The Last Question

The Last Question

The Last Question is a science and technology podcast from DataFest, Scotland’s premier festival of innovation run by The Data Lab - Scotland’s innovation centre for data and artificial intelligence, hosted by the University of Edinburgh. Join our hosts Gordon Johnstone and Lily Higham as they talk to people at the cutting edge of technology and innovation - from quantum computing to nanotechnology, sci-fi authors to ethicists, from the James Webb Telescope to the search for extra-terrestrial life. These fascinating interviews explore the most exciting developments in the world of science while also engaging in some wild speculation along the way. There will be new episodes every two weeks and podcast listeners get an exclusive discount on tickets to DataFest events. Gordon is the Head of DataFest at The Data Lab and Lily is a Senior Automation Engineer at the BBC World Service.


August 3, 2022 37 min

In this episode Gordon and Lily chat to Stephanie Hare - technology ethicist and journalist - about what future holds for technology from an ethical perspective. Are governments able to keep up with technology? Should an artificial intelligence be able to hold a patent? Who is responsible for a AI that breaks the law? All of this and more in the latest episode of The Last Question.

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Our interviews on The Last Question always bring up so many fascinating concepts and ideas that we can’t squeeze into one episode. This mini series will explore some standalone questions that didn’t quite fit but are still fascinating.

In this "quick question" episode we ask nanotechnologist Laura Tripaldi what we can learn about entropy from the golem of Jewish folklore.

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Join Gordon and Lily for their inaugural podcast as they talk to Dr Laura Tripaldi about the future of nanotechnology, material science, the search for extra-terrestrial life, spiders, and her fascinating book 'Parallel Minds: discovering the intelligence of materials'. What does the future of nanotechnology hold? How can spider silk change the world? Are our current definitions of life inadequate? These are just some of th...

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