The field of physical anthropology recently has been convulsed by several high profile cases of alleged sexual harassment, and by a survey of field scientists showing that harassment during fieldwork is common. So when physical anthropologists gathered last week at their annual meeting, reducing such problems was high on the agenda. But how to change the culture of a discipline? Meeting organizers and advocates offered a menu of actions to battle harassment, from symbolic to concrete. All meeting registrants were required to agree to the American Association of Physical Anthropologists's code of ethics, and panels and workshops offered specific suggestions to women describing incidents of harassment and discrimination.
A couple of weeks ago while visiting a local bookstore on Columbia University campus in New York I ran into a book on the front counter of the otherwise perfectly respectable establishment with a strange title: Assholes: A Theory of Donald Trump (2016). After some hesitation, I picked up the book and sat on a small chair in the corner of the bookstore and began thumbing through it. I learned that the author of the book, Professor Aaron James, is a proper philosopher who teaches at the University of California in Irvine. He has studied at Harvard, and before publishing this book had in fact written another that he had called Assholes: A Theory (2012). I subsequently learned that even before James, another major theorist of the matter, Geoffrey Nunberg, had published his Ascent of the A-Word: Assholism, the First Sixty Years (2012).
And why should we care if they do? SAPIENS host Jen Shannon meets Pepper the robot, and host Chip Colwell goes on a quest to find out how the robotics industry is (re)shaping intimacy in Japan. He speaks with anthropologists Jennifer Robertson, Daniel White, and Hirofumi Katsuno, all researchers who investigate the field of robotics, to learn more about what artificial emotion can teach us about what it means to be human. Our theme song and music for this episode are by Matthew Simonson. Special thanks to composer Scott Ampleford for use of the original score from 2026: Musik Inspired by Metropolis, which was featured in this episode.
Eliza was not a big achievement as she was a primitive computer program, but she was ambitious. She applied for a job in the Association for Computational Linguistics, but first she had to go through several tests. In the entry exam general knowledge about computational linguistics was tested. She had to learn what computational linguistics is, what it does, how does it and why. The first thing she had to learn was the definition of computational linguistics according to the Association for Computational Linguistics: "…the scientific study of language from a computational perspective.