Slovakia Today, English Language Current Affairs Programme from Slovak Radio
RE-RUNS: 1) The recent landing of the Perseverance rover on the surface of Mars – its main mission being to search for signs of ancient life there – is the latest example of the efforts of modern scientists to search for extraterrestrial life. But what scientists have expected to actually find in the course of their investigations has changed dramatically over time. Jonathan speaks with astrobiologist Tomáš Paulech, who manages the Astronomical and Geophysical observatory in Modra, about how such expectations have changed over the past couple of centuries, and where we are today in the search for life outside our own planet. 2) Will Artificial Intelligence be a great gift to society that will bring untold benefit to people’s lives? Or will it be a tool of the surveillance state and a predatory marketing device used to subvert human freedom and well-being? Potentially both, says Mária Bieliková, AI expert and founder of the Kempelen Institute of Intelligent Technologies in Bratislava. Which aim it is used for depends not only on who gains control of such technology in the future, but also very much on how its development is being approached right now, and what sort of ethical principles are guiding this. Jonathan caught up with her recently to learn more.