Dadbot, Wifebot, Friendbot: The Future of Memorializing Avatars

Dadbot, Wifebot, Friendbot: The Future of Memorializing Avatars

In 2015, about a year before he was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, John Vlahos posed for a picture with his son, James.

(Courtesy James Vlahos)


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James Vlahos
James Vlahos is the author of TALK TO ME: How Voice Computing Will Transform the Way that We Live, Work, and Think (Houghton Mifflin, March 26, 2019). Covering the business, technological, and cultural ramifications of the voice revolution, the book has been described by readers such as Wired editor-in-chief Nicholas Thompson as "brilliant and essential." Vlahos is also the creator the Dadbot, a conversation-making program that shares the personality and life story of his late father, and of an Alexa skill, The Voice Computing Book. Vlahos contributes to the New York Times Magazine, Wired, Popular Science, The Atlantic, and GQ.
person using an apple watch
Luke Chesser - Unsplash

Today’s podcast guest is Rosalind Picard, a researcher, inventor named on over 100 patents, entrepreneur, author, professor and engineer. When it comes to the science related to endowing computer software with emotional intelligence, she wrote the book. It’s published by MIT Press and called Affective Computing.

Dr. Picard is founder and director of the MIT Media Lab’s Affective Computing Research Group. Her research and engineering contributions have been recognized internationally. For example, she received the 2022 International Lombardy Prize for Computer Science Research, considered by many to be the Nobel prize in computer science.

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Matt Fuchs
Matt Fuchs is the host of the Making Sense of Science podcast and served previously as the editor-in-chief of Leaps.org. He writes as a contributor to the Washington Post, and his articles have also appeared in the New York Times, WIRED, Nautilus Magazine, Fortune Magazine and TIME Magazine. Follow him @fuchswriter.
Hidden figures: Five black women that changed science forever

Dr. May Edward Chinn, Kizzmekia Corbett, PhD., and Alice Ball, among others, have been behind some of the most important scientific work of the last century.


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Sarah Watts

Sarah Watts is a health and science writer based in Chicago.