7.27.16: Tesla vs. Consumer Reports & The Bookshelf

Jul 27, 2016

On today's show, taking a critical look at the Tesla's autopilot feature with Consumer Reports, a look back at when we first heard about robots making delicious hamburgers, Sean Hurley does a dramatic [robotic] reading of a job posting at the robot hamburger restaurant, and we listen in to Peter Biello's conversation with author, illustrator, and banjo player Marek Bennett.

Listen to the full show. 

Tesla vs. Consumer Reports

So far, several agencies are investigating the crash that involved the Tesla electric car, - but it's a product review magazine that's making a direct call for Tesla to make changes to its autopilot system. For decades, Consumer Reports, the same magazine that tests toaster ovens and vacuums, has played an important role as watchdog for the car industry. Jake Fisher is director of automotive testing for Consumer Reports, and Laura MacCleery is vice president  of policy and mobilization join us to explain their findings.

Related: "Tesla Autopilot: Too Much Autonomy Too Soon"

The Robot Making Your Burger Needs Human Help

Last year, Taylor Quimby spoke with Rob Fleischman, Principle Architect at Akamai, about a story that was in the news - a company had created hamburger making robot, the prototype of a machine that could one day replace fast food line cooks.

The company behind that prototype, Momentum Machines, is now hiring for their debut restaurant in San Francisco. So we decided to revisit some of that original conversation with Rob about why burger automation could be such a disruptive technology.

Momentum Machines is now hiring humans and among the open job listings that it posted to Craigslist, is an application for a restaurant generalist. A job that starts at $15 an hour, plus benefits and profit sharing. There are some unusual requirements, for a fast food position. We tweaked a few lines from the application, just slightly, because it sounds very funny when NHPR's Sean Hurley reads it in the voice of an artificially intelligent robot.

Related: Restaurant Generalist

"A Robot Burger is Coming to San Francisco"

The Bookshelf - Marek Bennett

Marek Bennett is the author of The Civil War Diary of Freeman Colby  and he spoke with Peter Biello for The Bookshelf. 

For the extended version of their conversation and a list of the top 5 books on Marek's bookshelf, follow this link - The Bookshelf: The Civil War Diary of Freeman Colby