Science Friday Live in Pittsburgh

On Saturday, May 19, Science Friday heads to Pittsburgh to talk local science.

colored collage of ira flatow and robotWhen: Saturday, May 19, 2018 (doors: 6:30 pm / show: 7:30 pm

Where: Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall, 510 East 10th Ave, Munhall, PA, 15120

Tickets: Get your tickets here!

90.5 WESA presents Ira Flatow and the rest of the SciFri crew for a night of local science! This is your chance to look behind the curtain of your favorite national radio show and participate in a special live event with Pittsburgh scientists and roboticists, which will be recorded for future broadcast.

Should autonomy be the holy grail of artificial intelligence? Computer scientist Justine Cassell has been working for decades on interdependence instead—AI that can hold conversation with us, teach us, and otherwise build rapport with us. Her projects include a virtual assistant that helped world leaders navigate the World Economic Forum in Davos last year, and a classroom tutor for students struggling in STEM topics. Cassell discusses the value of studying relationships to further AI research.

Five years ago, it was hard to find a home robot that wasn’t a Roomba. Today, it’s not just vacuuming robots, but personal assistants like Alexa, videographers like Kuri, and much more. But what about robots that can assist people with mobility impairments? Carnegie Mellon University roboticist Henny Admoni is designing such robots to anticipate our needs, autonomously. And artist-roboticist Madeline Gannon brings enormous industrial robots to our level—teaching machines that were never meant to be cute how to nevertheless earn our trust.

Can computers write catchier music than humans? Roger Dannenberg of Carnegie Mellon University has taught machines to analyze music archives, and spit out new music based on the results. Judge for yourself whether one of those tunes could break the Top 40. Plus, the Carnegie Science Center has added a new robot to its collection—a spiral xylophone that plays itself. Musician and roboticist Eric Singer joins to talk about designing autonomous instruments, and shows off a self-playing guitar he designed.

What if a box of IKEA furniture could save you the time and effort – and put itself together? What if clothing could respond to human skin conditions to keep you cool, or even safe? It’s all within the realm of possibility with “adaptive materials.” Watch Lining Yao, Director of Carnegie Mellon’s Morphing Matter lab as she brings transformative fabric, self-folding furniture, and even flat pasta, to life on stage.

We’ll also be joined by Pittsburgh folk pop project townsppl for some science-y entertainment. Get your tickets now!


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Meet the Writer

About Daniel Peterschmidt

Daniel Peterschmidt is a digital producer and composes music for Science Friday’s podcast, Undiscovered. He’s playing D&D and his character is a clumsy bard named Chip Chap Chopman.

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