The quest for mechanical man

A statue of the robot Maria from the 1927 film “Metropolis” in Babelsberg, Germany

For centuries, we have been obsessed with creating machines just like us. In this programme, we look at how our expectations of machines has changed over the years. Do we want robots to be our slaves or our friends? If robots have the capacity to learn and to remember, does switching them off amount to killing? When does a machine achieve personhood? What do we learn about ourselves when we build robots? And what do robots teach us about God?

Producer: Dheera Sujan

Broadcast: May 2, 2005