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Colorado Edition: Go West, Young Robot

A horseback rider crossing flat scrublands, silhouetted against a sky filled with turbulent clouds, the sun low on the horizon.
Bob Wick
Bureau of Land Management
Horseback riding on public lands in Wyoming.

On a special episode, we hear some of our favorite interviews from the past few months with local authors, starting with Janelle Shane, who tells about what artificial intelligence can and can’t do. Then we speak with Justin Farrell, who explores the world of the ultra-wealthy and their relationship to the environment in the American West. Finally, we hear from Chip Colwell, who co-authored a book about a teacher whose job was to forcibly assimilate Native Americans through education.

AI Weirdness

When most of us think about artificial intelligence, we think of advanced facial recognition technology or fancy robots. But is AI really as intelligent as we think?

According to Colorado-based author Janelle Shane, who runs the blog “AI Weirdness,” the answer is no. Her new book is called You Look Like a Thing and I Love You: How Artificial Intelligence Works and Why It’s Making the World a Weirder Place.

She joined us to explain what artificial intelligence is, and what it can, and cannot, do.

The Ultra-Wealthy And The Natural World

Teton County, Wyoming is now both the richest county in our country, and the one with the highest level of income inequality. That’s according to Billionaire Wilderness: The Ultra Wealthy and The Remaking of the American West.

The book, by Justin Farrell, explores the world of the ultra-wealthy and their relationship to the natural world and the West. Farrell, who was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming, is also a professor of sociology at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. He joined us to walk us through his research.

'Objects Of Survivance': Interview With Author Chip Colwell

A unique collection at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science details the experiences of Jesse H. Bratley, whose job as a teacher was forcibly assimilating Native Americans through education. Bratley's archive is the subject of a new book called Objects of Survivance: A Material History of the American Indian School Experience. We spoke with co-author Chip Colwell about the book.

Colorado Edition is made possible with support from our KUNC members. Thank you!

Our theme music was composed by Colorado musicians Briana Harris and Johnny Burroughs. Other music in the show by Blue Dot Sessions:

  • “Mandelbrots In Winter" by Forest Robots
  • "When In The West" by Landsman Duets

Colorado Edition is hosted by Erin O'Toole (@ErinOtoole1) and Henry Zimmerman, and produced by Lily Tyson. The web was edited by digital editor Jackie Hai. KUNC news director Brian Larson is our executive producer. We get production help from Rae Solomon.

KUNC's Colorado Edition is a news magazine taking an in-depth look at the issues and culture of Northern Colorado. It's available on our website, as well as on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can hear the show on KUNC's air, Monday through Thursday at 6:30 p.m., with a rebroadcast of the previous evening's show Tuesday through Friday at 8:30 a.m.

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