How do you measure humanity? We go deep into spoilers for Ex Machina as we recap Bluebook's work to produce a robot that can pass as a human.
In a reference-filled episode, we talk about the challenges of passing (or manipulating) a Turing Test, we debate the ethics of creating sentient machines, and compare the "planning/interview/debrief" structure of the film against how we approach our testing sessions.
As we proceed, we get distracted by discussions about the capabilities of helicopters, we wonder how a CEO can run a business from a location with no mobile coverage, investigate whether Nathan has already succeeded in creating the perfect dancing robot, and discover a film connection which sends Dan into uncontrollable laughter.
We also subject Siri and Google Home to their own Turing Test. It doesn't go well.
Testing conferences and initiatives mentioned during the introduction:
Other references in the episode:
A big Terminator-style thumbs-up to Bad Puns and Machine Guns for their shout-out in their recent "Aftermath" episode!
Screen Testing will return in two weeks' time, as Gem Hill joins us to discuss 2016's NERVE (available now on Netflix and other streaming services).
Recorded live with guests at the TestBash Brighton Open Space on Saturday 25th March 2017. Expect some occasionally dubious sound quality, and some strong language, as we try our best to unravel the story behind the Star Wars Holiday Special.
We focus on the "requirements" and the various different audiences for the show, wondering whether any of them would have been impressed that the previous summer's breakout sci-fi hit had been watered-down into a variety show format.
There are thoughts about whether George Lucas was paying attention, the role of pornography in the Star Wars universe, and a heated debate around whether Han Solo was again denied credit for a killing (this time denied by clumsy footwork and shoddy craftsmanship).
Huge thanks to our special guests during this episode:
At the time of writing, the Star Wars Holiday Special is available on YouTube for those who dare. The clips that we talk about during this episode can be found at the following timestamps:
We'll be back in the studio next time to talk about EX_MACHINA - see you in a fortnight!
Intro music: Star Wars Holiday Special main theme
Outro music: Supernova - Chewbacca