Two podcasts of note this week.
We had an interesting discussion at my last OU tutorial as to whether Google's search algorithm could form the basis for a workable natural language system that could pass a Turing test. It seems that our fanciful suppositions were on the right track, as this week's Guardian Tech Weekly podcast features an interview with a Google search guru Amit Senghal that talks about creating representations of real world objects to give context and meaning to the search terms that the user enters. He foresees an interface capable of intelligent interaction on a par with the computers in Star Trek within the next ten or twenty years, and I think that it is a pretty reasonable goal.
The second podcast that deserves a mention is Richard Herring's Leicester Square Theatre Podcast (or RHLSTP! as all the cool kids are calling it). It's pretty much the same format as last year's Edinburgh Fringe podcast (RHEFP!) with a bit of topical stand up followed by a free wheeling and open ended conversation with a guest, with no questions or subjects beyond the pale. A particular highlight was the conversation with comedian Francesca Martinez covering subjects from disabilist attitudes to whether Jonathan Ross is capable of sucking his own penis.