The Rise of the Robots

24 November 2017

Also coming up next week is our Rise of the Robots season.

We’re starting off with the network premiere of the film, Ex Machina at 9pm Saturday. In this Sci-Fi drama, Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, Alicia Vikander and Sonoya Mizuno star in screenwriter and novelist Alex Garland's directorial debut. Feted young software programmer Caleb (Gleeson) is overjoyed to win a unique opportunity to visit his boss Nathan (Isaac), the inventor and CEO of the world's most popular search engine. Apart from his assistant Kyoko (Mizuno), Nathan lives in complete solitude in his high-security home-come-laboratory, which is situated in a forest surrounded by mountains and accessible only by helicopter. Nathan tells Caleb he has invented an artificially intelligent robot that has passed the Turing test. Now he wants his star employee to help establish whether she truly has self-awareness. The film won an Oscar for its stunning visual effects.

On Sunday, Guy Martin vs The Robot Car at 9pm. Motorcycle racer and lorry mechanic Guy Martin investigates the most disruptive new technology to be introduced to the automotive world: autonomous vehicles. He becomes the first person to ever take on an artificially intelligent race car to discover what's fastest: man or machine?

Followed by the reboot of Robocop at 10pm, starring Joel Kinnaman, Michael Keaton and Gary Oldman. When Detroit cop Alex Murphy (Kinnaman) is horrifically injured by a car bomb, OmniCorp construct the first of what they hope will be a lucrative line of US-tailored crime-fighters. What could possibly go wrong?

Just how far would you trust a robot to help you find solutions to the most intimate, personal problems that trouble us all? The Robot Will See You Now, Tuesday 28 November at 10pm, introduces you to Jess a personal assistant robot, the sort of device we may all be consulting before too long. But as the AI gets more advanced, how far will we let it into our most private thoughts and concerns?

Narrated by David Tennant, How To Build a Robot, Wednesday 29 November at 10.25pm, is a fascinating and warm-hearted look at the future of robotics that is unlike anything we've seen before. Many humans have a cultural fear of robots, but eccentric Canadian robot inventor and puppeteer David McGoran hopes to fix this by making a new kind of machine that moves like we do. A loveable robot that even people on the street will open up to.

The Sex Robots Are Coming, Thursday 30 November at 10pm, follows an attempt to create one of the world's first fully functioning sex robots, in this programme, we follow one company as they build a prototype sexbot called Harmony.