax? Darren gives us a review of Peter Attia’s book Outlive, an exploration of the science behind living a longer and better life.

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TRC #683: AI News: Sora, Gemini 1.5 and Implications + Jailbreaks by Hiding Files in Cakes

Darren gives us a news roundup of some recent things happening in the world of AI including OpenAI’s text to video tool Sora, Google Deepmind’s Gemini 1.5, as well as what implications this and other upcoming technologies could have on our lives. Adam tries to find out if there was ever anyone who really baked a file into a cake to break out of jail as many children’s cartoons have lead us to believe.

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TRC #682: Oppenheimer Movie Discussion

Oppenheimer (2023)

We try something a little different on the latest episode of The Reality Check. Having recently seen the movie Oppenheimer Darren and Adam have a discussion about this great film. If you haven’t seen the movie already it might be a good idea to check it out before listening to the show!

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TRC #681: Are Poinsettias Poisonous? + Mickey Mouse and the Public Domain

Put down that poinsettia salad, checkers.
Darren looks into a popular myth that poinsettia plants are poisonous to animals, including people. Then Adam looks into what’s been going on with Mickey Mouse and Steamboat Willie as he explores trademark, copyright and what it means to enter the public domain.

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TRC #680: Annual Predictions: 2024 Edition + Down Syndrome Strength + A Special Message From Pat and Cristina

Happy New Year 2024This year we retire our annual prediction segment with a final look back at how accurate, or rather how innacurate, we were in our predictions of what would happen in 2023. Darren examines the validity of a popular claim that people with Down syndrome are stronger. Finally we end the show with a special announcement from Pat and Cristina.

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